Sunday, November 15, 2015

Trading Places

In 1983, the USS Coral Sea and the USS Carl Vinson received orders to swap home ports. At the time, the Coral Sea was home ported in Alameda, Ca, and the Carl Vinson was home ported in Norfolk, VA. It was in March of that year that the two ships left their home ports to circumnavigate the globe, in opposite directions.

Months later, the two aircraft carriers would rendezvous in the middle of the Indian Ocean, which was approximately the half-way point. The photo below was taken at that rendezvous. That's me standing on the flight deck of the Coral Sea, with the Carl Vinson in the background shrouded by thick fog.

When I chose my orders following the completion of torpedoman training, I specifically passed up the Carl Vinson because it was an East coast carrier, and I wanted to be stationed on the West coast. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I discovered that my first cruise on the Coral Sea was simply an exercise in switching coasts.

In hindsight, I'm glad I chose to serve on the Coral Sea. I met a lot of great people, and experienced some really amazing adventures.