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Day 439 – 20th February 2010

Posted by TravellingStrom on February 20, 2010

Saturday – San Diego, USA

A tourist day today

I did some blog work early, because as you all know I have been a bit lazy lately and after that, we started to look for some parts I wanted. Specifically I wanted a couple of the EK screw type master links, so if I ever get in the situation of a snapped chain again, at least I would have the means to make a safe repair on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and not have to remove bits from farmer Fred’s fence again 😉 After a few phone calls with no result, we decided to go for a sticky anyway as there was a large dealer which had changed hands recently, but first we went to the local BMW dealer to see his friend, but he was out racing, I hope he likes cold and wet, because that was what was outside! Inside they had a heap of bikes and even some older show bikes.

Next stop was the other dealer, this place was huge and covered just about all the boys toys you could think of 🙂 They even had a few CanAm Spyders, one set up with full on touring rig with an optional trailer, like a Goldwing setup!

We checked out a heap of stuff, with Craig becoming very interested in the Kawasaki Concorse 1400, the right size for touring and a cheap price as well 🙂

Did I mention boy’s toy’s, well there were some on display, but not for sale 🙂

There was a small museum in the area so Craig took me over there for a look. If you have ever seen Top Gun, well this is the fighter base called Miramar that it is based on. Here they have some old-timers who man the museum and it was quite good although the description cards have been sun bleached which made most of them unreadable. When I mentioned this to them at the end, they said our donations help pay for new ones, which are being made by the cons down at the prison, but they have to proof read them very carefully before they get let out, apparently the boys play tricks with the spelling and units of measurement 🙂 Anyway, we walked around and checked out the old planes on display, some of which were painted in Russian colours for dogfights. Here is a small sample:

One of the only two signs that was readable!

Remember that Spyder I posted above, well this looks like the early version from a long time ago, it still has two wheels in front, but is rear wheel steered, close enough for a sheep station though 😉

They even had some helicopters there, some with a real strange design.

And out in the car park, a Harrier jump jet, a very impressive bit of machinery.

We headed off to the port to another museum, but on the way we spotted this old bus, it was old and dirty and apparently still drivable on the road because Craig knows it moves around a bit as he has seen it in other places.

The next stop was lunch at a Subway, before heading down to the port to the USS Midway, this is an aircraft carrier that had been in service since 1946 and only decommissioned in 1991, a very long time and many upgrades. It has been here as a museum for about 10 years and each year, new parts of the ship are being opened up to the public.

Inside you get a set of headphones and a small TX/RX unit and you can dial in a number that will tell you about a particular display. The enlisted men’s quarters are very cramped, 3 bunks high with not much space between.

Up in the forecastle we checked out the anchor chain, each link weighs 60kg! You have to watch your head around here if you are tall(no problem for this little black duck). This area was also where they assembled and learnt knots and had services as it was quite open.

Downstairs on the internal hanger deck, you can see it is a large open area, this is where the aircraft are stored before being moved up to the launch deck by elevator. There were a number of sample craft here as well as static displays, and a display on ejection seats with a video presentation, the seating was in character 🙂

I was a bit surprised to see a deer whistle on the side of this plane, surely they don’t fly that low 😕

This is the hatch for loading of large items like engines and missiles etc, it is a bit scary standing on a plastic sheet over a deep hole.

Up on the flight deck as expected there was a wide variety of the planes that had been flown off during active duty, including fold up tail assys on helos and fold up wings.

Just to the left of my hand in this next photo you will see 8 plane outlines painted on the side of the Island below the flags, this represents the 8 confirmed MIG kills during the Vietnam war.

This was a huge helo!

And the famous Huey.

A nice couple of photos, right spot right time 🙂

Over here was an early model AWACS, not bad going.

We then had a chance to stand in a line for about 25 minutes to get a tour of the Island. They have about 3,000 visitors a day here and only about 1,500 can get a tour, so we were lucky, and there were nice views from up top as well 🙂

The tour of this section took about 30 minutes and covered the navigation, steering, deck and plane control, very interesting.

They had some flight simulators on the main hanger deck and all though I was very interested, it was going to take another half hour wait and it was getting late, so instead I opted for a simulated Desert Storm run, this was good enough for me, I did not hurl my cookies, but I did hang on pretty tight, that thing was flipping around everywhere 🙂

So, we called it quits after that, I still needed to arrange some car hires and maybe get a few more updates done. Check out this cruiser we saw on the way home 🙂

The evening was spent the same way as last night, a few beers, chat with Lisa and Craig and once again the K9 Bailey, who is a tad spoiled 😉 A slightly later night tonight but not much, we were planning on going to see a duel spot ride tomorrow out west a bit.

Day –0 miles and km
Trip – 54,042 miles and 86,972 km



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13 Responses to “Day 439 – 20th February 2010”

  1. Craig said

    You got some great shots from the day! Glad the weather took a break for us…

  2. Jan Ferrari said

    Well Richard the end of your adventure. Thanks for sharing, it has been great and now i’m not sure how i will fill my time when im not working..HeHeHe

  3. ybg said

    The deer whistle is to protect the A/C during late December. It seems reindeer have a tendency to go airborne unexpectedly from villages and towns around that time.


  4. Bob Sullivan said

    only 1500 get a tour of the “Island”. Did you mean Bridge or is it called that on an aircraft carrier?

    • The tall bit on the side which is where the command people operate is called the “Island”, they can only accommodate 1500 people a day due to the space limitations and the ladders are very steep and narrow.

  5. Kevin said

    Thanks for keeping the blog going even though you have stopped riding,you probaly noticed Graham is so far behind on his blog he has just posted XMAS. I think you did really well keeping as up to date as you have, well done. I hope you will post up your home coming in Aus. Didyou got that “extra” plane ticket money back? Any thoughts on your next adventure?

    • Hi and thanks for reading my ramblings

      Graham has more time so he can be lax 🙂

      I did not in the end get charged for the other ticket, well, so far anyway and I will be doing a ride to the AGM, so that will be covered and I have a few things up my sleeve, more later 😉

      Cheers TS

  6. Jan Ferrari said

    Hello Richard, Are you back in Oz now? If so welcome home 🙂

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