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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Saturday on the Russell

Even after yesterday's escapades, we were up bright and early this morning for our first local adventure, with one of Mark's parishioners. Like many in St. George's congregation, he's active duty military-- in this case, the captain of a Navy destroyer. Captain Destroyer picked us up at 8:00 (or should I say 0800?) and took us out for a tour of his ship. The tour began with breakfast, and what a feast that was! Fresh fruit, french toast, breakfast burritos, and stuffed crepes for dessert. . . we didn't want much to eat until dinner. It's a good thing we walked as much as we did after that.

Oh, did we walk. The USS Russell is a large vessel, and we only saw a portion of it. What we did see was both fascinating and confusing. Captain Destroyer was wonderful about explaining what we were seeing, and it was easy to tell that he loves his command and his crew. We were also accompanied by the Auxillaries Officer, a bright, friendly young woman named Lauren.

Between them, they escorted us through command, tactical and engineering spaces. It will not surprise anyone who knows me that I was most comfortable in the latter. Getting down into the bowels of the ship, with the hydraulics and the engines and all, felt a bit like home to this former mill rat. Except the spaces were a lot cleaner than any mill I've ever worked in!

We finished the tour by walking down (97 steps' worth) to look at the outside of the ship. The Russell is currently in dry dock for repairs, so we had the rare privilege of seeing the underside of the ship. That sort of closeup look gives a whole new awareness of the massive nature of such a vessel.

CD concluded the tour by presenting us with ship's hats-- our first souveneirs of the trip! It was a lovely morning.


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