Boneyard           November 2016

If you haven’t been on a tour of the San Diego harbor, a real tour, it might be interesting to do so.   The bay holds many fascinating activities and locales that the Hornblower Yacht tours don’t cover. Did you know there is a Navy program that trains dolphins and seals on the south side of Point Loma? That is not the most interesting part of the activity.   Amazingly, it is a voluntary program, which the animals can leave at any time, no enlistments needed. Then there is the flip ship.

Anchored across from the tip of Shelter Island, it is almost historic in nature as a one of a kind research vessel. Built in 1962 it was used to measure waves with little resistance to them. At 355 feet long, it goes WAY down into the water, far more than a scuba equipped diver would dare. See this at

Up until 2002 there was a large collection of sunken boats in the south end of San Diego harbor.

Somewhat of a junk yard, it was also the home of an anarchical platform called Neptune’s Palace.   With ties to a strip club in San Diego, the parties on it were quite demonic. That fit in with the sense of the place, surrounded by boats which housed drunks and druggies trying to escape from the bonds of the earth. One had best be equipped with a strong hull to venture into that realm.

As well, there are three ship building companies which construct enormous vessels, boat yards that repair smaller ones, the US Naval Station of San Diego with its fighting ships, North Island Air Station, our own International Airport, a factory which makes natural sea salt from the water in the bay, marinas for dinghies and yachts, fancy hotels, views of natural beauty, spots to fish for dinner, and spots to eat fish for dinner. The shoreline defines the edges of the bay as much as the bay defines the edges of the shore.

Who are we in all of this?   What do we harbor in our lives?   What is the boundary of the one I call “me”? Within each of us is the corruption of many Neptune’s Palaces. We have the same capacity to create great things like the ship builders. There are times and places for us to repair ourselves.   We are capable of observing magnificence and of making things beautiful.   Setting boundaries that define who we are, where we won’t go, and where we end and begin can be just as important as the content of who we become.

To make our families strong again, to make America a light on the hill, we must examine all of this from time to time. Just as the Port Authority regulates all that goes on in the harbor, our mind and will must set the terms for the life that we live. They answer to a higher power just as we do. Turning our attention to those greater commands, and doing so often, will guide us to the best that we can become. The shipyard and the boneyard in the harbor were right next to each other. In both we must be strong and strive for the best rather than accepting the commonplace or the spoiled.

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