In February 2001 I took a week off from work and ran around California a little bit. I want to go back with a better camara and more time. I spent my time in Los Angeles and San Francisco. I took the scenic route to San Francisco on Hwy-1.
|Here is Alcatraz. It was pretty windy the whole trip. So many of the shots from the boat will be a little 'off'|
|This is a shot on the ferry approaching the dock on the island.|
|Alcatraz had a pretty colorful history even after it was closed. Click on the link for the official Alcatraz site and read about the American Indian occupations of the island. Alcatraz site|
|Here is a shot of the back of the island.|
|Typical cell. Sorry for the poor image quality.|
|Chiseled out vent showing how some prisoners were able to get out of their cells. I don't know if this was on of the actual cells where this happend, or if it was just a recreation. The 1979 Movie Escape From Alcatraz was based on the actual escape attempt.|
|Solitary confinement AKA "The Hole" Is "The Hole" Haunted? Scroll about two thirds down the page to get to the part about The Hole. I have only ever 'felt something' twice. One of those times was as I stepped into one of these cells and closed the door. As soon as it was totally dark I was almost over come with an intense uneasiness and feeling that something was there and that I needed to leave. *shrug* |
There are several 'haunted' stories about Alcatraz. I would love to investigate and see just what all goes on at Alcatraz after the sun goes down and the tourists depart....
|This empty space was the Library.|
|Another shot of the Library.|
|Here is a shot of San Francisco from the ferry.|
|Here is a site with some interesting information on the Golden Gate Bridge. Info|
|The water was pretty choppy and it was extremely windy this day. I had to brace myself against the wheel house to keep the pictures somewhat in focus.|
Located at Pier 45 AKA Fisherman's Wharf is the Jeremiah Obrien.
|The O'Brien after 33 years in storage.|
|The bridge had small windows with these thick steel shutters.|
Just in front of the O'Brien is the USS Pampanito. A WWII submarine click here for some professional interior shots. Most of the pictures on the 'tour' will allow you to click and pan/zoom. You may be required to load 'quicktime' in order to view the pictures. Internet Exploder will prompt you to allow it to load the appropriate software. One of the things that immediately struck me after going down inside was the sound of water. You can clearly hear the water lapping up against the side of the sub. Not knowing any more about them than i did I had always assumed that submarines were heavily armored, and virtually impeneratrable. It amazes me that you could actually go out to sea and fight a war in something thats seeminly so fragile.
|Quite a bit more stuff on the decks of WWII subs than on Cold War Era ships. You can see the O'Brien in the background.|
|Main deck gun.|
|If I remember correctly the broom symbolized a 'clean sweep' meaning the sub had accomplished its mission.|
|Here is another shot of Alcatraz at max zoom from the deck of the Sub.|
|There is just no winning with the flash on that camera, either too bright, or too dim. Here is the status board for the sub. I believe this is referred to as the 'Christmas Tree'. If you dive before its all green, its all over.|
|Here is the torpedo room. You'll notice the technology gives away the age of the sub.|
|Couple of torpedos.|
|Here is a torpedo rack, you can see where they'd slide from here right into the tube.|
|These bunks are slightly better than the ones you'll see later further down in the Russian sub. This was one of the largest compartments in the sub. As it is I had to push up against the wall for this picture.|
|Some levers in the 'maneuvering room'. Both subs offer an electronic self guided tour. You pay a small fee and are given a multi channel walkie talkie with a head set. As you go into various parts of the ship you are instructed by these small signs to change to a particular channel on which a recording will describe the function of the room you are in. Sometimes this is done by former crewmen who will also describe certain events that happend.|
|These hatches are a little easier to get through than the ones in the Russian sub. Still requires you to duck and step up at the same time.|
|Here is the mess hall.|
|"Pin up girl" in the mess hall.|
|Pretty narrow walkways. The very narrow door at the end is for a VERY small office.|
|This tiny little office was just large enough for this work station and a small stool.|
|Small uncomfortable looking 'head'|
I drove up HWY-1 (or HWY-101 depending on who you talk to) to get from San Francisco from Los Angeles. It was an awesome drive well worth the extra time it took. Most of the way its a narrow winding 2 lane road that is right on the coast. I pulled over and took some pictures and walked down into the water in a few places. If you are in the area and have the extra time I strongly reccomend you take the more scenic route. I believe it took about 3 hours to get to SF from LA as opposed to the 1 hour on the main interstate. There are many small inns and interesting places to stay and see along the way. Here is a site with some better pictures click me
|Nice but no easy way to get down to it from the road way.|
In Long Beach there are two very cool tourist sites literally right next to each other. You have the Queen Mary. Then you have the Cold War era Russian Fox Trot class diesel sub Scorpion. Unfortunately most of the Queen Mary pictures were lost when the disk went bad.
|As you can see the Queen Mary is a pretty large ship. She is essentially a large hotel and museum boasting over 360 staterooms, 13 Art Deco exhibit salons, and 2-3 differant guided and self guided tours. You can see some of the Russian sub here as well.|
|Queen Mary and the Scorpion's conning tower.|
|I took this picture while standing on the submarine. You can see the many port holes and access points for the Queen Mary.|
The Scorpion was among the last of the diesel subs built by the Soviet Union. Construction began in 1972 and she was commissioned in 1974. After 20 years of service which is still mostly classified, the Scorpion was retired. In 1995 the sub was purchased and placed on display in Sydney Australia. After 3 years there she was brought to Long Beach and is open for tours. When we see submarines in the movies you can tell they are somewhat cramped. However they are FAR more confined than you would expect. Every usable inch of space has something on it. Dials, lights, switches, valves, etc. Submarines are NO place for tall people. The rooms I photographed are indeed as small as they appear in the following pictures. My flash was intermitant so some of them are fairly dark. The entire submarine was pretty dimly lit.
|Time for more dark hard to see pictures. This is the Political Officers quarters. The room is as small as it looks. The Political Officer was charged with maintaining the 'loyalty' of the crew. There was a small compartment next to the PO's quarters which housed all of his surveilence equipment. This equipment was used to keep tabs on the crews conversations and activities. No one but the PO had access to this room. Not even the Capitan.|
|Here is the communications room.|
|Sonar Tech station.|
|My flash actually worked in this picture. Like I said EVERY inch of space is used in a submarine. The walkways were dimly lit with green lamps, most of the equipment is also lit in green.|
|Navigating the hatchways is interesting. You have to both step up and duck at the same time.|
|Here are some bunks in the torpedo room.|
|The bunks in Alcatraz were larger and more comfortable................|
|Radio room. I don't remember what the difference between this room and the 'comm' room is.|
|Officers dining room.|
Here are a few miscelanious shots taken during a bus tour.
|One of the stops on the tour was a place called Twin Peaks over looking the city. Here is a 10X zoom of part of the city and Alcatraz Island.|
|Downtown San Francisco from Twin Peaks|
|Another shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.|