7 May 2014--Yesterday we went into San Diego, just to the waterfront area, to take a tour of the USS Midway and the Maritime Museum down the street from it. Both of our father's were in the Navy, with mine serving at the end of WWII and Cathy's in the Korean War...wish we knew more about their adventures.
John Paul Jones, considered the "Father of the American Navy", served in the Continental Navy from 1775-1788.
I think I put up pictures like these before, but it bears repeating...Cathy is standing in the cramped space allotted the enlisted troops, while I am in the officer's spot...BIG difference!
Down inside the ship, this 1st picture shows the chains that the hold the anchors. I only put it because they said each link in the chain weighed 130 lbs! WOW! 2nd pic is an early helicopter...I loved that he was wearing a fedora-type hat! In the 3rd and 4th pics I am in a simulator, and then an ejection seat. I have always wondered what the force of that ejection must feel like? Scary, I think.
A few Navy ships passed us while we were on the Midway, and the pic of the postcard shows how many can actually be in port at one time here. I read that San Diego is home to 35 Air Combat Squadrons, with 400 aircraft, 48 ships and 7 submarines. It has over 95,000 military people and the military employs over 145,000 civilians, accounting for over 20% of the working population. That's pretty impressive!
On the deck of the ship.
Saluting as I prepare to catapult off the deck!
We were able to go all the way up to where the Captain of the ship operates from...85 feet above the water line. This is our view as we look out.
Being in the Captain role, I had to get out of my seat and go assist Cathy with the steering.
Here I am running out the back of a helicopter...the kind you see the troops parachuting out of in the movies. I only realized at the last minute that I had no chute! haha
Over to the Maritime Museum, which was really a series of boats/ships also in the harbor. There were too many of them to post pics of, and most weren't that interesting anyway, so here are a few.
This was the big attraction, the "Star of India", built in 1863 and still seaworthy today. It used to take passengers from England to New Zealand in the 1870s, a 7 week voyage. Here are 2 diary entries from a guy who took his family...sort of sickening about the rats! haha
Next we boarded this 24-gun battleship...not much to see here...just didn't seem like there was any room for any men down in the belly.
The most interesting to us was this old Soviet submarine, built in the early 1970s and sold in the 1990s to some businessmen after the collapse of the Soviet Union. I could never go to sea in a sub...it is so cramped down there, and just knowing I was submerged would freak me out. The 5th pic here, has Cathy standing against the crews sleeping racks...and I thought the guys on the Midway had it tough...at least they didn't have to sleep in the same bays as the missiles and other equipment! In the last pic, Cathy is standing on the top of the sub, again like you see in the movies as they come in to port.
Going down into an American sub, called the USS Dolphin. It was used strictly as an experiment vehicle, and still holds the record for the deepest dive of any submersible at over 3000 ft. The actual depth is still classified. In the 3rd pic you see me as I hear someone yelling, "Dive, Dive!"
Behind the sub in the 1st pic here is the "Berkeley", a ferryboat that was really pretty inside. Had a great dance floor, so I "tripped the night fantastic", for a little while by myself. haha
Enough of the boats. Off the bow of the USS Midway, and in one of the above pictures above when I was acting as the Captain of the ship looking out at the bay, you can see this small park, a salute to Bob Hope. Also a huge statue, titled "Unconditional Surrender", which we all recognize from the famous photo taken at the end of the war.
So, not necessarily the most compelling day, but we had fun even as it got colder and colder as the day went on. haha Really hoping for that sun to come out again...where's global warming when you need it? haha