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From Any Angle, It’s a Big Ship


The USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier based in Bremerton, WA, as it was pulled this morning through Angel's Gate into the Port of Los Angeles.

I was lucky enough to be on hand this morning as the USS Abraham Lincoln came into the harbor at the Port of Los Angeles. It was quite a sight as harbor tugs pulled it through Angel’s Gate, the northern entrance to the harbor.

I got this great honor not because of some connections, or because so much money deducted from my paychecks every week helped to pay for it, or because my Congressman thought I might enjoy seeing my tax money at work. I got the honor because I heard on the radio yesterday that the Abraham Lincoln was coming and I figured I could hang out on the small observation dock on the harbor channel next to where the port pilots dock their boats.

There were about twenty others on the dock, some with extensive knowledge of naval operations (most likely from years of service aboard ship), some with small knowledge gained from books and articles (that’s the group I’m in), and some with no knowledge at all except that something big seemed to be on its way.

The Abraham Lincoln is one of 11 aircraft carriers now in U. S. Navy service, one of ten Nimitz-class carriers. Its flight deck is nearly 1,100 feet long.

The USS Abraham Lincoln being turned to port to make its berth at the end of 22nd Street in San Pedro.

Every dimension of the Abraham Lincoln is impressive. But perhaps most impressive that it will be open Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday for free, public tours as part of Los Angeles Navy Week.

Three other naval vessels—USS Princeton, a cruiser; USS Chafee, a destoryer; and USS Champion, a mine-countermeasures vessel—will be open as well.

The Abraham Lincoln, seen at its berth from Cabrillo Beach

Navy Week festivities include Navy band performances, tours for many of the ships’ sailors of southern California communities, meetings between the Navy’s top brass and corporate and community leaders, and exhibitions of the Navy “Leap Frogs” parachute team, all for the purpose of “sharing the Navy story with as many people as possible,” the news release says.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Barb July 25, 2011, 11:47 pm

    Ahoy Paul – Great pictures and interesting discoveries (especially the Sloopy burger below!). I’d love to hear more about the people you meet on your journey. What brought you and 19 others to the dock today? Did any of the former Navy visitors work on Abe?

    I worked one summer on an old naut ship that had been turned into a floating salmon cannery. Your Chris might be interested to know the ship once belonged to 20th Century Fox and was a set for “Mr. Roberts” and “Ensign Pulver.” No green plants on the boat (big movie scene with Henry Fonda tossing a plant, in case you were wondering), but our incarnation allowed women and even a car! By the late 80s the boat was languishing at the docks in Seattle. So, the unscrupulous owners, the Freels brothers, had the boat sunk in a deep trench off the coast of Hawaii for the insurance money! That’s a wild tale of death and destruction that made the front page of the Seattle Times. I’ll see if I can find it for you.

    Anyway, more and more of these old Navy ships are being demolished or retrofitted in Vallejo – a topic for a future 5089. Recently there was an SF Chronicle article about the demolition jobs these retired ships have brought to that area. Needless to say these vessels have and will continue to bring us an interesting history that goes beyond their military service.

    Keep up the travels – fun stuff! ~ Barb

  • OG July 25, 2011, 11:56 pm

    My grandfather took me on a tour of the USS John F. Kennedy when I was a boy. I can still remember being in awe, as it was guided into Boston Harbor. I remember realizing that it was taking up my entire field of vision. It was dizzying sort of like standing next to a skyscraper and looking straight up (btw, if you’ve never done that, I highly recommend it). Maybe I’ll visit the Lincoln this weekend and relive those memories. Thanks Paul!

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