USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Departs San Diego

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group left homeport Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado on Friday for a nine-month deployment to the the Navy's 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility, which includes the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf.

The strike group consists of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, along with USS Bunker Hill, USS Gridley, USS Sterett, and USS Dewey.  The nine fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 17 are also part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group.

According to the Navy:
The strike group will deploy with approximately 6,200 Sailors and will focus on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.... and provide deterrence to potential adversaries, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas, and provide humanitarian assistance/disaster relief as necessary.
As Home Post recently reported, those serving aboard the Vinson may qualify for "Mission Hardship Duty Pay - Tempo" - which would amount to $17 a day for each day a sailor or Marine is deployed beyond 220 days (about seven months).

Navy and Marine Corps officials anticipate the Office of the Secretary of Defense will approve the new special pay before the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

KPBS Article; 8/22/14


Pacific Blue

Carlsbad's beaches remain one of San Diego's best kept secrets, which is just fine with the locals. The north half of the Carlsbad coast is composed of a series of small beaches divided by sea walls. The cliffs here are relatively low and in most places the Coast Highway passes right next to the shore, offering an unobstructed view of the sea and open access to the beach. Well-designed walkways, attractive sea walls and a host of facilities make the beaches in Carlsbad as pleasing to the eye as they are accommodating to visitors.


Historic Boats at San Diego Harbor

Star of India is the world's oldest active sailing ship. She began her life on the stocks at Ramsey Shipyard in the Isle of Man in 1863. Iron ships were experiments of sorts then, with most vessels still being built of wood. Within five months of laying her keel, the ship was launched into her element. She bore the name Euterpe, after the Greek muse of music and poetry.

The Berkeley is an 1898 steam ferryboat that operated for 60 years on San Francisco Bay. A California State Historic Landmark, and a National Historic Landmark. She is, in a word, "irreplaceable."

The deepest diving submarine in the world, Dolphin is responsible for many "firsts", but is not primarily associated with any specific historic event or time frame during her nearly forty years of service. Rather, it is her unique, extreme deep-diving capability that sets her apart and has continually placed the vessel at the forefront of undersea naval research during her entire career. In November 1968, she set a depth record for operating submarines that still stands.


San Diego Skyline

A view of the San Diego skyline from across the bay. We certainly are a boating community!


Office View

This is the view from my beautiful office in Downtown, San Diego. I am one lucky lady!! The bridge in the distance is the Coronado Bridge which we take to get to Coronado Island. I believe Coronado is one of the most expensive places to live on the California West Coast.
The 11,179-foot-long bridge ascends from Coronado at a 4.67 percent grade before curving 80 degrees toward San Diego. The span reaches a maximum height of 200 feet (61m), allowing the U.S. Navy ships which operate out of the nearby Naval Station San Diego to pass underneath it. The five-lane bridge featured the longest box girder in the world until it was surpassed by a bridge in Chongqing, China in 2008. The bridge does not form a direct path to Coronado, but rather has a curve. This was done so it would be high enough for all U.S. Navy ships to pass underneath but not too steep for vehicles to ascend and descend. Construction on the San Diego–Coronado Bay Bridge started in February 1967, and opened to traffic on August 3, 1969, during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of San Diego



San Diego is going to be in the high 70's today. Looks like a beach day to me!


Zucchini anyone?

We have been having some cooler weather in San Diego but my zucchini plant still thinks it is summer and is producing like mad. The eggplant has decided to take off as well. As a result, Frenchie has been pleased with all the Ratatouille I've been cooking for him!

The History of Zucchini

Summer squashes, as well a winter squashes, are native to the Americas and belong to the family of curcurbita. Archaeologists have traced their origins to Mexico, dating back from 7,000 to 5,500 BCE, when they were an integral part of the ancient diet of maize, beans, and squashes. That pre-Columbian food trio is still the mainstay of the Mexican cuisine and is known today as the "three sisters."

Many explorers who came to the Americas brought back what they considered strange foods. The zucchini eventually found its way to Italy where it was named zucchino. Many names have been given to this squash. The French call it courgette, a name that has been adopted by the English. The English also refer to a variety that is slightly larger and plumper as marrow.

The colonists of New England adopted the name squash, a word derived from several Native American words for the vegetable which meant "something eaten raw." George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were squash enthusiasts who even enjoyed growing them.

Zucchinis are considered the tender, sweet, immature fruit of the curcurbita pepo which is eaten in its entirety. If left on the vine or bush longer, the fruit becomes enormous, the seeds larger, tougher, and sometimes inedible, and the flavor less sweet. Cocozelle, a variety of zucchini that originated in Italy, is shorter, plumper, and striped. Today's farmers are developing hybrids that are a visual delight. Some are round, some are yellow, some a combination of green and yellow, and some are a cross between zucchini and the fluted patty pan squash.