Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kitsap Bangor

Our CAP group, along with a nearby squadron, had the opportunity to have a fairly unique tour earlier this week.  Naval Base Kitsap (known to most of us as "Bangor" - because two bases joined together) is just a few hours' drive and a ferry ride away, and the home of the US Navy's Pacific Submarine Fleet.  If you've seen Hunt for Red October you've heard these subs referred to as "Boomers".  They're HUGE - 560 feet long and over 40 feet wide. As you might imagine, the cadets were not allowed to photograph most areas on the base, but snapped a few (permitted) pics outside the Keyport Naval Undersea Museum, where they began their tour.

The cadets from our squadron are in front of the "sail" from one of the big Ohio-class "boomers".  Gunnar is front row, right, and Tate is back row fourth from right.  Wyatt made the tough decision not to go on this activity due to his college workload.  Ironically, we joke with him, he has been on this tour before.  Sort of.  Kerry and I did this tour when I was eight and a half months pregnant.  They were a little reluctant to let me (good thing I had a note from my doc!) because of the 30+ foot vertical ladder you have to climb in and out of the sub, but it was no problem.  (And I was the only one on the tour who got to use the "head" on the submarine!)  But back to the boys...

Gunnar told me that this submarine has been down in the Marianas Trench.  He's the short guy, just about right in the center, and Tate is on the left.

And... I have no idea about this one, and the boys aren't here to ask.  But Kerry is in it - red jacket - because he went as a chauffeur/chaperone, or "Cadet Sponsor".

Since the cadets were not allowed to take pictures, I snagged these from Uncle Google - photos the US Navy has allowed to be published.  It's hard to get an idea of the scale of this photo, but remember that the big subs are about as long as TWO football fields.  The dry dock is on the left.

This one shows sailors on deck for some perspective.

Love this one.  Looks like the sub is returning from a tropical tour and wearing a lei ;D

 And apparently the "Seal Team" is on board here...

And... just because we live in such a gorgeous part of the world, one more...

The cadets had a great time, but boy were they tired!  Ours were up at 3am to pick up another cadet, get to the Guard Building and leave town by 4:30, and didn't return until dinner time.  Totally worth it :D

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