Tag Archives: uss carl vinson

Out & About—San Diego Harbor boat tour with Captain Randy Phillips

Out & About

When you come to San Diego, be sure to put “Harbor Cruise” on your list of things to do. There are quite a few harbor cruise boats full of tourists.

San Diego harbor cruise

Sure, you can take one of those. They are fun. I’m here to suggest even more fun. Take a smaller cruise, like one with Captain Randy and Randy Phillips Tours.

Captain Randy Phillips

Much more personable and enjoyable. Since Captain Randy was just a few feet away during the 2-hour boat tour, it was easy to ask questions…. And darned if he didn’t know all the answers!

That’s Captain Randy’s boat just to his left, so there’s no place to hide from the glorious San Diego Sun. If you’re not a sun bunny like me, take a hat, a long-sleeve shirt, sun screen…. whatever you need to have an enjoyable 2-hour harbor cruise.

Some of the sites you might see:

Seals and sea lions
Sea lion

Sea lion on buoy

Boats bigger than the one you’ll be on….
USS Carl Vinson

….up close and personal
(not available on the big boat tours)USS Midway Museum up close and personal

Sunrises or sunsets.
Captain Randy took my group out at 6:30 a.m.
Sunrise over the San Diego harbor

San Diego skyline at sunrise

If you go early in the morning,
you’ll have still waters with the sunrise.Still waters

Beautiful vistas of the San Diego skyline
(once the sun is up)San Diego skyline

San Diego skyline

The San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge
San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge

I even have a short video of us going under the bridge

Unusual ships that you have probably never seen
and probably will never see again.Hospital ship Mercy

Palmetto State

Naval vessel 23

Captain Randy will take you into Glorietta Bay
so you can see the Hotel del Coronado
and the Coronado Shores condominiumsHotel del Coronado

Coronado Shores condominiums, Coronado CA

Contact Captain Randy at Randy Phillips Tours, 858-531-3186. Tell him Russel Ray sent you his way.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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San Diego by water

Out & About

I lived in Houston, Texas, from May 1977 to March 1982.

In addition to the City being the fourth most populous city in the United States, the Port of Houston is the busiest port in the United States in terms of foreign tonnage, second-busiest in the United States in terms of overall tonnage, and thirteenth busiest port in the world.

Unfortunately, trying to get the Port of Houston to watch the ships was an exercise in getting nowhere, and I suspect

The City of San Diego, where I have lived since May 1993, is the eighth most populous city in the United States. The Port of San Diego is, well, about all we can say is that it is the primary port of entry for Honda, Acura, Isuzu, Volkswagen, Nissan, Mitsubishi Fuso, and Hino Motors into the United States.

That doesn’t mean the waters of San Diego aren’t busy. Just to the south of the Port of San Diego is the huge 32nd Street Naval Station, the largest base of the United States Navy on the west coast of the United States. Naval Base San Diego, as it is known, is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, comprising 54 ships and over 120 tenant commands. It encompasses 13 piers covering 977 land acres and 326 water acres. The total on-base population is 20,000 military personnel and 6,000 civilians.

Across the bay is Naval Base Coronado. Under the command of the Naval Base Coronado are seven separate Naval installations encompassing 57,000 acres.

Naval Air Station North Island is the home port of several nuclear aircraft carriers, such as the USS Carl Vinson.

USS Carl Vinson

Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach is known as the Helicopter Capital of the World. From dawn to dusk on weekdays, hundreds of helicopters are flying in the air, practicing various maneuvers that might be critical in a war.

Helicopters at the Naval Outlying Landing Field in Imperial Beach, California

I’m fairly familiar with all the United States ships, and if I’m not Google will help me if I have the ship number.

Occasionally a ship comes into port that gets a lot of attention, especially tall ships at the Festival of Sail (coming up in September):

Tall Ship Parade at San Diego Festival of Sail

Tall ship at the 2012 Festival of Sail, San Diego

Occasionally ships from foreign countries also plow through our waters:

Japanese ships in San Diego

Japanese ships in San Diego

Japanese ships in San Diego

You can catch a cruise ship, sometimes two, at the cruise ship terminal built a few years ago:

San Diego's cruise ship terminal

Sapphire Princess cruise ship in San Diego, California

I think the most excitement is generated when a foreign tall ship comes to town, such as the Esmeralda from Chile (top) and the Sagres from Portugal (bottom):

Esmeralda

Sagres ship

The Maritime Museum of San Diego has two tall ships, the Star of India (top), the oldest ship in the world that still sails under its own sails, and the Master & Commander (bottom), built for the movie filmed in and about San Diego and the northern peninsula of Baja California and then donated to the Museum:

Star of India

Master & Commander

If you know where to go, and I do, you can see submarines coming and going at all hours of the day:

Submarine from Cabrillo National Monument

Submarine and tugboat

I’ll be nice and tell you where to go to see submarines: Point Loma. Stop at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and you’ll be right above the submarine base.

San Diego submarine base

Head on out to Cabrillo National Monument and you can catch the submarines coming in or heading out. It’s fine, fine, fine….

Cabrillo National Monument

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Submarine in San Diego Bay

Under way!

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A couple of years ago, the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau announced that San Diego County had surpassed Arlington, Virginia, as the nation’s largest military outpost.

They announced that there were something like a quarter of a million active duty military personnel stationed in San Diego County — Camp Pendleton, Fort Rosecrans, 32nd Street Naval Station, Marine Air Corps Base Miramar, North Island Naval Station, and more.

If you are interested in military stuff, the best time to visit San Diego is during Fleet Week in October.

Fortunately, if you can’t make it during Fleet Week, not to worry because Fleet Week is a whole month!

If you can’t make it during Fleet Week, there is still lots to see and do. You can drive through Camp Pendleton’s 125,000 acres on Interstate 5. From downtown San Diego you can see nuclear-powered aircraft carriers like the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Carl Vinson at North Island Naval Station. From 32nd Street you can see the 32nd Street Naval Station and the dozens of ships that are docked there at any given time. Visit the USS Midway Museum downtown and see not only the Midway but dozens of lovingly restored military aircraft.

USS Ronald Reagan in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) from the sky

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

USS Midway in San Diego, California

USS Midway in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of the best places to watch military ships come and go is Cabrillo National Monument. It’s at the end of Point Loma and overlooks the entrance to the San Diego Harbor.

Point Loma map

View Larger Map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This past Friday I was playing docent for Bryan & Liz Flint who flew
in from Houston. We wound up over at Point Loma where we
happened to see a submarine being pulled out of the submarine
base by two C-tractor tugboats:

Submarine leaving San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

While Bryan & Liz explored Cabrillo National Monument, I was taking videos of the submarine leaving San Diego harbor:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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and I approve this post.Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
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James Frimmer, Realtor
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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Californian, official tall ship of the State of California

Rommel and the USS Midway

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Out & About San Diego

 

I am quite serious when I tell you that if you come to San Diego, call me and I’ll be happy to play docent for a while.

Over the years I’ve played docent on a scenic driving tour of the the San Diego metropolitan area, at the San Diego Zoo, at Safari Park, at SeaWorld, of Coronado Island, and, yesterday, the USS Midway.

Rommel came down from Oxnard. He let me know about a month in advance that he was coming, and I was only too happy to set aside time to meet a fellow WordPress blogger and spend a little time with him.

Rommel has a military ID of some sort, so he got onto the USS Midway free. He also offered to pay my $18 entrance fee and before I could say anything, the ticket booth lady was taking his money. Thanks, Rommel!

We had a great time touring the aircraft carrier, taking pictures of all the planes on deck and in the hangar. I also got pictures of the USS Carl Vinson parked across the bay at North Island Naval Station, the downtown San Diego skyline, and even the Californian, the official tall ship of the State of California which was out for a cruise of the bay.

Depending on what you want to do and where you want to go, I might also have some discount coupons for you. I’m a member of the San Diego Zoological Society (Zoo and Safari Park) and SeaWorld, so I’ll often have free passes for them. If you don’t call, it’s your loss. 🙂

Thanks, Rommel. I had a great time and hope you did, too!

Rommel taking pictures of the San Diego skyline from the flight deck of the USS MIdway

Rommel taking pictures of the San Diego skyline from the flight deck of the USS MIdway


 

Rommel taking pictures inside the command tower of the USS MIdway

Rommel taking pictures inside the command tower of the USS MIdway


 

USS Midway flight deck from the command tower

USS Midway flight deck from the command tower


 

USS Midway hangar deck

USS Midway hangar deck


 

The Californian, official tall ship of the State of California

The Californian, official tall ship of the State of California


 

USS Midway in San Diego, California

USS Midway in San Diego, California


 

USS Midway in San Diego, California

USS Midway in San Diego, California


 

USS Midway flight deck

USS Midway flight deck


 

South San Diego skyline and Coronado Bridge from the USS Midway command tower

South San Diego skyline and Coronado Bridge from the USS Midway command tower


 

F/A 18 Hornet in its "Top Gun" colors

F/A 18 Hornet in its “Top Gun” colors


 

Partial San Diego skyline from the USS Midway

Partial San Diego skyline from the USS Midway


 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
use Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) from the sky

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)…. from the sky!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Out & About San Diego

 

Yesterday’s 25-minute flight on a Cessna Stationair over San Diego took us near the 32nd Street Naval Station, Miramar Marine Corps Air Base, and the North Island Naval Station — we have a lot of military stuff here in San Diego.

The USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), a Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier is parked over at the North Island Naval Station:

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) from the sky

 

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) from the sky

 

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) from the sky

 

Geologists might remember the USS Carl Vinson as that which provided significant earthquake relief to the victims of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

After the United States Special Operations Forces rid the world of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, the USS Carl Vinson hosted his body while it was given religious rites and then buried at sea.

College basketball fans might remember the USS Carl Vinson as the ship that hosted Michigan State and North Carolina in the inaugural Carrier Classic on November 11, 2011, to open the 2011-2012 NCAA basketball season. The USS Carl Vinson left San Diego shortly after the Carrier Classic for a six-month deployment to the Middle East, returning just a couple of days ago.

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)USS Carl Vinson Fast Facts:

  • Ordered by Congress on April 5, 1974
  • Launched March 15, 1980
  • Commissioned March 13, 1982
  • 1,092 feet long, 252 feet wide
  • Powered by two Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors and four steam turbines
  • Maximum speed of 37 mph
  • 90 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters
  • Crew of 3,200 with an air wing of 2,480

The sky tour I went on was provided by San Diego Sky Tours. Check them out! They are awesome! 20-minute tours as low as $154.99 per person.

San Diego Sky Tours crew

 

If you decide to go, tell them Russel Ray sent you their way. They have not promised me any compensation for referring people to them, but if they get enough referrals from me, maybe I’ll get a free sky tour. Next time I’m sitting on the left side so I can get pictures directly above downtown.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
use Russel Ray; that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)

Three of the biggest guys you’ll ever see

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Snippets

 

A few years ago San Diego was the home port for three Nimitz class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers: the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), the USS Carl Vinson
(CVN-70), and the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).

USS Nimitz (CVN-68)

USS Nimitz (CVN-68)


 

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)


 

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)


 

The USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is the lead ship and namesake of the Nimitz class nuclear powered aircraft carriers. The Nimitz class carriers are 1,092 feet long and 252 feet wide. Their power supply includes two nuclear reactors and four steam turbines, making them capable of 31½ knots. The ships’ companies number 3,200 with the air wing adding another 2,480.

The Nimitz (CVN-68) was ordered March 31, 1967, launched on May 13, 1972, and commissioned on May 3, 1975.

The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was ordered on April 5, 1974, launched on March 15, 1980, and commissioned on March 13, 1982.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was ordered December 8, 1994, launched on March 4, 2001, and commissioned on July 12, 2003.

The Nimitz left San Diego in December 2010 for Bremerton, Washington, for repairs and improvements, and the Navy announced that it would be homeported in Washington after repairs.

The Carl Vinson is out on patrol right now, probably somewhere in the Middle East.

The Ronald Reagan left in January 2012, also for Bremerton, Washington, and also for repairs and improvements. Yesterday it was announced that not only will the Ronald Reagan return to San Diego in early 2013 to be homeported here, but another carrier will be moved to San Diego probably in 2016.

 

SNIPPETS are short posts about anything and everything.
Each SNIPPETS will have at leasst one picture.
After all, this is Russel Ray Photos.

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County? I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor with Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re just looking for a home inspector,
I can highly recommend Russel Ray; that’s me!