Day 10 – San Diego Harbor Cruise

Today we all took a 2 hour cruise around San Diego Harbor. Our buses were 30 minutes early for a 1300 pickup which was perfect. Knowing how these guys get around, slowly, we told them the bus was leaving at 1300, a mythical time I never thought we’d meet. So, last night we spread the word for everyone to meet out front at 1230 so they would be ready to board when the buses arrived at 1300. Getting there 30 minutes early was a real plus. We love Jose and Arturo.

Diane took me down to the waterfront earlier this morning so I could pick up the 116 tickets we had purchased. I met Amanda at the ticket kiosk near the Star of India sailing ship which is parked on the quay near Broadway.

Diane let me out about 1/2 a mile from the kiosk so I had to limp my way there to get the tickets. “Why did you limp?” you may ask. “Because I’ve developed a terminal case of gout,” I’d reply. “My left big toe is about twice as big as the right one and I’ve had to walk flat footed on my left foot all day long. On a moving vessel.” But, it’s all good. I survived the day, and it was a good one.

Once the buses arrived at the pier everyone debarked and headed for the vessel boarding location for Hornblower Cruises. The Adventure hadn’t yet arrived so we all had to wait about 15 minutes for it to get there and unload their morning passengers.

While that was going on Ken and I handed out the tickets, one at a time. As I neared the end of the line I started to panic a bit because it didn’t appear I had enough tickets. There were a large bunch of people gathering behind our group who were also going on the cruise so they added to my confusion so one of the Georges gathered up a couple of strays stranded within the crowd of strangers and herded to them to me and I gave him the last ticket. I was absolutely perfect and kind of set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

The Adventure backed out of it’s slip, turned around, and headed across the bay toward NAS North Island where two aircraft carriers are currently “parked”. One of them was the USS Nimitz, the other the USS Ronald Reagan.

The captain of our vessel kept up a running narrative of everything we were looking at, and directed our attention to specific areas of interest, giving us a lot of great detail about what we saw. Of primary interest was the trip past the piers of the 32nd Street Naval Station where many warships are currently parked. He named them all as we headed south into the bay.

This picture is of the Coronado Bay Bridge which links Coronado Island, on the left, to San Diego …

After touring the south portion of the bay we turned north and turned the corner to view the submarine base at Point Loma. The view was totally awesome because once we turned the sun was behind us, shining on everything we looked at. Perfect for photos.

Nice. You can see the USS Midway to the right of the photo. The Adventure’s dock is on the left side of the Midway’s pier and that’s where we’re headed.

 

In case I didn’t mention it previously, the USS Midway is permanently docked in downtown San Diego. When the ship was active, we on the USS Dennis J. Buckley served time as their plane guard. That’s always a small, maneuverable ship that follows the carrier to pick up any of the pilots who failed to land their planes safely on the flight deck. Not all of them made it. Enough said.

Thought it was only a two hour cruise, it seemed much longer, and everyone was enthralled with the trip and what they saw. It was just great. Diane and I were very happy because it was such a success. The major success was in getting everyone to the buses and back to the lodge without losing one person.

After returning, Diane took a list to the package store to get the requested beer. Seems they were running low in the hospitality rooms.

Golfing, Rocks, and the USN

Today I rediscovered why I generally do not golf more than 9 holes on any given day. It’s because I get a little giddy after the ninth hole, like you do when you’ve been awake for a couple of days, and everything is funny, even when it really isn’t. Still, it was a fun time that I really enjoyed, and I’ll probably do it again. We used a cart and I’m still stiff and sore.

I was treated to this experience by by friend and classmate, Jimbo. He’s married to Sue, in case you didn’t know, and owns a business that supplies pretty much every kind of appliance known to mankind to pretty much every hotel/motel chain in the free world. Oh, he supplies DVDs, too. Consequently, he’s doing quite well in the business world. You check his stuff out on his Hospitality Supplies web site. If you see something you like, let me know and I’ll see if I can get you a discount. No guarantees, but who knows?

To start the day out a dump truck arrived bright and early to deliver a pile of rocks we ordered yesterday. Diane insisted. They’re for the ditch by the garage that I need to expand a bit, and ensure it’s actually slopped correctly so the water runs away from the driveway. To do this I’ve been given permission to rent a mini excavator from Don’s Rental! That’s going to be so much fun that I might just dig up way more dirt than necessary to “get it right.” I suppose I could dig it out with my poleasky and a shovel but that’s, like, work. The excavator will be way more fun.

I think the final plans have been made for our reunion for the USS Dennis J. Buckley (DD-808) at the end of this month. It’s going to be in San Diego. Diane and I were responsible for arranging everything and it’s turning out to be the biggest reunion this ship has ever had. It’s really amazing. There will be 131 people there. In 2010, in Buffalo, NY, there were 40 or so. The last bit to be finalized was the tour buses to get everyone from point to point without losing any of them. This ship was commissioned in 1944 and decommissioned in 1973, so even those who were aboard in 1973 are old now. One individual, who is coming, was aboard from 1948 to 1954. Pretty amazing.

Diane put the dogs on alert that it’s OK to rouse me a bit early tomorrow, since I have to get up early anyway, to get the equipment I need in the morning. So, it’s time to quit.