Monday, September 1, 2008

USS Eisenhower Cruise -- Beyond the Chesapeake Bay

Once we passed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge we saw well over a dozen commercial freighters at anchor. It reminded me of some of the trucking yards that Jerry drives into and waits to unload then load again.

Here are more photos of the morning portion of the cruise:

These are some of the freighters lined up outside the Bay.

As the sun came out of the clouds the colors of the freighters were more distinct, as well as the color of the water.

While heading out to sea we climbed up to the flag deck. At this level we were about four levels above the flight deck and about 10 levels, or 90 feet, above the surface of the water.

Above was more of the "island" or superstructure with all kinds of communications equipment.

This was the wake created by the carrier while in the Bay and before clearing the shipping lane traffic.

As we got underway full steam the ship cuts through the water like "buttah"!

Cruising to our destination for the flight operations demonstration we were going pretty fast. Couldn't tell you just how fast, but standing at the bow of the ship we couldn't resist the temptation to spread our arms out wide and yell "I'm the King/Queen of the world!"

This wake is in the open ocean and was mesmerizing! The colors in the foam were delicious! The wake can be seen for seven miles or more. At night it stirs up microscopic sea creatures that glow in the dark, creating additional landing lights for the pilots coming in for night landings.

A tidbit of information: only 1% of military pilots have ever landed on a carrier and only 1% of those have ever done night landings. Nerves of steel? You bet!

As a post script: Today Scott and I went over to the Chesapeake Beach just a block from his house to relax in the sun for a bit. He discovered some jelly fish in the water while boogie boarding. I collected sea shells and oyster shells. Eventually the surf washed up a little jelly fish. It was a sparkling, gooey glob with a pink petal pattern. It was still pulsating but the water wasn't reaching it to take it back. Not knowing much about the sting I didn't want to pick it up and I didn't have a bucket or shovel to scrape it up. I was feeling very bad that it was laying there suffocating in the sun. When a sea gull walked up to it, sniffed and went on I knew that this was not going to contribute to the food chain. Finally, I took my flip flop and scooped up sand and jelly fish and tossed it back into the water. I thought I broke part of the body but after a few minutes it didn't wash back up so we are hopeful that it survived. Then I found another bigger jelly fish and did the same. Then a couple more, but they were no longer pulsating and the sand flies were feasting. We did examine one and found that they are such delicately beautiful creatures. Surprisingly tough "jelly", kind of like thick silicone caulking. Scott decided we'd better get back home before I tried to save all the jelly fish on the beach. By morning there will be hundreds. Nature can be so sad, but that is just my emotional self talking. All have a purpose under Heaven.


Carol said...

i"m so glad you're taking us on your journey too Barb, it is exciting. I like that 3rd photo, after the sun comes out... what a difference from the 1st two.

You did a bit of climbing, how did it feel looking down.... it looks rather S T E E P.. that's a super shot tho, it really gives us an idea of the height from where you were... the 'island' above looks awesome!

It cuts through the water like 'buttah'.. LOL...well now, that is smooth sailing, I would say. Hey, I'm looking at the wake in a picture and I'm mesmerized, WOW... you lucky girl! That is interesting about the microscopic sea creatures, imagine them creating enough light to make a difference... that's cool.

Your day at the beach is funny, it sounds like something I would do too... and it's nice to have that quality time with you son... well, this is quite the adventure Barb, thanks for sharing.

me said...

Barb - you are like butta! I love the photo of the wake and the idea that it provides help to the kids flying in at night. We can't wait to see more!