the Summer of 1993, my brother, Jody Silva, invited me for a "family cruise"
aboard his ship, the USS Abraham
Lincoln. The Lincoln is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier nearly 1200 feet long and
nearly a football field wide. It weighs 80,000 tons but it easily outpaced the high-speed
cigarette boats that followed out of the Golden Gate. Once outside the Gate, the Captain
announced that we were going to top speed, which was classified. When that happened, you
could feel the back of the boat sink, and then it just took off. Many on deck began to
jump up, open their jackets, and then get swept back a few feet before landing back on
deck. We were going that fast. After that, we witnessed takeoffs and landings
before returning. The following photos are a record of that day.
On this day, we boarded at Alameda Air Station at 6:00 am. We were served breakfast and entertained while the ship prepared to sail out of San Francisco Bay through the Golden Gate and out into the open sea. The photo at left is from the pier where the Lincoln was berthed minutes before dawn.
It took about an hour and a half to get the Lincoln away from the dock, and another hour to get out of the Bay. A helicopter circled the ship constantly, apparently to warn off any who may come close.
This picture of San Francisco was taken from the flight deck of the carrier just after dawn and after we had passed under the SF-Bay Bridge.
To get out of San Francisco Bay, we passed by Alcatraz Island
heading out of the Golden Gate, passing only feet under the Bridge (visible in the
distance.) One thing about SF Bay in the summer at dawn: It is freezing cold!
The F/A-18 Hornet is about to launch. The launch crew are clearing out of
the way. Looks like a clip from Top Gun.