As the Sea Princess set sail it was possible, from our home in Kemnay, to watch each stage of the departure from the comfort of our armchair. The first photo shows her well on her way to the Golden Gate bridge. It was a bit hazy which is not that uncommon at San Francisco bay.
Of course, at this stage the pilot would have been in control of the ship. I think that the small craft below is the San Francisco bay pilot boat. Quite a nice view with the north pillar of the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
About the same time the Sea Princess was on a direct course heading towards the bridge. Below, we can see the view from the Bridge Web Cam onboard the ship – this web cam is not quite such good resolution but we can clearly see the bridge and another ship in view.
Whilst we watched the Web Cams we also had a browser open and were tracking the course of the various ships using the Marine Traffic web site. This site shows, super-imposed on the Google Maps views the locations, direction of travel and speed of all ships in the area. If you are interested you can view this at the following URL http://marinetraffic.com/ais/. In the picture below which was a section of the Marine traffic view at the time the blue icon is the Sea Princes, the green icon is the Pilot boat and you can also see another ship entering the bay under the bridge.
Now we see the Sea Princess as she passes under the bridge with the Pilot boat in the foreground.
If you want see the current view from the Wharf 39 Web Cam click here.
It is really amazing what you can achieve using various elements of technology as I hope this example above demonstrates.