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August 04, 2006

Bringing the Rodgers Home, con't.

When Ward dived to check her hull, I reported that he found her in very good shape. Her anodes were present, there was sufficient depth under her keel for them to function properly, and there was little to no corrosion - and what corrosion pitting there was along the hull was at her waterline from the 20-odd years she spent in mothballs with the US Navy before being given to the Mexican Navy in 1972. She had some barnacle growth on her rudders and screws, and the odd patch here and there - which the Mexican diver said resulted from worn paint for the rudder, and improperly mixed paint for the hull. I have no earthly idea. Sounds good to me.

That said, the Cuitlahuac has been berthed in storage-pending-disposition for nigh unto 5 years now. If you looked at the satellite picture, you'd have noted that in that pic she was outboard of the Gearing she sits next to, but when we arrived, she was inboard. Good for us, we didn't have to cross-deck the Quetzalcoatl every time we needed to move things around - but it means she's been moved. And, as we discovered, not always gently - whether as a result of weather or the tugs moving things around.

On the second day, wandering around taking pictures I saw this ding on her port side, forward, just under the bollards. The upper scrape in the picture is just below deck level. The hole is pretty high. But - it's still a hole, and we were concerned about the condition of the nearby hull frame.

Hull rupture on the USS John Rodgers

So, we changed our work schedule a bit and went destroyer-spelunking in her forward spaces. The hole is in a storage locker just ahead of the CPOs Mess. Nice long gash, about a foot and a half, but the frame was fine. Nothing a sledgehammer, welding rod, and a patch won't handle nicely.

USS John Rodgers hull rupture from the inside

Disappointing, sure - but we're going to repaint her and have to do far more work to fully get her back to her WWII configuration. This is a relatively quick and easy fix. The shape of the dent and rupture served to keep rainwater from entering, as well, so we didn't even have a standing water corrosion problem in the locker. Yellow card foul, not a Red!