San Francisco (Friday, August 8) – North Beach and Waterfront

After exploring the Sutro Baths, it was back to the city.

I was on a mission. I had promised a friend from back home that I would check out Specs, a place he used to visit when he worked for Matson. He was curious to know whether they still had the Matson flag that he had given them.


Unfortunately, when I got there, I found they were closed and wouldn’t be open until 1700. Bummer.

So what’s a girl, who loves books, to do? Head across the street to City Lights of course.

I was tempted to buy, but restrained myself because I didn’t relish the thought of trying to stuff books into my carry-on bag for the flight home (my SF friend had already given me one book).

I enjoyed reading the various signs on the walls:

sign City Lights

I was amused by this:

door City Lights

(Yes, I’m easily amused.)

I left City Lights and wandered down the street toward the Transamerica Pyramid:

approaching Transamerica pyramid

From there, it was a short walk to the waterfront. Starting at the Ferry Building, I headed north along Embarcadero.

Pier 7 is a public access pier, so I went out to the end to take some photos.

At Pier 3, Hornblower’s San Francisco Belle:

San Francisco Belle

Picturesque, but not really my sort of thing.

On the south side of Pier 9 was one of the pilot boats, California:


Tug Baycat, pushing a barge:

Baycat and barge

While I was out on Pier 7, I came across a couple of gentlemen who were fishing. Feeling brave and sociable, I asked if they had had any luck. Unfortunately, they hadn’t caught anything yet. He asked where I was from and of course that led to questions about the hurricanes.

On the north side of Pier 9 was the pilot boat, Golden Gate:

Golden Gate

Star Princess heading out:

Star Princess

In the water between Piers 15 and 17, there was this interesting NOAA buoy:

PMEL CO2 buoy

For more information about the buoy, see PMEL CO2 – Carbon Dioxide Program (It seems there are PMEL CO2 buoys here in Hawai‘i as well.)

In the same area, there were curious structures on some of the piles that seemed like elaborate anti-seagull devices:

art installation

I found out later on that they were part of an art installation.


art installation detail

At Pier 17, a lovely new tug, Delta Audrey:

Delta Audrey

At Pier 33, Hawai‘i-related stuff on the windows of the take-out section of Butterfly

Hawaii stickers

Hm. Looking at the menu, maybe I should have eaten there!

The obligatory shot of Coit Tower:

Coit Tower

On to the touristy Pier 39!

The famous (+ noisy, smelly) sea lions of K dock, lounging about:

sea lions pier 39

It isn’t always just peaceful slumber and bliss:

sea lion conflict



Looking out over the water, I saw a stack with familiar colors and M:

Moku Pahu

It’s Moku Pahu! (Due in Kahului soon.)

It was getting late, so I hopped on a MUNI bus:

MUNI bus

Back to Specs. It was open but I was feeling shy (probably because I was tired). So I walked in and looked around long enough to spot the Matson flag (over the bar near the door), and got a pic (not very good) of it:

Matson flag

Mission accomplished!

A few more images of the area, just because…

City Lights:

City Lights

Garden of Eden:

Garden of Eden

On Broadway:

colorful Broadway Street


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