In San Diego on the Midway

This past Saturday, we drove 10 hours from San Francisco to San Diego to visit family for Spring Break. We’ve made the trip down the 5 freeway so often we know every rest stop, fast-food joint, orange grove, and billboard along the way. (Shane P. Donlon, anyone?) Not that I’m complaining. Part of the adventure is the journey.

On Tuesday, a friend of Tim’s, a former Navy doctor on the USS Ranger, gave us a guided tour of the aircraft carrier Midway, for years the largest ship in the world, and now parked in San Diego Harbor. From the Midway website:

“Commissioned a week after the end of World War II, the USS Midway embarked on an unprecedented 47-year odyssey that set new standards in naval aviation. More than 225,000 Americans took part in the odyssey that ended after Midway served as the Persian Gulf flagship in Desert Storm. Longest-serving U.S. Navy carrier of the 20th century and largest ship in the world, 1945-1955.”

We spent two hours exploring below-deck and above, and finished with a new understanding of the phrase “tight quarters.” On the Midway, sailors slept in bunks three deep; on other ships, we were told, they can be stacked in layers of five. The second photo shows a “zebra door” or “Z door,” water-tight when closed; in the bottom photo, Olivia and Mateo navigate one of the ship’s maze-like hallways, climbing over a small steel lip referred to as a “knee-knocker.” 

The ship is one-fifth of a mile long, a distance felt on the flight deck.

A peek  inside the captain’s area (can’t remember the technical name) stands out as a high point.

We didn’t try the flight simulator, but the teenagers who emerged after turning upside down and around seemed to relish the experience. A trip to the Midway: Fabulous! ~


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