Saturday, January 9, 2010

Your Ship has come in!

I just want to say to everyone sorry about the "non blog" for last night. We ended up touring in San Diego all day, and had dinner in San Diego before leaving for the 3 hour drive back to Yuma. We did not get home until 11:00 p.m. and it was lights out, no time for a blog.
Today is a new day. I have a lot of pictures to show you, so grab a cup of coffee and away we go. We stayed over at the Best Western in San Diego which was very good. We had trouble deciding what to do for Saturday, between touring San Diego or going to Sea World, but in the end we decided to tour San Diego and tour the U.S. Aircraft Carrier "Midway". It was a fantastic day in San Diego with temps in the mid 70's. Lots of sun. I am going to break the two tours in two different blogs, as there is simply too much material!
For anyone who has not been to San Diego, you simply have to go. This is what it looks like! I took this picture from the Bridge of the Midway! The city is very clean and very friendly, with a great waterfront area...

The Midway was built in 1945 and was retired in 1991, and turned into a Museum in San Diego Harbour. The Harbour is also now the home port for the Aircraft Carrier "Regan".

The ship is too big to get in one picture! This is a side view looking to the back of the ship.

As you enter the ship for your tour, you are greeted on the mid-ship deck by this yellow aircraft. The mid ship deck is huge and is where they park all the active aircraft during active duty, plus they keep some up on the flight deck. They have two big elevators that can carry 2 aircraft at a time from the mid-ship deck to the flight deck. It takes 10 seconds for the ride!

The ship carried a crew of about 4,500 men and women, and they had to sleep somewhere! Here is a picture of some of the sleeping quarters for the enlisted marines. It was quite cramped, and I am sure after a couple months at sea, they maybe did not smell real great! Everyone had their own locker to keep their stuff in....

These two chains actually raised and lowered the two anchors when needed! They told us you could hear the anchors going up and down right through the whole ship, so you kind of knew when the ship was getting ready to leave...

This is one of the Aircraft "Ready Room" where the Pilots get ready for the missions. They look at their targets, talk about weather, have a coffee, whatever they need. It is only a quick run down an ally way and you are on the flight deck. There are 4 of these rooms on the ship.

These two were causing problems during the tour so they got thrown into the "Brig".... the brig was actually quite big, and we were told quite a few sailors made it to the brig at times...

This is one of the control rooms where they actually help control the shop. Everything below deck was quite cramped... you would kind of wonder why when the ship is so big!

This is one of the aircraft below deck, and as you can see, there is a lot of room for more... During WWII, they used prop planes, but soon changed to the newer jet aircraft. Most of the new aircraft can fold their wings up in the air, to take less space.

Judy is in a big panic here, as she pressed a wrong button and the engine was starting, and security was running towards her, I think she was in the brig next...

When you have a crew of 4,500 people, someone is going to get hurt! They were ready this, and I though the guy here on the right looked just like Dr. Hollinger, but he said he was too busy here, and didn't have time to answer my questions....

This is the view that the "Air Boss" has from the command centre, when they are launching and recovering Aircraft.

The biggest conflict the Midway was involved in, was the Gulf War, (the first one) in 1991. The Midway and two other Carriers, and a bunch of other support ships were in the Persian Gulf, and launched all the planes from there against Iraq and Suddam! The General that ran the whole show ran it from the control room you see below. His whole team was with him. They did not run the Midway, but ran the "war". The General had his own fancy quarters on the ship!

They retired the Midway, just after the Gulf War ended, which was not long. They totally dominated the water, and air and soon kicked Suddam's butt out of Kuwait, which was the goal at the time. It is an American Law that they maintain 10 aircraft carriers at all times. They are dispersed all over the world at this point in time.
This is a view looking towards the front of the ship... There was a lot of tourists on the ship this day which was good to see. When you get on the ship, they give you an IPOD type device with a keypad and earphones, and as you move about the ship, following the arrows, you simply press the number on the keypad of the next number and you have your guided tour in your ears!

This plane was attached to the "cat-a-polt".... the device launched the aircraft off the front of the ship in a fast way. All planes were launched in this way!

My favorite pic of the day was this one that Judy snapped of me holding up this plane, you will find this picture on my desktop now!
We had lunch on the ship which was excellent. Spent over 4 hours on the tour and enjoyed it all. After we finished up we headed to the Harbour area to find a city tour to take, and that is what you will see on the blog tomorrow!
Had some nice emails today by people encouraging me on with the blog, well, one of them was my Mother, but it still counts! Must say hi to Frank and Patsy Beynon who sent a nice email! Good to hear from you!
Till tomorrow...

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just started reading your blog. Great stories. I live in the Phoenix area, so I love to hear a perspective from out of towners. Let alone, from another country. Thanks for sharing.