The Last Battleship

This is the first trip of the year for the ship and we are going to be cruising around in the Bay looking for another ship.  It seems that an old Battleship has been fixed up and is going to be towed south down the coast to become a museum.

Things are looking up in terms of food, however, since we seem to have lots of people on board and it looks as though there is going to be a lunch served or something.

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream coming on board

This is pallet is loaded with ice cream. What are they thinking?  Gulls don’t eat ice cream!  Maybe there will be some bread or fish somewhere.

Well, it turns out that we left the pier after waiting for a bunch of sailboats to pass by on their way out toward the Golden Gate Bridge.  We fastened onto a tiny tugboat and they pulled us away from the pier and we headed north past the islands in the Bay.  We cruised around for quite a while until we found this narrow channel near a bunch of big round tanks.  We went into the opening and there against the dock was one of the biggest warships I have ever seen. There was quite a bit in terms of food on board and the boys and I did well with scraps.

USA Class sailboats racing on the Bay

Editor’s Note:  The Battleship USS Iowa was reclaimed from the ‘Ghost Fleet’ in Benicia and rehabilitated in Richmond before being towed to Long Beach.  It is likely that it is the last Battleship that will ever be in San Francisco Bay.  The Iowa was due to be towed starting on May 20th, but due to storms and heavy weather in Southern California the departure date was set back a few days.  It will take at least two full days to tow her south and top towing speed will probably be between 5 and 10 knots per hour.

There was a big crowd on the SS Jeremiah O’Brien on May 20th for the cruise including many former shipmates from the Iowa.  The Iowa finally did leave the Bay on Saturday, May 26th and they are scheduled to arrive in Long Beach on May 30th at 0600.  You can follow the track of the ship at   

The Battleship Iowa berthed in Richmond Harbor for rehabilitation prior to being towed to Southern California

The SS Jeremiah O’Brien is also an alumnus from the ‘Ghost Fleet’ in Benicia.  She was removed from the anchorage in 1979 and rehabilitated into the condition as we see her today.  For more information about the ship and the history of World War II please come and visit at Pier 45 and take a tour. 

This was also a historic meeting in that for the first time the USS Potomac, President Roosevelt’s yacht, the Victory ship SS Red Oak, and the SS Jeremiah O’Brien were at a meeting of the ‘Great Gray Old Ladies’ on the Bay.  

The Victory ship SS Red Oak, on the left, the USS Potomac, in the center, and the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, on the right, meet for a conference near the Battleship Iowa


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