(UPDATE: The tow has been delayed on a day-by-day basis due to a storms system off the California coast that would make the tow dangerous)
This afternoon (20MAY2012) at 12Pm PST (DELAYED), the last Battleship USS Iowa BB-61 is scheduled to depart her temporary berth in the Richmond California shipyard and begin making her way south enroute to her new home at the Port of Los Angeles to become a floating museum.
This marks what may well become her last voyage at sea for the old warrior, and possibly the last “at-sea” for a battleship of any kind.
AND, thanks to the power of the intertubes and the kind people at PacificBattleship.com you can track the Iowa in real time on her voyage! http://pacificbattleship.com/page/track
In addition, they have live video from the bridge which should be streaming as the ship makes her way through the bay and out past the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Passage under that beautiful and symbolic bridge is estimated to happen sometime between 2-4pm, mere hours before the Annular Eclipse fills the sky.
Super spouse and I will be making the trek up to SF to witness this historic event, which will be the second time in 10 years I’ve had the privilege of watching a WWII era ship be towed out to become a museum. The last time it was to witness my own very first ship, the Aircraft Carrier USS Midway CV41 as she was towed down to San Diego.
Get the scoop at pacificbattleship.com, and be sure to check out the museum’s videos on the rescue and transformation of the ship while you are there. It’s some moving stuff for old salts and fans of the sea alike. Case in point:
Photos courtesy of fellow military/plane/car/photography nerd Will Campbell. See the rest of his awesome nighttime Iowa shots on his Facebook album.