Happy Memorial Day to all! With all the rain we’ve been having here in New Jersey lately, I was sure that this Memorial Day weekend would be gloomy, but much to my surprise the weather turned out to be beautiful. It did rain Saturday, but I had to work so I had no plans that were hindered by the inclement weather. Fortunately, while working, one of my coworkers mentioned that this week is Fleet Week in NYC, something I knew my mother has always wanted to go to but always manages to be too busy to make it. As I’m in college and unsure of how much time I have left at home, I came home from work and announced to my mother that we were going to Fleet Week on Sunday and she could not say no.
At around 1:00 yesterday we made it into Manhattan, and luckily managed to find a place to park for free on the street right by Pier 92, which just-so-happened to be the place where the boats were located. After waiting in the hot sun in a security line for about half an hour, we were finally ushered into an elevator to take us upstairs to board the boat for a tour. We stepped onto the USS Oak Hill, a United States Navy ship designated for the transport of men and equipment. The ship was massive, coming in at a little over 609 feet long. We meandered about the ship’s deck, taking pictures and enjoying the views of the Hudson, until finally entering a plane, with the help of a charming naval pilot, located onboard to see its inside. We then headed down underneath the deck of the ship, where the Navy had brought in various tanks and trucks that children, as well as adventurous adults, were permitted to climb in/on for pictures. After exiting the USS Oak Hill, we had the option to exit the premises or continue on to tour a US Coast Guard ship, but it was late in the day and still rather hot, so we made the executive decision to call it quits. I thought that the Navy did a wonderful job of making the tour experience as interactive as possible for a cargo ship. For people who live in or around the area, or for those visiting during Memorial Day Weekend in the future, I would highly recommend a trip out to experience Fleet Week. It’s completely free to tour the ships, and since free things are hard to come by, an opportunity like this shouldn’t be passed up. Additionally, although the tour isn’t overly informative, one can learn a great deal while on the ship by asking the copious amount of officers about any questions they may have. Not convinced yet? It’s a day full of chatting with cute sailors. I bet you’re convinced now.