Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Norfolk Harbor Cruise Part I

As I was looking at my options to see the Navy ships, I discovered that there was a harbor cruise.  I figured that would be my best chance to see them.  It ended up being a two hour cruise and I took a bunch of pictures, so it will be split between two posts.
 The first vessel I ran across was the tug Dauntless II.  I don't have much information on her other than she was built in 1953.  She was pushing a barge of some sort.
 The American Rover is a three masted schooner that was built in Panama City, Florida in 1985.  She was built with an all steel hull.  She is also equipped with two diesel engines.  When she was built, she was the largest passenger schooner.  She operates mainly out of Norfolk.
 The USS Mitscher is an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer.  She was the second ship to be named after Admiral Mitscher who was the Captain of the USS Hornet at the time she launched B-25's to attack Tokyo.  She has one 5" gun, two Phalanx guns and vertical launch system that can carry 91 missiles.  Surprisingly, she's been on this blog before from when I saw Fleet Week.
 One of a couple drydocks at the General Dynamics shipyards in Norfolk.
 The Fort Pike is another tugboat.  Again, I don't have much information on her.
 From the left to right, we have the Nancy McAllister, Michael McAllister and Mary L. McAllister.  The Nancy McAllister was originally built as the Seaboard for the Cheasapeake and Ohio Railroad in 1979 by the Jakobson Shipyard of Oyster Bay, New York.  She acquired her current name in 1986.  The Michael McAllister was built in 1971 in Houston, Texas by the Halter Marine Services.  She was originally named the Mister Harold.  She was acquired by her current owners in 2006.  The last tug was built in 1968 for the McAllister Towing company but she was named Marjorie McAllister.  In 1969, she sank with all hands and was salvaged by the DonJon Company.  She was renamed the Tracy Anne Witte.  In 1999, she was reacquired by her original owners and given her current name.
 The Captain Ron L. is another tug.  I'm not sure about her history.
 A better shot of the Michael McAllister.
 The Portsmouth Lightship was built by the Pusey and Jones of Wilmington, Delaware in 1915 as the Charles.  She served as a lightship in Cape Charles in the Chesapeake Bay from 1916 until 1924.  She was moved to Overfalls, Delaware where she served from 1926 to 1951 as the Overfalls.  In 1951, she was moved to Stonehorse Shoal where she served until her decommissioning in 1963.  In 1964, she was donated to the city of Portmouth where she was given her current name.  She currently serves as a museum ship.
 The James Williams was named after Petty Officer First Class James Eliot Williams.  He was a Medal of Honor recipient during the Vietnam War.  He was the Commander of River Patrol Boat 105 (if you ever seen Apocalypse Now, you have the idea).  He was conducting a river patrol when they came under attack by the Viet Cong.  He would go above and beyond the call of duty and would become the most decorated enlisted man of the US Navy.    After the war, he would become a US Marshall and died in 1999.  The ship named after him was commissioned in 2004 and was sponsored by his widow.
 It looks like she is undergoing some pretty serious maintenance.
 But it made for some cool pictures that I don't normally see.
 The Spirit of New Jersey is a cruise boat.  She kind of reminds me of the Ovation on the Detroit River.
 A research boat belonging to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere
 This is the MV Cape Race.  She was built as the MV Seaspeed America for the Transocean RO-RO Corp in 1977 in Japan.  She was purchased by the Navy in 1993 and is currently part of the Ready Reserve Fleet.  She is what is known as a RO-RO ship which means Roll On, Roll Off which is exactly what it sounds like.
 The Gulf Coast which is another tug I don't have any information on.
 The Cape Rise has a similar history to the Cape Race.
 The USS Gunston Hall is a Whidbey Island class Landing Ship Dock.  This type of ship is used in amphibious assault operations.  She was commissioned in 1989 and built by the Avondale Shipbuilding Company.  In March of last year, she suffered a fire but was quickly returned to service.
 The CSL Spirit is owned by the International Version of Canada Steamship Lines.  She was built in 2001.
 The USNS Comfort is one of two hospital ships that serves the US Navy.  She can handle up to 1000 patients and is equipped with 956 Hospital Staff.  She is unarmed and it would be considered a war crime to fire on her.  Her capabilities are between that of a field hospital and a proper hospital. 
 As I got home, I noticed that I got a porpoise in front of her.  Since this is something I don't see around here, I blew it up.
 The USS Jason Dunham is named after a Marine Corps Corporal who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq.  He saved the other men in his group by jumping on a grenade.  He died in 2004.  His namesake ship was commissioned in 2010.  She was sponsored by his mother.
 The is the SSG Edward A. Carter and is owned by the Maersk Lines.  She was named after another Medal of Honor recipient.  She serves as a Maritime Pre-Positioning ship.
 Another angle of the CSL Spirit.
 Another angle of the Carter.
 This ship is used to carry large cargo like trains.
 The Payton Grace Moran was built in Boothbay, Maine in 2015.   Her owners have a Great Lakes connection in that one of their Vice Presidents is the Chairman of Interlake Steamship Company.
 Another angle of that tug.
 The Kaye E. Moran is named after Kaye E. Barker of Interlake Steamship fame.  Her husband is James R. Barker who is the Chairman of Interlake.  The Great Lakes ship is named after her and I would imagine that would be quite a thing to have two vessels named after you.
 The Bunny C.
 The Petalon is docked at the Norfolk-Southern Coal Dock. 
 The Lexington is a dredger.  She is currently dredging the harbor.
 the Susan Moran is another tugboat owned by the Moran Towing Company.
 The USNS Big Horn is a fleet replenishment oiler.  This type of ship will be used in the underway refueling of US Navy ships.  She was launched in 1991 from the Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans, Louisiana.  She serves with a civilian crew as part of the Military Sealift Command.
 And the Patricia Moran.
The Tasman is a container ship.  This is definitely something I wont see on the Lakes.

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