Tuesday, July 29, 2008

USS Midway

Yes, another Navy ship tour.  We took the day off from our camp host duties and mounted up for a ride.  We headed south on I-5 for about 17 miles to Oceanside where we left the freeway and followed the coast road south.  We went through the seaside towns of Carlsbad, Luecadia, Del Mar and La Jolla among others.  There were lots of stop signs and stop lights but also some wide open stretches along pristine beaches.  There was also still a deep marine layer so we were glad we had dressed in warm layers.

We finally arrived in San Diego about 11:30 and made our way downtown to the Navy Pier where we parked and purchased our tickets to tour the USS Midway.   Dianna had a voice mail message from her Mom telling us about the earthquake in Chino Hills.  We were on the scooter at the time and felt nothing, but the ticket agent at the Midway said they felt it there.   After eating lunch at the snack bar on the fantail we toured the ship.  They provided audio tour headsets that gave good explanations of where to go and what we were looking at.

The Midway was built during the later part of WW II but was commissioned one week after the war ended.  She was the largest ship in the world at the time.  She subsequently served in the Korean War, the Vietnam War and was the Navy Flagship during Desert Storm.  During those years she was heavily modified twice, including the addition of the first angled deck in the US Navy.  After serving 47 years, the longest of any Navy ship in history, she was decommissioned in San Diego in 1992.  She opened as the USS Midway Museum in 2004.

We have toured other aircraft carriers and other Navy ships, but the Midway is the most recently active duty ship we have been on.  Partly because she was in service so recently, everything is in very good condition and they have done an excellent job of turning her into a museum.  Most of the ship looks like it could still go to sea with just a small amount of work.

We could see several other ships in the area from the deck of the Midway.  One was the Monarch of the Seas which was tied up to the next pier.  That is the cruise ship we will be taking from Los Angeles through the Panama Canal to Miami later this year.  We could also see the USS Nimitz and USS George Washington across the harbor.  They are two of the Navy's newest carriers and both are nuclear powered.  Instead of burning 100,000 gallons of fuel a day, as the Midway did for 47 years, the nuclear ships need refuling once every 24 years.

After all the walking and stair climbing we were really pooped by the time we left San Diego at about 4:30.  Of course, we immediately encountered rush hour traffic as we made our way north.  We stopped in Oceanside for dinner at a Mexican restaurant, then zipped on home.  The entire trip was 133 miles.  We're tired, but had a good time.  This was our first real tourist type outing since  we have been here.


  1. Doesn't Greg live in Diamond Bar? I saw that a couple of times as being the epicenter.

    Must be that riding on the scooter is so shaky that a moderate earthquake fails to make it feel any shakier!

  2. Greg lived in Diamond Bar many years ago, then moved to Yorba Linda. Both are close to the epicenter, but they moved to Rochester, NY last year. Don't hear about too many earthquakes in Rochester, NY!

  3. Of course, I knew that they were in Rochester. It must have been hiding under some other facts, and I couldn't find it at first.

  4. Is the USS Midway the one Glenda and I saw a few years ago? It might be. We didn't go aboard. We did look over the aircraft carrier museum, but not very closely.

    Sounds like a nice trip down and up the coast. If you'd stayed home, you probably would have felt the earthquake. Just as well you were on the road. I'm in Santa Clara this week and my senses are very heightened after that quake yesterday. We didn't feel it, but now I'm expecting one any minute!

  5. We took Monarch of the Seas down to Baja Mexico. Are you going on Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas? On their website it stills say it goes to Baja for 3 or 4 day cruise.

  6. Donna - You probably saw it, but they only opened it as a museum in 2004. It took quite a while from its decommissioning in 1992 to get it ready.

    Heather - Yes, it is the same ship. During the winter months they move it to the Caribbean and cruise there, mostly to the Bahamas. In the summer it works Mexico and sometimes does the Alaska run.

  7. Well that is pretty cool that we will have both sailed on the same ship! Our cabin was on the 6th floor.

  8. Did you sail away on the USS Midway? Or is life just boring there with the pacific breezes and with nothing to do (or just a little bit), watching the sun sink behind the ocean?

    Just wondering--haven't heard from you in two weeks.