Friday, August 31, 2012

USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)

Last Monday, we brought Chuck and Betty back to Bremerton.  I had seen in the paper that the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis was scheduled for departure the same day.  We didn't have any idea what time, but while cruising north off Rich Passage, we met a Navy tug coming south.  That was a clue.

Al was on a work call, and I was piloting the boat, taking a tour so I wouldn't need to go into close quarters.  He finished a half hour sooner than I anticipated, or I would have turned south sooner!

We arrived in Bremerton at about 1:00 or 1:30.  We left the radar and AIS running so we could monitor any activity.  We saw several Navy tugs motoring around, and were fooled several times into believing they were moving the Stennis out.

Chuck and Betty were very accommodating of my excitement to see the aircraft carrier.  They had an appointment to visit their niece, Robin, in Tacoma in the evening, and wanted to take us grocery shopping and out for dinner before their departure.  Their car's parking limit expired at 4:00.  After 3, we were all getting a bit nervous.  Finally Al and Betty went to get the car, and go shopping, leaving Chuck and I to watch any progress and to take photos.  Just before they left, we could see that AIS was activated on  'Navy Unit 53'

Once the Stennis was backed away from the pier and turned, it didn't take any time at all for it to slide by the marina. 

Just as it comes in to view

Quite a few people were on the breakwater to watch the departure

The carrier DID show up on radar this time!

And into the sunshine

It brought a tear to my eye.  I could only think of my son, and his desire to be assigned to the USS George Washington, a carrier based in Japan, and that this may be the closest I get to seeing my son go to sea.  I love you, Micah!

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