I took the day off yesterday because I found out that they would be offering public tours of her. The only problem was that they were from 1 to 5 yesterday afternoon. They cited security concerns and what not which I guess I get but it still seems like they could find a couple more windows.
As I was standing in line, I looked at the number of people ahead of me and started to do the math in my head. I figured out that it was not very likely that I would get on the ship. I didn't really want to wait a couple of hours only to find out that I definitely had no chance to get a tour.
Also, the line was on Atwater Street which is about a block inland. I could see the river but it was through the trees. That pretty much meant no ship pictures while I was waiting. So I decided that I didn't want to stick around.
Which leads me to the ranting part of this post. The ship came in on Friday and is not leaving until Sunday (at least). This means that it is docked for close to 8 days. It seems like they could find more than a four hour window to give the public tours of the vessel that their taxes pay for. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I care deeply about Naval issues and a few years ago I read how the Navy has a hard time reaching out to the Midwest (for obvious reasons). Here was a chance for the Navy to reach out to people in the Midwest and they kind of blew it.
The DeWert was here four years ago. It was roughly 20 years before that when a US Navy ship visited the Great Lakes. The USS Milwaukee stopped in Detroit briefly on its way out to the ocean so I can understand why they didn't offer tours on her. However, this was more than a brief stop and it seems like they could spare a little more time for the public.
Since there are more of these ships coming down, maybe they could offer more tours on one of them.