Wednesday, May 14, 2008

USS George Washington Underway to Japan

In an earlier post I introduced the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. This powerful ship is on her way to Yokosuka, Japan to replace the USS Kitty Hawk which is being decommissioned after 45 years of hard work for the United States.

My son Scott is currently on the GW and has been sending some amazing pictures of their trip around South America. They left Norfolk, VA on a rainy April 7. Two weeks later they pulled into port at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil --- again the weather was cold and rainy. He reported that the first thing one sees when approaching Rio, regardless of the weather, is the statue of Christ the Redeemer, O Cristo Redento in Portuguese, towering over the city. With the clouds circling the mountains Christ appeared to be rising through them. He got to see Copacabana Beach and Ipanema, made famous by the song "The Girl From Ipanema". Being on the beach on a rainy night he didn't see many girls.

After a few days in Rio the GW set sail for the Straits of Magellan. My grade school geography was a little rusty, so I did some research. I remembered that it is at the southern tip of South America, I just didn't realize how narrow it is. This time of year it is very cold since they are going into their winter. The seas were getting a bit rough and, though the carrier is engineered to keep as level as possible, Scott did say that keeping his chair in one spot was a bit of a challenge. Apparently he was born to be a sailor because he doesn't get seasick; in fact, the rocking of the ship puts him to sleep! He sent pictures of the waves lapping up over the flight deck of the carrier --- keep in mind the flight deck is about 10 stories above the water!
Scott said that going through the Straits was quite surreal: the sun was in the north during the day; the water is a turquoise color; coming out of the Straits onto the Pacific Ocean they were under New York daylight saving time!

Shortly they will be pulling into Valparaiso, Chile for a port visit. I look forward to more of his pictures and stories. Scott's Navy career has taken him to some amazing places: China, Japan, most of Asia, Australia, and now South America. This trip in particular is a pleasure for him since his last deployment was a year in Baghdad, Iraq.
God bless our troops all around the globe, on land and sea!

1 comment:

Michele said...

Christopher is still in Virgina finishing up some extra schooling and is counting down the days until he is back on the GW and in Japan reunited with his family.

I always look forward to when one of are Sailors send us pictures of all their adventures The ones I treasure the most are the ones that one of their buddies take of them

"God speed to our Sailors"