SAN DIEGO – On 31 August 2012 USS Lake Champlain got underway from pier 10 with 213 guests onboard for a Friends and Family Day Cruise.
After receiving a continental breakfast, the ship’s guests gathered on the weather decks for a narrated passage out of San Diego Harbor. As luck would have it while transiting out from San Diego the ship’s guests got to see dolphins, helicopters taking off from Coronado, and a submarine on her way back into port.
Once out to sea, friends and family got to watch as Lake Champlain’s crew demonstrated a full power run, Phalanx Block 1B Close in Weapon System (CIWS), and 25mm.
“It reminded me of my time on the ship,” said former Boatswain Mate 2nd Class Pete Roque a World War II veteran.
Guests were given a tour of the ship and were able to see firsthand where Sailors sleep, eat, and work onboard Lake Champlain.
“It was interesting to see another branch of the armed forces in action,” said 2nd Lieutenant James Reynolds of the Air Force. “I learned a lot today and now have a better understanding of what the day to day life is like for a Sailor.”
Thirty members of the Rialto High School NJROTC unit joined Lake Champlain for the underway. This was an opportunity to show future Sailors what life on a naval vessel was like and for them to show off their hard work with a rifle drill demonstration.
As Lake Champlain headed back towards San Diego the crew hosted a Steel Beach picnic on the flight deck for everyone’s enjoyment.
“I enjoyed being able to bring my wife and children onboard for the day,” said Sonar Technician 2nd Class Bob Valdez. “It was nice to show them around the ship and share with them what I do underway.”