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Truck fixed and other tales

Right before we went to San Francisco, I decided that I'd like to get an extra hour of sleep in the morning by sleeping on the ship the night before we got underway. The truck started to sound funny before I got there, and the gate guard gave me a strange look when I pulled up. "Are you aware of that noise?" he asked. "Yeah," I said, and hoped that the truck would make it to a parking spot. The engine temp was climbing, and Something was Definitely Wrong. As if the squealing noise wasn't enough of a clue.

So I parked on the dry side of the base where the time limit is longer. (Harbor Drive splits the Naval Station in two. The side with the piers is called 'wet side' and the other is 'dry side'. There is a footbridge connecting them.) I walked around the front, smelled a hot engine / steam smell, and heared the patter of something hitting the ground.

I was afraid that I'd blown a hose or something. I should have remembered that a water pump sounds like that, and dumps fluids when it goes bad. Silly me. But hubby got it to the shop right before the ship came back, so I was only truckless for a few days. I liked not having to wake the whole household early to drive me down to the ship.

And no, public transit really isn't an option. It would take me an hour and a half to get to the base on the bus and the trolley, and the dratted ship is parked as far in the middle of nowhere as one can get. People-density isn't really great enough in San Diego for public transit to do anything but lose money.

Not that getting the water pump replaced was cheap ... but to be honest, at this point $450 to keep it going for a while longer is still cheaper than another vehicle payment.

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Across the pier is the remains of the Belleau Wood. She decomissioned while we were away. 'Tis a sad thing to see such a ship sitting desolate and idle, particularly when contrasted with BOXER's furious activity.

I first saw Belleau Wood when I was aboard my first ship. She was homeported in Sasebo for many years. I was working in the 3M Office at the time, (3M deals with corrective maintenance reporting and the planned maintenance process.) and wasn't hanging out much with anyone. In 1993, Sasebo had a regular base club which played music I hated, and on some nights in the week a second bar opened that played country. I'd go there, and have a couple of beers while I sat in the folding chairs. Yes, folding chairs. Sometimes, the guys would dance with the chairs because there weren't enough girls. I ended up hanging out a lot with some of the guys from BW, and we all laughed about it. They were firemen and third class petty officers from "A Gang." (the Auxiliaries Division that fixes emergency diesel engines, elevators, air conditioning and refrigeration, and lots of other stuff.) I was an electronics technician first class, and a couple of years older than the guys. But we all had a good time dancing and talking and not a whole lot else. I wonder where those guys ended up? Are some of them chiefs now? Or did they go back to being civilians?

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This morning, I took a shortcut across the flight deck. The sun was just coming up, but the Coronado Bridge still had its lights on. The poles were hard to see, and it looked like the bridge had a row of tiny stars hovering over it.

Downtown was pretty, too. One of the glass-covered buildings was angled just right to catch the first rays, and the top lit up like a brilliant orange-gold torch. Before I got to the island, another building caught the golden fire all down the side. San Diego is beautiful when the sun rises.

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