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San Diego Morning Walk

June 24, 2012

It’s Sunday morning. Slept about four hours last night – I must be getting old, I sleep much better at home – tonight I should be pretty much exhausted, and should sleep like a log!

Went down to Seaport Village looking for some breakfast. Lots of people around, apparently some serious Triathlon was happening today, and all kinds of people had already raced, or were somewhere in the process. Good for them! I was reminded that I missed Katherine and Josh doing their respective Triathlons on Saturday – way to go!

Stopped for breakfast at the Village Café – they make omelette sandwiches. Sat on the boardwalk drinking a smoothie and eating an omelette. Was pretty good – I thought the sandwich was a little dry, probably could’ve used some butter or something, but it was filling!

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There were a handful of pigeons also walking around, but mostly didn’t find much. Found a few pressed penny machines – made some for Josh – he’s got quite the extensive collection – hmmm, sounds like a good idea for a blog post later on!

After breakfast I had a few hours before the next session, so I headed over to the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum. What an awesome place!

The Midway is an aircraft carrier that was in service for many years, and then was decommissioned and turned into a museum. It is filled with all kinds of interesting exhibits, demonstrations, airplanes and helicopters, and a whack of volunteers with a huge amount of information and stories about it. It was absolutely fantastic! And, along with your admission, you get headphones, and an audio player device with basically a self-guided tour.

After getting some good advice from others, I went straight to the flight deck, and got the tour of the island. These pictures are from the bridge looking down on the almost 4 acres of flight deck! And this is a small aircraft carrier! Sheesh!

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Here is one of the original precursors to the current GPS system. This GPS could tell you where you were within about 5 miles! Hard to believe when the tiny phone in your pocket can tell you down to a few metres where you are!

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It’s a big walk to cross the flight deck, or go from end to end. Here’re a few pictures of the harbour from the flight deck. You can see some other ships across at the San Diego naval base. Very cool!

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These next photos are on the flight deck. And the docents say that this is NOT crowded, this is pretty empty. If they were in full operations, the flight deck would literally be filled with aircraft and people constantly watching where they were going for fear of being run over. It’s like a well orchestrated ballet – everyone knows their role, and it all works together! Whoa!

And what a variety of aircraft! There is even an AWACS type plane with the rotating radar dome on top. This really made the difference in air superiority for the Navy. With an AWACS plane in the air, their radar could see huge difference and help their fighter aircraft engage the enemy at much larger distances, and keep them away from their carriers.

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Here is a picture of one of the rooms in the XO (Executive Officer)’s quarters. It was quite nice, and the bed reminds me of the bed that Josh has!

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Next I got to see some of the wardrooms, kitchens, mess halls, etc. On this carrier they had up to 4,500 people on it, which mean they served about 13,500 meals per day! The literature says they would go through approximately 1,000 loaves of bread each day! Wow!

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I actually did the tour a little out of order, and finished up with checking out the enlisted men’s quarters! Wow was that small! they would stack them three high, and they’d get a locker that was 2 cubic feet in capacity to store everything. Packed in like sardines they said, and after seeing it, I believe it!

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Oh yes, one more, saw the chain that the anchor was attached too. They said that when the anchor was being put out or taken in, everyone in the whole ship could hear it and feel it. Check out the size of the chain!

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I spent about three hours on the USS Midway, and could definitely have been there a couple of extra hours just to go over it all, and there are vast sections of it that aren’t yet open to the public. And the passageways were narrow, the steps steep, and not designed for tall people. I was constantly watching my head, and still bumped it numerous times on the tour.

After the museum I walked back to the conference site, and stopped by the Santa Fe train station. Right in downtown San Diego there is a train station where commuter trains, freight trains, and even light rail transit all converge. Beautiful station, here is a picture of the inside!

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Sorry for the long blog post, one more item. After the Keynote and post-keynote poster sessions, a bunch of us went to Dicks Last Resort for supper. The restaurant is mostly outside, which was fine for us Canadians, and the food was excellent, good sized-portions, and reasonably priced. I had fried Shrimp and fries. Check out this supper!

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From → ATLE

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