DAY 4 The day is gray, very cool and windy. Dick’s coffee and paper are enjoyed in the lobby and we hit the breakfast buffet at 9:00AM.
Today we go to one more mission, Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, the first of the California missions, founded in 1769. By the time it came into the hands of those who could restore it, in the 1930s, it had pretty much crumbled away due to neglect. Now, with careful restoration it is well worth a visit. These missions were all established to bring the native Americans to the Christian religion. The Indians were originally hunter gathers and the Franciscans taught the men to farm and the women weave.
Leaving the mission, we follow the GPS over the bridge to Coronado Island where we explore a little before heading to the Maritime Museum on Harbor Drive in San Diego. We find convenient parking, buy our passes and explore several ships and two submarines. The museum founded in 1948 owns and operates a great collection of historic naval vessels.
The most interesting are the replica ship, HMS Surprise, from the movie "Master and Commander," a Foxtrot class Soviet submarine, the B-39, commissioned in 1974, one of the largest diesel-electric submarines ever built and a private steam yacht built of steel, the Medea, built for in 1904 William MacAlister Hall of Torrisdale Castle, Scotland.
The Soviet submarine is one of a fleet of Soviet attack submarines that shadowed U S Navy ships all over the world during the Cold War. The B-39 was part of the Soviet Pacific fleet and was based in the Vladivostok navy yard. She probably spent time stalking some of the US ships that are now her neighbors. She carried a crew of 78 and could dive to 985 feet.
The Medea has an impressive and interesting history. She served in two world wars under three navies, and six national flags. During the wars she flew the French, English and Norwegian flags and in peace time, the flags of Scotland, Sweden and the United States. She was bought and brought to San Diego Maritime Museum in 1973 where she still sails with special guest several times a month.
We grab a too heavy lunch of fish and chips on the Embarcadero before heading over to the park beside USS Midway where we can see three nuclear aircraft carriers across the harbor surrounded by anti-torpedo booms. They are the USS Carl Vinson (CV 70), the USS Ronald Regan (CV 76)and the USS Nimitz (CV 68). The fleet is in!
After checking email and working on the blog we walk the two blocks to Fleming’s for dinner. Since neither of us are really that hungry, we split a Caesar salad and a small filet. It was very good and just the right amount of food. We set a record for dinner there as we are in and out in forty minutes. We enjoy our walk through the pedestrian friendly Gaslamp District and return to our hotel to get ready for tomorrow and the move to the ship. Carolyn re-packs the suitcases, but runs out of tape before she gets all the luggage tags on. Dick will have to get some more in the morning. Fortunately there is a CVS just up the street.