USS Mahan Association 2012 Reunion


10-14 October, 2012


By all reports, everyone had a great time in San Diego!  We had one of our largest groups in recent years, plus we had many new faces who were warmly welcomed.  We did have one minor glitch, which was Mother Nature. 

Wednesday 10/10.  This was check-in day and a large gathering at the hospitality suites.  The hotel provided us with two suites this year, which worked out well.  The beverages were located in one suite and the ship's store was set up in the other one.  Light snacks were also provided thanks to Russ Owens for all of the great Wisconsin cheeses and sausages, and Bob Moe for the salmon and reindeer sausage from Alaska.  The weather was nice so most of us spent the evening outside by the pool catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

Thursday 10/11.  This was planned to be a trip to the San Diego Safari Park, but with the predicted rain for this day we switched to the USS Midway Museum visit.  Shortly after arriving on board the first rain showers commenced, but we were all below decks getting a behind the scenes tour of Combat Information Center (CIC), which is in the mid stages of restoration.  By the time we got back to the hangar bay the rain had stopped so a tour of  the flight deck and bridge was possible without getting wet.

  When most people were completed with that part of the tour it started raining again.  The sun did come out for a short while during the loading of the bus, but during  the  ride to lunch at the Bali Hai restaurant it really decided to get serious about coming down!  By completion of lunch it had cleared and a leisurely tour of the various vessels at the Nautical Museum was possible. 

This includes a Foxtrot Class Russian diesel powered submarine.  Then it was back to the hotel for cocktails and snacks before dinner.

Friday 10/12.  Today we made it to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, located east of Escondido.  Due to a mix up in getting tickets we didn't get into the park until nearly 1000, and then most of us went directly to the tram ride around some of the park.


  After the tram we were free to roam around the park at our leisure until about 1300, when we boarded the bus for the ride to lunch at Fat Ivors Rib Rack and BBQ in Valley Center.  Many of us jumped on the All You Can Eat beef ribs!  All I could eat were the 3 ribs initially served.  After lunch we proceeded to Orfila Vineyards Winery where some of us enjoyed a wine tasting.  They were also making preparations for 1 or 2 weddings for that afternoon.  From there we proceeded back to the hotel for a much deserved rest and recuperation, with more sea stories by the pool.

Saturday 10/13.  On our final day we got to tour one of the Navy's newest destroyers, the USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108).  This was a fascinating tour for most of us, as we got to see what we had missed by being too darn old! 

We weren't able to tour engineering because they were preparing for an inspection.  We did get to step inside the mess deck area, but they too were preparing for the inspection.  From there we went into CIC, where they had most of the equipment running with various displays.  Being an old retired scope dope I didn't want to leave!  Where was this stuff when we were in the Tonkin Gulf?  From CIC up to the Bridge, then down to the focsle and the forward gun mount and vertical launch tubes.  All in all, we were quite impressed.  The young PO2 we had for a tour guide was quite impressive with his attitude and knowledge.  From the ship we rode over to Seaport Village for a box  lunch and shopping.  We were given an option of going to the old NTC area, or going back to the hotel. Nearly everyone chose the hotel to get some rest before the banquet. 

Unfortunately, the Board of Trustees didn't get much of a break as we had to conduct our business meeting before dinner.  One of the items of business was selecting the site for next year's reunion.  It was divided this year with half wanting to go to Norfolk where the DDG-72 will be, or Gettysburg.  After taking a vote at dinner, which was again pretty evenly divided, Gettysburg got a slight edge.  It still hasn't been decided if we will be in Gettysburg, or somewhere near there.

Sunday 10/14. It was hard to bid farewell again to our many friends, but we hope to see them again when we meet next year!


PS.  I am still awaiting photos to share with you all.

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Russ Owens, Robert Fish, Dave Winkowski and Al Weber at the hospitality area. Dick Hallowell giving a Midway CIC tour. Bob Moe and Tony Geraci on the Midway hangar bay.
Lunch at the Bali Hai More of the lunch crowd. One of  our new destroyers passing the Bali Hai.