A Trip to the Golden Gate Bridge

Some time ago, on Fridays, I would go to the Golden Gate Bridge and / or the San Francisco waterfront
 and photograph ships such as USS California come back to Alameda Naval Air Station, or other places in the Bay Area.
During the régime of Clinton young ships such as USS California and USS Virginia were done away with.

Instead of replacing the missile launchers with VLS silos and adding Aegis and SPY 1,
Clinton wasted valuable resources by getting rid of all of our nuclear powered guided missile cruisers.

In the Bay Area, places such as Alameda Naval Air Station (which should not have been closed),
Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Oakland, Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, Treasure Island Naval Station,
 Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Concord Naval Weapons Station, and Naval Supply Annex Stockton are no more.
Since during the régime of Clinton, our Navy has gone downhill.
Since during the régime of Clinton our Navy has not had enough oilers, especially AOR / AOE type oilers
such as USS Wabash and USS Roanoke which were designed to accompany carrier strike groups.

This is something which makes the departure of ships such as USS Wabash and USS Roanoke quite sad,
since these ships which are like floating Wal Marts with a gas station attached,
are capable of giving a carrier strike group everything it needs,  should have been recommisioned.

Now naval ships mainly come to San Francisco Bay for things such as Fleet Week and
 to be repaired at places such as BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair. 

Perhaps more ships will come into San Francisco Bay if Mare Island Ship Yard would go into the ship repair business
instead of preparing ships for towing to the Gulf Coast to be scrapped or scrapping ships.

Currently Mare Island Ship Yard is preparing USS HogA YT-146 for a voyage to her new home in Arkansas.

It seems that the only naval ships leaving the Bay Area are ships heading for the Gulf Coast Recyclers.

Quite a few of the ships such as USS Crescent City,  USS Sperry, USS Nereus, and USCGC Glacier
 should have become museum ships instead of being towed to the Texas Recyclers.

Quite a few of the ships such as USS Wabash, USS Roanoke, USS Cimarron, and USCGC Glacier
should have been recommisioned.

On Friday, the twenty eighth of December, 2012, a good part of the morning I was monitoring
Max Hunter’s Webcam [click image below]

Shortly after I saw this photograph on the Western Dovetail web site I left my apartment which is located in San Jose.

In Drydock 3, which is in the foreground is visible the upper superstructure of USS Hoga.

Note that this photograph was taken at 10:59.  USS Wabash departed an hour before I would like her to have departed,
 and USS Roanoke departed almost three hours after I would have like her to have departed.

Instead of heading East to a Safeway store to get supplies, I headed West about a quarter mile
to a small store and bought a bag of Munchies Cheese Fix
 (a combination of Rold Gold, Doritos, Cheetos, and Sun Chips), a can of Arizona Green Tea,
and several candy bars, and put them in a bag which has a shoulder strap.

Arrived at the parking lot at the southwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Merchant Road
 at 12:22 PM after driving 54 miles since I left home, then I walked up Merchant Road,
past Battery Boutelle, to the Golden Gate Bridge.

I set up base camp at the vista area South of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Even though I was wearing my warmest jacket, it was quite cold.  Sometimes during the wait,

I thought I might turn into a Mikesicle.  Should have warn two jackets, a warmer hat, and some gloves.

Saw several groups of tourists.  One of the group would take the photos.
 Saw several people hold their camera at arms length and photograph themselves.
 I was the only one who brought a tripod. These groups should have brought along tripods.

While waiting I read The Seekers, which is the third book of The Kent Family Chronicles.
Sometimes I was so cold that I had difficulty reading.

While waiting I photographed several ships such as MV Excalibur
MV Excalibur is a bulk carrier which has a grain capacity of 88,364.3 CBM
Since MV Excalibur is lightly loaded, I would not be surprised if she is heading to Sacramento or Stockton to pick up some grain.
Would not be surprised if meat pies, cottage loaves, and scones are made out of California grain.

The car carrier MV Triton Leader headed up the North channel, and because of that,
 I would not be surprised if she is taking cars or trucks to Richmond or Benicia where there are facilities to unload cars
The photograph of MV Triton Leader was taken at 3:21 PM. 

Shortly after that I saw USS Roanoke being towed by MV Elsbeth III with two tug boats next to the replenishment oiler.
 I then proceeded to the area of the Golden Gate Bridge, South of midspan, where there is an overlook area.

In the distance is USS Roanoke on her LAST VOYAGE being towed by MV Elsbeth III with two tug boats next to the replenishment oiler.

The container ship MV Xin Hong Kong went almost under me while underway to Oakland.

The escorting tugs soon broke away from USS Roanoke

On the way back I took this photo. 
Note that the wind is coming from the East.  In the Bay Area the wind usually comes from the North.
Some time ago the meteorologist Harry Guise on KGO radio said that if you put your back to the wind,
the center of a front will be slightly to your left. The flag is located in the vista area where base camp was,
and most of the time the wind was coming from the East. Did the front move to South of or to San Francisco
before coming in instead of coming to the North Bay as the weather prognosticators indicated that it would?

I headed to Battery Boutelle, but it looks like after going under the Golden Gate Bridge
MV Elsbeth III attempted to reach warp speed and went at a faster speed than the speed that USS Iowa and USS Wabash were towed
Decided not to head to the area of the USS San Francisco Memorial and take photos from there.

From Battery Boutelle I photographed the Golden Gate Bridge.

Battery Boutelle use to have three 5 inch rapid fire guns which were removed during World War I. This is the western gun position.

There is where one of the other guns was.  Note the lake caused by the rains which the Bay Area had a lot of during December,
making one wonder if the Bay Area should be renamed Seattle South or South Seattle.
The guns may have been comparable to these 5in-40s or 5in-50s.
I do not know if there is a comparable this Navy Weapons page
which gives information on army cannons.

At Battery Boutelle, after I photographed where the 5 inch guns use to be, I drank the ice tea then headed to the parking lot.

Arrived back at the parking lot at 4:43 PM then drove back home in San Jose, arriving home at 6:09 PM, after driving 105 miles.
The weather man said that it would rain Friday afternoon or evening.  It did not rain until after I was home.

On Saturday I decided to give the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4 a major button pushing to see if I could unfreeze it.
I am not mechanically inclined, but somehow I pushed the right buttons and
unfroze the Panasonic, then put back into it the large capacity memory card

 Mike McCullough