It’s early December and San Diego’s latest rainstorm has passed. This morning I walked out onto the Broadway Pier.
What did I see?
This weekend the general public has the rare opportunity to take a free tour aboard a brand new United States Coast Guard cutter! The USCGC Benjamin Bottoms, which is scheduled to be commissioned in San Diego this week, is presently docked on the Embarcadero just north of the Maritime Museum.
USCGC Benjamin Bottoms (WPC-1132) is a Sentinel-class or Fast Response cutter that has very advanced capabilities. The vessel will be based in San Pedro and will spend most of its time off the coast of Southern California engaging in maritime rescues, drug interdiction, and a variety of other missions.
I stepped aboard today and was greeted by smiling crew members, heroes who have saved the lives of many. I was permitted to take photos everywhere but inside the pilothouse, which contains the latest technology. I was told that almost everything on the cutter is computerized, with sensors and controls just about everywhere. This type of cutter is unique in that it is equipped with a bow thruster which allows for very nimble maneuvering.
After checking out the pilothouse, our tour headed to the rear of the cutter where a small Cutterboat – Over the Horizon inflatable boat can be quickly released into the ocean or pulled back aboard. With its jet drive, the cutterboat has the ability to pursue and overtake very fast vessels.
We then went inside the Benjamin Bottoms to see its galley, a central dining and meeting area, and some officer quarters.
When you take a tour of the vessel, a friendly crew member will also tell you how the ship got her name. To summarize, using the words of Wikipedia: “Benjamin Bottoms was a United States Coast Guard radio operator who died while attempting to rescue the crew of a USAAF bomber that had crashed-landed in Greenland in November 1942.”
Head down to the Embarcadero tomorrow between 9 am and 2 pm and enjoy a fascinating tour and say Thank You to some genuine heroes!
Another bright day in November. A day for sailing.
I sat at a picnic table at Embarcadero Marina Park North, quietly gazing at the sparkling water.
As the tide flowed, a sailboat drifted across San Diego Bay. It turned in the wind. The unmanned vessel must have become accidentally unmoored. A small Coast Guard boat slowly followed it.
Beside the water people moved forward through life.
A big parade for Veterans Day this morning in San Diego.
Many different faces, young and old, moving forward together down Harbor Drive. Each face telling a story.
The story of a life filled with pride, courage, honor, sacrifice and friendship.
Today I learned of two ways to thank military heroes who sacrificed part or all of their life in service to country.
I was walking through the Mustang Club of San Diego’s outdoor car show, checking out some of the displays, when I paused to speak to individuals representing two non-profit organizations: Homes For Our Troops and Final Honor.
Homes For Our Troops builds specially adapted custom homes for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans, enabling them to rebuild their lives. The specially designed homes contain features that assist heroes who have multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or traumatic brain injury.
There are 100 severely injured Veterans awaiting entry into their program. To learn more and perhaps make a donation, click here.
Final Honor provides a complimentary horse-drawn funeral carriage at Miramar National Cemetery. The dignified carriage is available for any Veteran, regardless of rank, whose family would like to enhance the memorial service for their loved one at no cost.
This beautiful, completely free service is made possible through private donations. To learn more and perhaps provide a helping financial hand, click here.
Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.
My walk today began on Cortez Hill and proceeded down through Little Italy until I reached the Embarcadero. I then headed south along the water.
It’s a simple walk that never gets old.