When he wasn't stuck doing important Navy stuff or doing line handling (he has to help secure the ship to the dock when in port and pull in the line when they're going underway- wish I'd gotten a picture...) he gave us a tour of his ship. We only got to go on the main deck and the upper two floors so we didn't get to see his room or his rack he stays in when he's on duty (if he actually gets to sleep) or underway.
The first part of the day was rainy and cold until we left the Everett area to head down to Seattle for the day. The weather significantly improved by the end of the cruise, luckily.
As we left for Seattle, we got to do some awesome turns on the water and feel how fast the ship can go. The picture below is the view we had from the uppermost deck of the ship. I think I overheard someone saying that the top speed for the day was 27 knots (or nearly 30 mph) which feels really fast on the water!
We also got to view some drills (I think this one was called Smash & Crash) pictured below. The drill displayed the procedure they would use in the event of a helicopter crash onboard.
We got to Seattle fairly quickly and even though the picture looks dreary, it really wasn't too cloudy and ugly. (Case in point, I got sunburn on my face. Ugh.)
They turned the ship around at noon and we got to have the view of Seattle from the flight deck as we had, what they call a "steel beach picnic" and had lunch at some tables they set up. The notoriously bad ship food was actually pretty tolerable but Russ said that it was because the chiefs and officers had made lunch instead of the regular ship cooks. Apparently that was also the best meal Russ has had on the ship!
After lunch and cleanup it was time to head home. Brayt and I headed up to the uppermost deck and sat down to take in the amazing view as we cruised home. I got the picture below while cruising by some of the islands and peninsulas on the other side of Puget Sound. It was absolutely gorgeous.