Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Navy Week Los Angeles 2011 (Part 2)

I mentioned in a previous post that I had gone aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln when it was in town for Navy Week back in July. At the end I mentioned that I would try to go back and tour the other ships if possible, which is precisely what I did two days later.

Having learned from the previous day, I arrived early and was able to get aboard the cruiser Princeton in less that 20 minutes (actually before the event officially opened for the day).

The tour lasted about an hour and a half, and the sailors who guided us around were extremely friendly and helpful - a true credit to the Navy! They took us just about everywhere: including the forecastle, the C.I.C. (combat information center) and bridge. Never in my life did I ever think I'd get to stand on the bridge of an active duty warship!

While we were on the bridge, I was afforded a rare opportunity...

"Go ahead, I don't care if you sit in the CO's chair."

With my tour of the Princeton done, I went to stand in line for the minesweeper Champion. I wasn't so lucky this time, as the wait was four hours. I considered giving up and going home after two but figured I might as well see this thing through. And so I did!

Because Champion is such a small ship, the tour wasn't as grand as the Princeton's had been. It was still informative, however, and exciting!

The destroyer Chafee had made her way out before the day's events started, although I did catch a glimpse as I was coming over the Vincent Thomas Bridge that morning.

All in all, Navy Week was a blast! I strongly encourage anyone interested in ships or the Navy to come out and partake of the festivities. I hope that the Port of Los Angeles decides to host one again in the near future.

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