Tuesday, October 16, 2007

An Awsome Beginning to an Awsome Day!

NOTE: All photos in this blog can be enlarged simply by clicking on them. Just hit the Back button on your browser to return to the place you left off. Most of these photos are better viewed Large!

Our adventure began when the alarm went off at 4 am! We made sure everything was ready to go the night before, so all we had to do in the morning was get dressed and get to the ship by 5:45 am. Getting to base was easy, the traffic was almost non-existent. We arrived to a full parking lot, however, but everything was orderly and efficient. I have found that military crowds are the some of the most tolerable crowds to be in.

In no time at all we were in the hanger bay with Eric and his buddy, Briard. Breakfast was being served, and there was a sleepy, festive atmosphere on the ship.
Eric had to report for duty at 6:30 until 10:30, but we did get to have breakfast with him, and his buddy escorted us around for a little while after that.
We all wanted to be on the flight deck by 7 when the ship was to get 'underway'. So up we went, the same way we went the night before.
Here is Briard and the boys looking at the skyline
from the flight deck->
Looking out over the pier and parking lot from the flight deck, just before sunrise:

The sun was just starting to come up as we pulled out of port:

The sky grew light quickly, and gradually photography became easier and more inspiring.

At one time the sun even appeared to be rising over the flight deck of the Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

As we moved out through the bay, there were many things to capture our attention and focus the camera on. Here is the Cape Henry Lighthouse, located near Virginia Beach:

We actually passed over two tunnels (the captain joked that may not be a good place to drop the anchors!). Here is the end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Everyone asks why the flag was half-mast, but I never heard an answer. I imagine it had something to do with the war.

We were escorted out of the bay by police boats and Blackhawk helicopters. They kept other boats a comfortable distance from the ship.They also captivated most of us for quite awhile

The ship's 50 cals were ready, just in case anyone got past the boats and helicopters:

We spent as much time as we could just looking out to sea, as we passed quickly through the bay, watching the boats, helicopters, birds, the shoreline and the sunrise change at every moment. I tried to absorb every possible moment and take in all that my senses could.

It was a bit chilly on the flight deck, and quite windy. Here is Travis and I at the Bow, feeling the full force of the wind. He is leaning into it, I'm hoping my ponytail doesn't fly away!

We could not feel the ship moving hardly at all. Most of the time the only way we knew it was moving was by looking down at the water or at the horizon and passing scenery, or watch the police boats try as they might to stay caught up with the mighty aircraft carrier and all it's crew and guests!

The sky was as beautiful as the sea! I took loads of photos of the sun breaking through the clouds with many rays of glory.

As we were going out, we passed the Iwo Jima as it was coming in. (for those of you who are curious about ships, it's the LHD-7, a Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship. Eric says the Marines use it. It also docks very near the GW.)

As the Iwo Jima was passing, we saw dolphins playing between the ships!

The crew was to called to order as it passed as well.

The day had barely begun, but already we had experienced so many things we had never experienced before! What an adventure already!

No comments: