SURFLANT and the San Antonio wanted to tout what officials are calling a successful second phase of sea trials for the much-troubled ship, so they invited me and five other reporters and photogs to ride out from Rudee’s Inlet in Virginia Beach aboard an 11-meter RHIB Wednesday morning and conduct interviews on board as the amphibious transport dock ship sailed back to Norfolk.
The sea state out where San Antonio was steaming was about a 2, a sailor told me. But at the inlet, he said, it was more like a 4 or 5. It made for an interesting 7 a.m. transit, as you can see:
The above sea spray obviously nailed me, but I was lucky; due to some strange twist of fate, the guys on the port side of the boat were getting the worst of it — there were some really wet clothes, notebooks and cameras when we arrived.
I didn’t catch the boat captain’s name, but I got the sense that he loves this stuff. JUNE 17 UPDATE: Got his name: It’s Ensign Dave Lopez, the boat officer. Thanks, Dave!
All turned out well. And it also seems to be turning out nicely, after years of problems, for the San Antonio. Check out the story here.