After a couple of windy, seasick days, we pulled quietly into San Diego, where it was a mind-boggling 100°. Actually, that was two days ago and its hotter today here in Cabo San Lucas, and San Diego is already a bit of old news. However, to our utter frustration, I haven’t been able to get to the Internet from on board ship. Shel, yes, me, no. I’ll spare you the details of this major annoyance, suffice it to say that I’m typing in a little mercado in Cabo on a Spanish keyboard where it’s 38° out, also about 100, with Mexican rap music blaring in my ear, and I’m all damp and sticky. Bienvenidos a Mexico!
But back to San Diego. We had half a day to spend, and we chose to spend it aboard the USS Midway, looking at the WW II vintage aircraft carrier and its planes and helicopters.
Coming aboard, you’re reminded that there was a time of pure patriotism in America, without any shadows or doubts.
Up on the flight deck, a gazillion tons of steel baking in the sun, jet blasts were the least of our worries,
although I can just imagine how it felt to see this guy flying toward you.
Although the Huey was clearly a formidable death machine in its time, the ammunition arrangement is so eccentric-looking that it seemed more curious than terrifying.
What did really scare me was the way all of the planes were plastered with Rescue Here stickers. Imagining being trapped inside and relying on those arrows gave me the shivers even on such a desperately hot day.
This helicopter with its then-revolutionary hover-mastering downswept rotors is from the group that pulled the Apollo capsule out of the ocean.
This is the closest to having a halo that Shel will ever get, but you can sure see how hot and wilted he was. And believe me, if you could see him right this minute, he looks a whole lot hotter!
Here’s another view of the gigantic Midway, dwarfed by a towering replica of the famous kiss,
That’s our ship there, docked right next to the Midway, as huge as half a skyscraper. Time to get back into her air-conditioned comfort.
Our sailaway party was brightened by two dancing Jamaican bartenders
and we were escorted past the Coronado bridge and out to the open ocean by the Coast Guard, who stayed between us and any other vessel on the water.
Back on our balcony we collapsed into a beautiful sunset
and felt that we were in the right moment, in a place where we had absolutely nothing to do but enjoy ourselves. The night before we’d seen the spouts and dim traces of whales, swimming quietly off our bow,
but tonight it was a flock of pelicans that escorted us across the border into Mexico. Next stop, Cabo San Lucas.