February 15, 2011 by Rob Hurlbut
Centennial Of Naval Aviation On Coronado’s North Island
This past Saturday, Coronado hosted the Centennial Of Naval Aviation on North Island Naval Base. As of this year, the United States Navy has been flying for 100 years, and this celebration paid homage to just about every single aircraft that has flown in service of the Navy.
Navy SEAL Parachutists
Navy SEAL’s made up a big portion of the warm-up activities, entertaining us with skydives and colored smoke.
Navy SEALS Descend Onto Coronado
From an altitude of around 4000 feet, Navy SEAL’s jumped out of a helicopter and glided down to the northern edge of Coronado’s North Island Naval Base.
Parachuting Down Onto Coronado
Men, women and children of all sorts turned out for the show. Some people brought really big lenses while others brought very small children. By the end of the day, I think they may have been wishing for each others life. Personally, I’ve noticed that the “better” I’ve become at photography, the smaller my lenses have gotten.
Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue In San Diego Bay
There were a lot of helicopters at this show, and one of their demonstrations was a water rescue. The pleasure ship in the background had the best seat in the house for that event!
Besides the obvious aircraft watching, there were a lot of people worth watching at the show as well. A lot of people brought children, little boys in particular that no doubt were just as excited as I was at that age whenever I happened to be lucky enough to go to an airshow. For some reason, when I was young and preparing to join the navy I thought knowing all the different types of naval aircraft, ships and trivia would be pertinent to my military career. As we all know now, I should have spent that time learning to chip paint instead!
Traffic On North Island Naval Base
Traffic on base, around Coronado and across the bridge was a snarled nightmare for the entire day. It’s really not the Navy’s fault… The street infrastructure of Coronado flat out can’t handle a crush of people on a regular weekday, let alone special event days like this. I took public transportation into Coronado and walked onto the base which meant I had to do a lot more walking than those in cars, but I’m sure I shaved at least 4-5 hours off my commute time by doing so. The photo above is the line of cars coming into the base after the airshow portion was already over. Can you believe that? I was there and it still don’t. So, what did I learn from this outing and what tidbits of advice do I have for anyone attending a special event on Coronado in the future? Don’t drive, take the bus or ride a bike instead. Eat beforehand, bring your own water and wear sunscreen. Military bases are big so be prepared to do a lot of walking even after you get there.
United States Navy Blue Angels