Fleet Week, San Francisco, 2009

US Navy Fleet Week begins with the Parade of Ships, all of them being
welcomed by fireboats and private vessels on San Francisco Bay.

"Build it and they will come." This certainly holds true for the sea lions
at Pier 39 in SF Bay. Marine biologists are baffled as to why they are here,
but as they build more platforms, more sea lions continue to show up.
Maybe they should stop building platforms!

The old liberty ship, the SS Jeremiah O'Brien, is last in line in
the Parade of Ships as it slips past Alcatraz Island. Two years
ago Mary and I rode aboard the O'Brien in the Parade as a
birthday gift to me from my sister and her daughter. Lots of fun!

As the air show begins, I wasn't quite prepared with my camera as a United Airlines 747 does
a fly-by just over the tops of the ships in the harbor, as they waited for the show to start.

Even big cargo planes are part of the air show!

A US Air Force jet joins the show with a few passes over the crowd.

Red, white, and blue smoke seems to be the theme for this year's Fleet Week.

The "Patriots", a private (non-military) flying group, sponsored in part
by Fry's Electronics, put on a very impressive show this year.

I didn't know there was such a thing as a private flying group with
jets flying in formation. The Patriots put on a very good show for
the thousands of people filling the marina areas of San Francisco as
well as for the hundreds of boats lined up in the bay for the show.

The Patriots buzz the top of a few sailboat masts as they
pass in front of the crowd and the anchored boats in the bay.

A fast moving pelican keeps up with the Patriots.

The Patriots close in on a seagull as they pass over the Golden Gate bridge.

Having missed the seagull, they now bear down on a hapless pelican.

Those pesky shorebirds are just too maneuverable - let's pick on this sailboat.

Let's not pick on anything - flying is just too much fun!

Let's prepare for our grand finale ...

This ought to do it ... let's go!!!

This "seasoned" pelican has seen his share of air shows.

Here we go ... Fat Albert, the Blue Angels' support plane, performs for the crowd.

Fat Albert buzzes the top of a sailboat mast.

OK Al, let's see what you can do ...

Not bad! Avoiding all that sailboat rigging while still buzzing boats in the harbor.

As Al prepares for another pass over the crowd, notice the fog rolling in over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Good buzz Al ... about 100 feet above the Bay.

Look at that - perched atop a sailboat's mast!

OK, let's buzz the crowd on the beach as our grand finale.

Up close and personal!

Here they come - the Blue Angels!

A perfect four-man formation.

I think I'll shave the paint off the top of this boat's mast.

Angel #6 sneaks away on his own ... where will he show up again?

Best pic of the bunch - a nice, tight formation.

Let's give these sailboat captains a little thrill ...

All six Angels fly down the corridor at minimum height. Note the fog ... bad news.

The lighting is very strange in this pic compared to the one below.

This is more like it - a good crowd pleaser.

But, the fun was soon over. The fog rolled in and canceled the rest of the
show! Thanks for tuning in ... let's hope for better flying weather next year.

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