It wasn't until I flew over it that I realized what a special place Alameda Coast Guard Island is! I knew some of the USCG cutters were based out of Alameda, but with my casual drives around Alameda, never saw anything thing looked like a naval (or Coast Guard) base. Well, that's because it's completely separate from Alameda Island, and is it's own island! Really cool, secure looking place.
Here's a shot of the sprawling Port of Oakland, and the rebuilt portion of the 880 interchange - which had collapsed during the Loma Prieta earthquake.
I had been asked, why no shot of the USS Hornet? Well, here she is! I know, it's a bit hard to make out, but it's sandwiched between some large Ready Reserve Fleet vessels. Tucked away in a seldom visited part of the Bay Area, the USS Hornet Museum is hurting for visitors and donations. Can you imagine how much foot traffic they would get if it was berthed at San Francisco's Pier 45? Of course, San Francisco politicians had even snubbed the effort to bring the Iowa Battleship there (as a political statement) - so it's not something that will ever likely happen.
A view of the dreaded 880/580 interchange, with Berkeley hills in the back. For the longest time, I would dread having to travel that way - it was always jammed up. Seems to be much better nowadays though.
Had a lot of comments why I didn't include a picture of Treasure Island. A lot of people had been stationed there when it was still an active naval base. Well, here it is!
There's a reason why Treasure Island (TI) is so flat and pristine looking...it's man made! The 400 acre island was created by a landfill dredged from the bay. For a short while, TI was the site of the 1939-40 World's Fair expo. When the war started, the island was converted to a Naval base.
This is sort of the reverse side view of Alcatraz. Not as many people see this side of the island, as it does not face San Francisco!
Distances over water can be deceiving, as this elevated shot shows. The Rock isn't really that close to anything!
Just about the only way to get on the island is on a boat!
Another shot of the Rock. Why would they want to give convicted criminals such a glorious view? :-) They should build prisons out in the desert instead!
San Francisco, the waterfront, and Aquatic park. A little bit of fog is starting to roll in.
If you look carefully, you can make out those seals which have taken over the docks at Pier 39. Of course, I can see it much better on my high resolution version! hehe.
Had some request for a shot of the AT&T park. Well, we didn't get very close to it, but here it is. Behind the Bay bridge!
Treasure Island in the foreground, with the old and new Bay Bridge visible behind it.
The original Bay bridge costs 77 million dollars and took 3 years to build in 1933. The replacement bridge was supposed to be started in 2002, and completed in 2007. HA! After all the deliberations, false starts, and countless studies, the Bay Bridge project experienced massive cost overrun, with a projected final bill of $6.3 billion dollars!
Taking into account inflation, the $77 million dollars the bridge cost in 1933 would be $1.2 billion in 2007 dollars. The new bridge at $6.3 billion is more than 5 times as expensive! With advances in construction technique, precision heavy equipment, and engineering know how, something is seriously screwed up. I don't think it's the construction companies, but rather the government bureaucracy which is at fault. An unending list of regulations and rules have made such a venture cost prohibitive. It's a wonder anything gets done anymore.
Here's a good view of the wonderful 'S' curve. A temporary measure to keep the traffic flowing while they fix up the new bridge, the S curve have been a source of great joy to Bay area motorist; Site of many an accident involving big rigs. Loaded big trucks don't negotiate the S turn well at high speeds (50mph or more). Their loads shift, and they lose control and crash. After a fatality involving a truck which fell over the side of the bridge, Cal Trans instituted some great ideas to solve the 'problem'.
How to slow traffic? Put up more speed limit signs with flashing lights, have cops write lots of speeding tickets, and intentionally creating traffic jams in the off hour by closing down lanes! Brilliant!!! No, not really. They made a crappy decision to start with, don't take any responsibility for it, and make everyone else suffer for their mistake. I want to work at Cal-Trans! :-)
This is the Oakland's 580/24 interchange. The Zeppelin's shadow is cast on the Mc Clymonds High School grounds.
Downtown Oakland. Oakland's Chinatown would be towards the right side of the picture.
Oakland Coliseum. Guess the 'A's are still playing there (for now), and the Raiders too.
There's a Golf course right at the end of the Hayward airport.
Oakland International airport covers 2,600 acres and has 4 runways. Runway 29 is the main one that the commercial jets take off and land on.
Out over the salt marshes, a huge flock of small birds take to the air. Mildly disturbing aint' it?
One of the largest flying birds around, a flock of White Pelicans make their way over the marshes.
I believe it's the San Leandro Marina.
Sean Tucker's Oracle Challenger II plane, and the 3 other Collaborator planes are lined up ready to go. No doubt the 5th plane behind them is the photo plane. I believe they would have gone up after the Blue Angels perform their survey flight for a photo shoot (drool!).
This was at the Oakland Airport North Field (general aviation operations).
Hope you enjoyed these additional pictures! Forgive me for the occasional rant - just having some fun. :-)
Here's the original Zeppelin Eureka shots if you haven't seen them yet.