SS METEOR AKR-9 - SS METEOR AKR-9 Part 4: NAPA RIVER SCENES - July 2, 2015 After photographing SS Meteor

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  • SS METEOR AKR-9 Part 4: NAPA RIVER SCENES - July 2, 2015

    After photographing SS Meteor leaving the Suisun Bay reserve fleet and going under the bridges, I drove 88 miles to

    Independence Park in Vallejo, where I parked on Mare Island Way to the East of Drydock Number 2 at Mare Island, arriving

    there at 10:28 AM. After arriving at Independence Park I noted that the tug MV Pedro Point had already opened the gate of

    Drydock Number 2.

    This was the situation at 10:34 AM. The fishing boat

    in the foreground went up and down the Napa River

    several times. MV Pedro Point and the drydock gate

    are at the right of the photo. Noted that the heavy

    icebreaker USCGC Polar Star moved from Drydock

    Number 2 to Drydock Number 3, and there was a new

    arrival at Mare Island Dry Dock, the rescue and salvage

    ship USNS Salvor T-ASR-52 (one of our only four

    ships of this type).

    We have only two heavy icebreakers (only one in

    commission) and one medium icebreaker, which is

    not enough. Very likely need as many as when

    USCGC Glacier and the Wind class were in

    commission. Besides having a shortage of

    icebreakers, is there also a shortage of rescue and

    salvage ships?

    It is interesting that there are no submarine rescue

    ships in commission.

    Have the rescue and salvage ships taken over that role?

    By the way, when the ice in the Great Lakes freezes up and ships need to travel from point A to point B, do a Google News

    search (using the most recent stories) for icebreaker and “coast guard cutter”. Also, use the map at MarineTraffic to cover the

    Great Lakes. The last two winters gave interesting news stories; stories which the Winter before last had articles about the

    tanker MV AlgoCanada, and this winter articles about ships such as SS Arthur M. Anderson.

    In 2014 it took about a month for the tanker MV AlgoCanada to do her first round trip from Nanticoke to Sault Ste Marie; and

    the second voyage was also slowed quite a bit due to the ice.

    It is evident that we need heavy icebreakers with the power of a Polar class icebreakers in the Great Lakes. The past two winters

    the Canadian medium icebreakers CCGS Pierre Radisson and CCGS Martha L. Black had to come to the rescue. Our largest ship

    with icebreaking capabilities in the Great Lakes is a combination seagoing buoy tender and an icebreaker.

    In the above, note what is listed first.

  • MV Pedro Point and drydock gate at 10:34 AM.

  • USS Hoga at 10:36 AM.

    USS Hoga is one of two historic tugs that were at Pearl Harbor on the Day of Infamy. The USS Nokomis was also at Pearl

    Harbor but it was unfortunately recently scrapped.

    The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, in East Little Rock, Arkansas beat out Pearl Harbor to have USS Hoga YT-146 as a

    museum ship. USS Hoga has sat for several years at Mare Island. Ships are towed on a regular basis from Mare Island or San

    Francisco to Brownsville, Texas, which is a fairly short voyage to East Little Rock.

    On one tow out of the Bay, Two ships were towed in Tandem. The USNS Wyman AGS-34 and USNS Northen Light AK-284.

    It would be good if the folks at East Little Rock could find a way for USS Hoga to hitch a ride.

    For many years USS Hoga was the fireboat for Oakland.

  • USNS Salvor at Mare Island Drydock

    At the Vallejo ferry terminal, Mike noted a line of

    Giants fans ready to take a ferry to San Francisco to

    see a game against the Brewers. The Giants won

    the game by a score of 5 to 0.

    USCGC Polar Star in Drydock Number 3.

    USS Hoga and the Mare Island

    shipbuilding area at 10:58 AM

  • The sail of the ballistic missile submarine USS Mariano G. Vallejo.

    There was an attempt to have USS Mariano G. Vallejo as a museum ship at Mare Island. There were also attempts to being the

    battleship USS Iowa, the frigate USS Knox, and the submarine USS Drum to Mare Island. Unfortunately the only museum ship

    at Mare Island is USS LCS 102, brought back from Thailand. What if Mare Island was successful in obtaining all of the ships? It

    would be a larger naval museum than Battleship Cove and Patriots Point. I have been to both locations. There were other

    ships which could have been acquired, like the attack transport USS Crescent City, a survivor of Guadalcanal, was sent from

    Mare Island to the Texas scrappers.

  • The view from the northern end of Independence Park looking South at 11:01 AM

    View of Mare Island Drydock from the northern end of Independence Park.

  • USS LCS 102

  • At 11:16 AM, when I was almost at the location, at the southern end of the walkway, that I was going to use as a base

    camp instead of the area of the fishing pier saw SS Meteor coming round the bend. Note that the ship is coming from the

    West. Ships coming from inland do not make a direct turn into the Napa River, but travel a bit West, turn around, and

    come into the Napa River via the West. There are some piers at the southern end of Mare Island that may make good vista

    points to see the turn around, but one time I drove towards the area there was a sign stating that the area was closed.

    My short lived base camp at 11:22 AM. The

    Nikon camera bag, supply bag and the tripod

    bad are on the bench. Left the camera

    equipment bag in the car, but took the

    Panasonic camera with me. Only had time to

    drink a can of Arizona RX Energy Tonic and

    started eating a beef stick, which was not fully

    eaten until sometime later. Was prepared for

    a long wait, but SS Meteor came earlier than


  • From base camp looking towards the fishing pier,

    and beyond it a floating crane. The crane would

    have blocked the view from the fishing pier, and is

    the reason decided to set up base camp a bit to the


    Looking North from base camp.

    Looking towards Mare Island Drydocks from base camp.

  • Views Mike photographed AFTER the DRY SOCKING

    In heading from Mare Island to the fishing pier could not go the direct way because of road construction the Mare Island Causeway

    was only open to westbound traffic. Had to head North and go to Vallejo via Highway 37. Arrived at the fishing pier at about

    2:05 PM after traveling 96.4 miles on the trip.

    The ferry MV Vallejo passing the fishing pier at 2:06 PM.

  • MV Pacific Star heading home at 2:08 PM.

    Looking towards Mare Island.

    The floating crane which made me not to choose the fishing pier as

    base camp. MV

    Pacific Star in the background

    MV Lynn Marie closing the gate at 2:07 PM. She is

    closing the left side first. Most of the time I have

    viewed the procedure, the right side was closed first.

  • MV Lynn Marie closing the gate at 2:15 PM. Note the yellow fishing boat heading up river.

    Mike McCullough