Thursday, October 16, 2008

Seafood and Tigers!

On Wednesday, the 1st of October, Fighting Freddy sailed for Morehead City, North Carolina to participate in the 22nd Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival. The morning of our departure we also embarked 37 Tigers – family and friends who joined us the ride down to the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. Our Tigers got to see us put the ship through her paces over the two and half-day transit during which some of the highlights included a gun shoot, damage control drill, F-18 fly-by, and a demonstration of our maximum speed. Mostly, I think the Tigers enjoying seeing their Sailors at work and getting to experience a few days of life at sea on a ship of war.

We arrived at the port of Morehead City early on Friday morning and moored as close to down town as our draft allowed. From the moment of our arrival we participated in a host of Seafood Festival Activities, including the opening ceremonies, the 8K Twin Bridges Race, and the Blessing of the Fleet. We also took the opportunity to visit the Harbor View Towers Nursing Home and volunteer with the North Carolina Coastal Federation. Of course, we also opened up the ship for tours and had almost 2000 festival attendees tour the ship on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

For me personally, following our six month deployment to the Mediterranean, I enjoyed the opportunity to visit a great American city and see GONZALEZ Sailors ashore in their white uniforms. I was very proud to see local folks shake the hands of my Sailors and thank them for their service. At a time when there are concerns about so many things going on in all of our lives, it was an honor to simply be surrounded by such a strong community whose livelihood, like ours, also depends on the seas. Please take a moment to check out some of the local news we generated.

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