Wednesday, October 12, 2005

California Trip - Day 4 -- Updated!

See all of the Day 4 Photos Here

September 20, 2005
Star of India

On Tuesday, September 20th, we visited San Diego. We had numerous places we could visit, but we decided to make the San Diego Maritime Museum our first stop. Dawn Ann had visited here when she was a teenager.
(Click on photos for larger view)
The featured vessel of the maritime museum is the Star of India . The Star of India was first launched in 1863. It is a steel hulled sailing ship. From 1863 to 1902 this ship was called the Euterpe. The ship was originally used as a merchant vessel, but eventually was used as a passenger ship to transport emigrants from Britain to New Zealand.

In 1902 and it was purchased by the Alaska Packers Association (APA) and was renamed "The Star of India" to go along with the rest of their fleet, all of which had "Star" names. The APA re-rigged the ship as a bark (in nautical terms a bark is described as: a sailing vessel having three or more masts, square-rigged on all but the aftermost mast, which is fore-and-aft-rigged.) The Star of India was then used to transport salmon from Alaska to San Francisco. The Star of India was retired in 1923.

Russian Submarine

From the Star of India, we next toured the Russian Submarine that was also a part of the San Diego Maritime Museum. This sub is a relic of the Cold War. The kids especially like climbing through it. Bryan Liked it so much that he went through it twice!

It was amazing to see what cramped quarters they lived in. Not very much in the way of creature comforts. They had hammocks strung everywhere for the crew to sleep on. How they actually got any sleep, next to the engine room, or along side the torpedo bays, and every other nook and cranny is a complete mystery. Maybe they had ear plugs!

When they ran short on fresh water, they were dispensed disposable underwear, and were given one moist towel a day to clean up with.

Oh! And don't bother being on one of these if you are above about 5 feet 9 inches tall! (Not a problem for me!) Anyone with any height at all would constantly be smacking their head into the pipes and bulkheads.

This sub was powered by diesel and battery power. When running on batteries, it was very quiet in the water, which if you read The Hunt For Red October, you know is very advantageous. To get some inside views of the sub, visit the Flickr photo page for Day 4.

HMS Surprise

The third ship we visited at the Maritime Museum was the HMS Surprise. Unlike the other two real-life ships, this was a replica, made within the last 5-10 years. It is a replica of an early 19th century British Warship. This ship was used in the recent movie Master and Commander. Click on the photo for a larger view. This ship was made with original style wooden hull, and had cannons and all the warship goodies.

Old Town

After visiting the Maritime Museum, everyone was tired and hungry. We headed over to Old Town, and visited a restaurant called El Fandango. I had a shrimp burrito, which was stuffed with shrimp. It was excellent. Normally when I get a shrimp burrito around here, it only has 4 or 5 shrimp in it. This one had at least 12-15 shrimp! What a feast!

We didn't spend much time in Old Town, other than lunch. We had originally thought of visiting the Mormon Battalion Visitor's Center, which I have visited before, but which none of the family has seen. However, the kids wanted to get back to the beach.

Last Chance Beach

Since today was to be our last day near the beach, we went back for one more, and last, beach adventure. We returned to Oceanside. This time all of us, mom and dad included got into our swimsuits. We all waded out into the water, and let the waves wash over/around/through us. The kids (and mama) continued with the quest for collecting sea shells. I didn't get any photos of this beach activity, because I was actually out in the water myself, and I didn't want to pack my camera around, or leave it unattended on the beach while I was in the water.

Navy Seals

After watching yet another sunset at the beach, we went back to our hotel room and got ourselves cleaned up -- Well sort of. I found that embedded into the pores and cracks of on the soles of my feet, I had lots of little black sand granules that didn't want to was out. I didn't get too excited about them. I kind of considered it a relic, like mud on my 4x4 after a trip to Moab. Its kind of like a reminder of having done something fun! If the sand wants to follow me around for a few days, that's OK with me!

We went to dinner at a Southern California chain restaurant called Carrow's. The food was OK, but we noticed a group of eight young men. They were all in their 20's, and all quite muscular. They seemed to be having a good time, and were seen joshing one another with lots of little bursts of laughter coming from their direction. Since we were right next door (probably less than 3 miles away) to Camp Pendleton, we figured that they must be Marines.

One advantage to having Bryan around, is that he is completely fearless when approaching people - even perfect strangers. This is a trait I'm sure he gets from Grandpa Hatch, and maybe from Grandpa Lefler too! (I know he doesn't get it from either of his parents!)

We sent Bryan over to the table with the eight young men, and told him to ask them if they were Marines. So Bryan marched right over, and asked them! They responded by saying that they were a notch above Marines -- They were Navy Seals! They in turn asked Bryan his name, and where he was from -- and if he wanted to join the Navy some day!

The Seals finished their dinner a little bit before we did. One of the Seals approached our table and said hello. He asked us if we were from Utah, and we told him that yes we were from the Salt Lake City area. Then he asked us if we were LDS. Again we answered in the affirmative.

Then he told us that he was originally from Colorado Springs, and that he was also a member of the church. Apparently his parents are divorced. He said hs dad is active in the church in the Mesa, Arizona area. His mother and sisters still live in Colorado Springs. You could tell that it was nice for him to see some fellow church members there, far away from home.

He told us that he had just spent the last few days training at Camp Pendleton. He is normally station in San Diego, but they had some "big guns" that he could train on at Pendleton. They had completed their training on the artillery (I assume it was artillery, he wasn't too specific -- as all good Seals should be.) He had recently completed all of his certifications, and now was officially a Navy Seal. He has already been assigned to join a unit -- which is currently in Afghanistan and/or Iraq. When they return to their base (in North Carolina, I believe) from their current deployment, he will join up with his unit and begin training with them.

It was really nice to chat with him for a few minutes. We all wished him well in his new assignment. In his line of work, I'm sure he could use some prayers in his behalf too.


Marti said...

What an awesome ship!

Glad your family is having a great time together!

Stephen said...

Wow, that is a pretty ship. Makes me wish for one.