Archive Logo.jpg

August 23, 2005

Monday in San Diego...

The Castle Argghhh! Traveling Roadshow traveled to the San Diego waterfront on Monday. Taking shameless advantage of our military IDs, we parked (for free all day) at the Navy facility facing Navy Pier. Which is good, since Navy Pier is where the USS Midway is.

SWWBO has been feeling the walking pace of the last couple of days, and slipped and fell on the pier as we wended our way to the ticket office. She wrenched her back, not seriously, but painfully enough she informed me she wasn't wandering through any aircraft carrier. So, again shamelessly taking advantage of our IDs, we got reduced admission tickets and boarded the Midway. We paid $10 for SWWBO to head to the Fantail Cafe, swill beer and watch cute guys with tight buns or something, while I prowled the ship.

I got lots of pics, but since I ain't got any bandwidth - you'll settle for this one - a view of something old, the Midway, and something new(er), I'll let you Navy types tell me who the passing vessel is.

We then headed for the Star of India, the oldest iron-hulled commercial vessel still afloat. On the way there, however, we stumbled across a US Army tugboat... After finding out that San Diego supports the military, but not it's retirees (old farts on fixed incomes pay full price) we headed to the ships...

Anyway, back to the Star of India - built on the Isle of Man in 1863, she's seen a lot of miles and still sails. She's hauled cargo and people from England to New Zealand, nitre from Chile to Germany, salmon and timber from Alaska to San Diego. A kewl place to visit. From there, SWWBO surrendered to her tiredness and pain, and went to sit out my continued explorations by gaining solace for her pain buying earrings (nice ones - scrimshaw walrus tusk) at the museum gift shop.

Me, I went sub-hunting. The B-39, an old Soviet Kilo class diesel-electric. I knew they were pretty much improved German Type XXIs from WWII, what I didn't realize is that the crew of the U505 (in the museum of Science and Industry in Chicago [yes, I know the U505 is a Type IXc, thanks]) would have probably been able to sail her without too much help, except in translation. The Armorer figures that just like he wasn't cut out to be a Soviet tanker (over 5ft tall) he wasn't cut out to be a Soviet submariner, either. There were four of these things I hadda go through. I got through, but I left my dignity in the forward torpedo room.

I then went through the HMS Surprise, the movie-ship used for Master and Commander. That's a subject for a different post. Heck alla these are - when I have bandwidth again, next month.

I'll close with two things.

1. The Armorer can *always* find a cannon. (In this case, there's actually two there)

2. And I'll leave you with this very typical Armorer self-portrait - in a seeker-head on a bomb on an A7 spotted on the left catapult of the Midway.