Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's Fleet Week in San Francisco

Everybody's favorite part of Fleet Week in San Francisco is when the Blue Angels perform. Here's a short but sweet clip of them flying over Aquatic Park on Saturday.

Fleet Week means lots of young, fit men walking around North Beach and the Embarcadero in uniform, like these sailors aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard aircraft carrier which is open for public viewing.
The hanger deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard aircraft carrier

Ace and I walked from North Beach to pier 30-32 Saturday morning to take a tour of the ship, which is docked south of the Bay Bridge. We got there around 8:30 a.m. There was already a long line.
People waiting to get aboard the ship. Those are aircraft on the deck in the distance.

The landing deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard, with helicopters at the far end and the Bay Bridge in the distance

The helicopters on board looked pretty old to me. And Ace said this Osprey model (half plane, half helicopter) had been decommissioned more than once because of its tendency to crash. But sailors on board told us it's back in the fleet.
The Osprey is known for spontaneously crashing

This artwork on a ship wall helped me tone down the awe and wonder.
A grim reminder of what the ship is for

Later we biked out to Aquatic Park to watch the air show. Here are the Canadian Snowbirds performing.
The Canadian Snowbirds flying in formation

There will be another air show on Sunday, along with tours of the Bonhomme at pier 30 and other ships at piers 27 and 35, a parade down Columbus Avenue (which I'm pretty sure San Mateo High School's band will be marching in), and a band concert in North Beach's Washington Square. Fleet Week continues on Monday. Here's the list of events.

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