Saturday, May 20, 2006

Re-turn

It has been a long week. Last Friday, I had my regular Half Day. Additionally, I had worked late on Monday and Tuesday to complete a bid proposal for the Marine Sealift Command, so I could leave even earlier. As part of the bid, I had to list the personnel we planned on sending on a trip to San Diego for what is called a shipcheck. This is where engineers visit a vessel, either while she is being built or already in service. They then review the vessel "as built" versus plans, in order to design various modifications or alterations. I wrote up the proposal, and the list of engineers for the shipcheck had four names; none of them were "Dan."

Imagine my surprise Friday afternoon when the engineer in charge of the job called me at home and said "We won the contract. Pack your bags, we need to be at NASSCO on Monday morning, so try to fly Sunday." There was some scrambling, some rushed packing. Steph was good enough to look after my vegetables, and I was off. So for the past week I've been in California, running around the USNS LEWIS AND CLARK, T-AKE 1, for hours on end. It was tiring, since it is a big damn ship. Not aircraft carrier big, but big enough. One morning, I had to go from the bottom of the forward hold, up 13 decks and aft to climb a mast, and back. A couple of times.

But it was fun, even if we did have to work the whole time. I love San Diego - we went out for all our dinners, so while I got outvoted every night, we did eat well. And it is a beautiful town, just to look at. I learned a lot about practical engineering, and a new-found respect for the yard workers - they are busting their asses every day from 0600 to 1500.

I had hoped to get out to Pacific Beach again, where Jesse and Trav once lived, as well as Steph, but the five of us shared one rental car, so that was not possible. Maybe next time. I also wanted to take pictures of some of the very cool houses, skyscrapers, and the new ballpark, but never had the chance. I do have some shots from around the yard.

A house, clinging to the edge of paradise

USNS LEWIS AND CLARK

I went everywhere on that ship;

From the top of the masts, (fore,

- and atop the house)...

...to the bottom of shaft alley

View from the highest mast

The Coranado Bridge in grey weather

And again in more Californian conditions

A nice shot of some of the yard, with the bridge and downtown beyond

The pilot house and crew quarters from the main deck Posted by Picasa

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1 comment:

Kelly said...

Okay, I think I would die if I was as high as you were on the masts. Although the view was amazing! Sounds like you had a great trip - even though it involved work.

THE MIND IS NOT A VESSEL TO BE FILLED BUT A FIRE TO BE KINDLED