APRIL 18, 2009 – San Diego (waterfront)

As I get older it’s harder to sit day after day, week after week at my work desk. In my 20’s and 30’s vacation days were just something to accumulate and cash out. The cash out option no longer exists. That’s just as well because I REALLY need to get away every few months. So I took a week off and drove to San Diego for my annual April caching vacation.

Arriving in mid-afternoon I checked in and then drove to the waterfront where I was immediately annoyed by the profusion of parking meters. To add insult, they dispensed time in weird increments like 2.83 and 4.66 minutes. Fortunately, I had a roll of nickels that I’d forgotten to cash at the bank. Anyway, the current cache here Stargazer (GC1B5YK) was easy to find. The old one, at the same spot was guarded by a homeless man named Jake who stored his salt & pepper shakers a few inches from the cache.
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The area is a hotbed of cryptozoological activity.
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A mile down the road I stood next to cache Marina Park (GC1C6PK), looked inland and thought I’d been transported to the 22nd century.
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Turning around at the same spot I saw the guided missile destroyer USS Stockdale leaving the harbor followed a few minutes later by
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the Panamanian flagged Honda car carrier Rainbow Wing. I wonder what it was taking back to Japan.
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To avoid getting caught in rush hour traffic I drove back toward my hotel and stopped just short at Liberty Station , a recently converted former naval facility.

There’s lots of free parking next to this cache USS Recruit (GC12JJQ). It’s an old completely landlocked training “ship.”
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Find the cache and then, like me, hike the public walkway and find 7 additional easy traditional caches. One of them is also named USS Recruit. Two caches with identical names .3 miles apart. d’OH!!
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Here’s another view of the walkway. Much of it is alongside an incomplete and still fenced public park.
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While searching I saw a very odd looking crow-sized (but stockier) bird.
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It was my first sighting of the black crowned night heron. I didn’t know that there are predatory nocturnal birds other than owls. This one was just sitting there in broad daylight.

The caches were on the ocean side of the path except the last one. The caching part of the walkway ends at a bench directly under the flight path of planes leaving San Diego International Airport.
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A short walk inland through a parking lot leads to areas like this,
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and (currently) 3 more traditional caches.

I ended my 3 hour cache run with 15 finds and a Santana’s (SD chain) asada burrito combo plate. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Next up, Fiesta island.

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