Really China?!

Well it was back on January 15th when I caught this glimpse of the USS John C Stennis slipping past my windows on it’s latest deploymentIMG_5534

and 4 1/2 months later it’s back in the news again….

China refuses US carrier permission for port call in Hong Kong harbour

The aircraft carrier USS John Stennis, which was refused permission for a port visit in Hong Kong.
China has denied the US aircraft carrier USS Stennis and accompanying naval vessels permission to make a port call in Hong Kong.

It was not immediately known what prompted the Chinese action, but it comes amid growing tension between the two countries over Beijing’s moves to assert its claims to much of the South China Sea.

“We were recently informed that a request for a port visit by a US carrier strike group, including the USS John C Stennis and accompanying vessels, to Hong Kong was denied,” commander Bill Urban, a Pentagon spokesman, said on Friday.

“We have a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, including with the current visit of the USS Blue Ridge, and we expect that will continue,” he added.

It was the first time US naval ships had been denied permission to make a Hong Kong port call since August 2014, Urban said.

The Chinese foreign ministry told Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper that port calls by US ships are decided on a “case by case basis in accordance with sovereignty principles and specific circumstances.”

US defence secretary Ashton Carter visited the Stennis on 15 April as it sailed off the Philippines near the disputed area where China has expanded islets and reefs into islands capable of supporting airfields and other installations.

During a preceding stop in Manila, Carter had emphasised that the United States would support the Philippines and other allies as they faced “coercion and intimidation.”

The two countries also announced they have begun joint naval patrols in the South China Sea, and Carter said a contingent of 275 US troops and five A-10 ground attack aircraft in the Philippines for an annual exercise would remain in the country until the end of the month.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, through which pass some of the world’s most active shipping lanes. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.

Posted in life, life ........with wheels ; ) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Goings on on the water…..

Caught this view yesterday afternoon of 6 of the 12 Clipper Round the World racing yachts in a short parade before they left Seattle for Panama, their next stop.

Details of this race according to Wikipedia……

The 2015-16 edition of the race is currently underway, with the same matched fleet of twelve Clipper 70 yachts as took part in the 2013-14 Race. GREAT Britain, Derry-Londonderry-Doire and Qingdao return as sponsors, with other the sponsors announced during 2015 being (in order of announcement): ClipperTelemed+, Mission Performance, Unicef, IchorCoal, Garmin, Da Nang – Viet Nam, LMAX Exchange, PSP Logistics, and Visit Seattle.[56]


The 2015-16 edition of the race set sail on Sunday 30 August 2015, once again from London’s St Katharine Docks, with the actual start of the first race taking place offshore at Southend at 1230 BST on Monday 31 August. The fleet will race to Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Albany, Sydney, Hobart, the Whitsunday Islands, Da Nang, Qingdao, Seattle, Panama, New York, Derry/Londonderry, and Den Helder, before finishing back in London.

On 18 March 2015, the skippers for the Clipper 15-16 Round the World Yacht Race were announced as follows:[57]

Clipper 15–16 Skippers
Hull # Team Name Nationality Age

CV20 Garmin Ashley Skett British (Newquay) 31

CV21 IchorCoal Darren Ladd British (Somerset) 49

CV22 PSP Logistics Max Stunell British (Portsmouth) 34

CV23 Visit Seattle Huw Fernie British (Falmouth) 31

CV24 LMAX Exchange Olivier Cardin French (Saint Aubin sur Mer[disambiguation needed]) 45

CV25 Da Nang – Viet Nam Wendy Tuck Australian (Sydney) 50

CV26 ClipperTelemed+ Diane Reid Canadian 42

Matt Mitchell British 28

CV27 GREAT Britain Peter Thornton British (Gorran Haven) 36

CV28 Qingdao Igor Gotlibovych Ukrainian/German 27

Bob Beggs British 55

CV29 Derry-Londonderry-Doire Daniel Smith British (West Kilbride) 31

CV30 Unicef Jim Prendergast British (Sheffield/Gosport) 40

Paul Atwood British (Lancashire) 59

CV31 Mission Performance Greg Miller British (Gosport) 39


There have been two fatalities in the 20-year history of the Clipper race, both incidents taking place in 2015-2016 race, and on the same yacht.

Andrew Ashman
At midnight on 5 September 2015 – day 7 of the first leg of the race – the fleet were off the coast of Portugal when Andrew Ashman a crew member aboard IchorCoal was knocked unconscious as he adjusted the mainsheet while reefing. Resuscitation attempts were not successful and he died. 

Sarah Young 

During day 12 of the North Pacific leg, the crew of IchorCoal had just reefed her mainsail in 35-40 knots of wind. Crewmember Sarah Young (40) was tidying the ropes in the cockpit when she was knocked from her position by a wave which swept her backwards, under the guardrail and overboard. She had not been clipped on and was swept away in strong winds. The crew used the signal from her personal AIS transmitter to locate her in the water and then recovered her onboard, but were unable to resuscitate her after an hour in the water.[60] Race organisers confirmed that Young would be buried at sea because of her boat’s current position, and the time it would take to reach landfall.[61]

And this morning the first cruise ship of the season arrived!

Posted in life | Tagged | Leave a comment

well dang! It’s those happy people again….

my mom & dad were without an internet connection for a while so I couldn’t post these shots from Taryn & Colton’s engagement shoot until Grandma & Grandad had seen them first –  Mater would have had a conniption fit, hahaha😉

I sent them lots to pore over but for the rest of my non-Facebook English family here you go – just a few to enjoy, happy times indeed:)

and thanks to for the great shots!

Posted in life | Tagged , | Leave a comment

accessible parking FAIL!!

OK so we were off to Seattle’s wonderful downtown library for a friend’s book launch yesterday and rather than risk being late looking for available street parking (haha…like there ever IS any on a Saturday!) we pulled into the parking garage on Spring St. right next to the library. Got a disabled parking space right across from the elevators – all good until you get to the bottom and find out there are steps to 5th Street. There is a wheelchair lift of course but no button to press and no phone to use. The powers that be (in this case ACE Parking who run the garage I guess) make the assumption that you will apparently have a phone of your own on you and that you will be able to use it. Now remember that this is a wheelchair lift so that’s a pretty big assumption given that I know plenty of people in wheelchairs that don’t have the hand mobility to make a call and I have gone out without my phone a gazillion times. Anyway, made the call and an attendant came after a few minutes. He clearly wasn’t used to working the lift and had it start and stop over several minutes before he eventually got it to work properly. Went to the book launch which was great, headed out afterwards and called the attendant to get me back up to the elevators only to have someone that had absolutely NO IDEA what to do and was talking on the phone to someone else who had no idea either. Luckily I have one of these lifts at home to get me in and out of the garage so I know exactly how they work and talked him through the whole thing but come on!! This is a huge parking garage in downtown Seattle that also provides parking for a hotel so there’s no excuse for not having a call button or people who are trained to operate the lift – it’s not like we don’t pay enough to park there in the first place – grrrr!!!!IMG_6167

Luckily the book launch was more than worth that little bit of hassle and I’m already reading all about the history of Vancouver ready to roll through it next time we’re down that way and my buddy Barb had better know I have a walking route to drag her on next time I hit her place in Bellevue for one of my Wednesday evening visits:)IMG_6175


Posted in life, life ........with wheels ; ) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

a busy and very British day!

after a week of gorgeous spring weather here that saw me rolling around soaking up all the Vitamin D on offer and not having to do a whole lot else, David is just about to arrive home after a week away and as soon as our granddaughter gets up from her nap she’ll be coming over here to amuse us for the afternoon …..and on the British theme it happens to be Shakespeare’s birthday (and anniversary of his death) AND St George’s Day IMG_6149 plus David took these pictures for me as he flew over the motherland the other day:)

AND today is my mother’s birthday, and yes I’m sure she’s having cake although possibly not quite as tall as this one:)IMG_0003_2

Posted in life, life ........with wheels ; ) | Leave a comment

will you look at these ridiculously happy people??!

yes, they were in Paris and it was springtime but really…… did they have smiles that big for the entire 26.2 miles??? Knowing them, very probably! Taryn may well have inherited that smile from me but the guts to get out there and get stuff like this done is all hers, with very liberal amounts of support and encouragement from Colton:)

Clearly these are their official pictures since David could never find them in the throng on the day. Of course that means I’ve gone through every picture very closely looking at the faces of the bystanders because yes, it would just amuse the heck out of me if they had run right past him and he’d missed them!!

Back here in Seattle we have another record breaking hot spring day so I was up early to open up the house to cool it down and got my roll in before it got too hot, not sure I smiled as much as these guys though, hahaha:)

Posted in life, life ........with wheels ; ) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sunshine and submarines

well our warm and sunny streak continues and I was outside getting my roll in early today  before it got too hot – you know how delicate I am, hahaha:)

David is Europe bound again but taking the scenic route through Portland this week😉  He sent me this pic of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s submarine USS Blueback  downtown in the Willamette river. You can actually rent it and spend the night on board – with 54 of your closest friends no less!! Tempting if someone could get me in it…… well, and out again I suppose:) Read the history of this vessel below – kind of interesting (well, if you’re me, haha!)IMG_5126

USS Blueback (SS-581)

For other ships of the same name, see USS Blueback.
USS Blueback (SS-581)
USS Blueback (SS-581) underway c1960s.jpg
USS Blueback (SS-581) in the 1960s
United States
Namesake: Blueback
Awarded: 29 June 1956
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi[1]
Laid down: 15 April 1957[1]
Launched: 16 May 1959[1]
Sponsored by: Mrs. Kenmore McManes, wife of Rear Admiral McManes
Commissioned: 15 October 1959[1]
Decommissioned: 1 October 1990
Struck: 30 October 1990[1]
Status: Donated to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Badge: USS Blueback SS-581 Bagde.jpg
General characteristics
Class and type: Barbel-class diesel-electric submarine
1,744 long tons (1,772 t) light[1]
2,146 long tons (2,180 t) full
2,637 long tons (2,679 t) submerged[1]
402 long tons (408 t) dead
Length: 219 ft 6 in (66.90 m) overall[1]
Beam: 29 ft (8.8 m)[1]
Draft: 25 ft (7.6 m) max[1]
3 × Fairbanks-Morse 38 8-1/8 diesel engines, total 3,150 bhp (2,350 kW)
2 × General Electric electric motors, total 4,800 bhp (3,600 kW)
one screw[1]
12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph) submerged[1]
30 minutes at full speed
102 hours at 3 knots (6 km/h; 3 mph)
Test depth:
712 ft (217 m) operating
1,050 ft (320 m) collapse
Complement: 8 officers, 69 men
Armament: 6 × 21-inch (530 mm)[1] bow torpedo tubes, 18 torpedoes
USS Blueback (SS-581) is located in Portland, Oregon
Location Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
45°30′28″N 122°40′01″W
45°30′28″N 122°40′01″W
NRHP Reference # 08000947
Added to NRHP 18 September 2008[2]
USS Blueback (SS-581) is a decommissioned Barbel-class submarine formerly in the United States Navy. She was the second Navy submarine to bear the name.

Blueback was laid down by Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation of Pascagoula, Mississippi on 15 April 1957. She was launched on 16 May 1959 sponsored by Mrs. Kenmore McManes, wife of Rear Admiral McManes,[clarification needed] and commissioned on 15 October 1959, Lieutenant Commander Robert H. Gautier in command. She was the last non-nuclear submarine to join the United States Navy and was the final conventionally powered combat capable submarine to be decommissioned, leaving the United States Navy with a fully nuclear submarine fleet except for the research submarine USS Dolphin (AGSS-555).

Origin of the name

Sources differ on the origin of Blueback’s name. The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships entry for Blueback states that she is named after a

form of the rainbow or steelhead trout found only in Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. The fish lives in deep water and is bluish black along its upper sides and whitish underneath.

Other sources state that she is named after the

most numerous of west coast salmon species. The blueback salmon … is colored a bright blue with silver sides.



After fitting out, Blueback got underway in January 1960 for a series of acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico. She completed that mission and departed Pascagoula on 11 June, bound for the Pacific. She transited the Panama Canal on 7 July and continued on to her home port, Naval Station San Diego. There she was assigned to Submarine Squadron 3 (SUBRON 3), Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet. Blueback then carried out torpedo tube acceptance trials at Keyport, Washington, and underwent a post-shakedown availability at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. On 23 November 1960, the submarine was accepted for service.

Type training in the San Diego area kept her busy into February 1961. On the 11th, she commenced a two-week availability at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Blueback got underway on 28 March for a deployment to the western Pacific during which she participated in 7th Fleet operations and exercises. The submarine left Yokosuka, Japan, on 3 September and sailed submerged to San Diego, arriving there on 25 September.

After leave and upkeep, Blueback began type training exercises out of San Diego on 14 October. Four days later, she participated in a fleet exercise off the southern California coast conducted under the auspices of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). During the next eight months, the submarine took part in several fleet exercises and visited San Francisco, California, and Seattle, Washington. In July 1962, Blueback entered the Mare Island Naval Shipyard for her first major overhaul.

Upon completion of the overhaul in January 1963, the submarine made port calls at Seattle and at Vancouver, British Columbia. She then left the west coast and proceeded to her new home port, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. There, the submarine was assigned to Submarine Division 13 (SUBDIV 13). Blueback was involved in local operations from February to early April. On 11 April, the submarine got underway for operations in WestPac. Blueback sailed to Australia to participate in the annual celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea and visited Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth. She then continued on to Subic Bay in the Philippines for operations with the 7th Fleet. While on her deployment, Blueback also called at Naha, Okinawa; and at Sasebo, Kobe, and Yokosuka, Japan, before returning to Pearl Harbor on 26 October.

Blueback resumed her former routine in Hawaiian waters and continued local operations into 1964. In March, she suffered damage when a crane toppled over onto her while changing her propeller, necessitating a drydocking for repairs. In the fall and early winter, the submarine made two trips to the vicinity of Wake Island to take part in the evaluations of the SUBROC missile system and Permit-class submarines. In each test, Blueback served as a target ship.

On 17 February 1965, Blueback began her second deployment to the Far East. During the cruise, she made port calls at Naha, Hong Kong, Subic Bay, and Yokosuka, and also was involved in supporting American operations in Vietnam. She returned to Pearl Harbor in June, where she carried out local operations until 7 September. She got underway for Bremerton, Wash., on that day and entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard 18 days later for overhaul.

The yard work ended on 26 September 1966, and the submarine commenced sound trials and weapons tests in Puget Sound. She also provided services for a research and development project conducted near Nanoose, Canada. After a four-day visit to Vancouver, she set sail for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived early in November and began refresher training.

Following three months of preparations and training, Blueback embarked on another tour of duty in the western Pacific on 17 February 1967. During the seven-month assignment, she punctuated periods at sea training and supporting the American effort in Vietnam with port calls at Hong Kong and in Japan at Yokosuka and Sasebo. The submarine returned to Oahu early that fall, arriving in Pearl Harbor on 20 September. After a month of leave and upkeep, she resumed operations in Hawaiian waters. On 19 December, she entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for a restricted availability.

In mid-January 1968, the submarine helped prospective commanding officers to prepare for their new assignments at the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force’s school. She then acted as a target for several surface ships and aircraft to practice ASW techniques, and engaged in type training and weapons exercises. On 8 July, she began a five-month deployment to the Far East which, in addition to two special operations, also included much time spent in upkeep at Yokosuka. Blueback returned to Pearl Harbor on 3 December.


Very early in 1969, she voyaged to Bremerton, Wash., and entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 17 January for an overhaul. During her subsequent sea trials and training, the submarine visited Nanaimo, British Columbia, and Port Angeles, Wash., before returning to Hawaii early in December. After intensive training during the first three months of 1970, Blueback set sail on her fifth deployment to the western Pacific on 10 April. She carried out lengthy special operations; made brief visits to Yokosuka, Hong Kong, and Guam; and spent time in the Vietnam war zone. The warship ended the cruise at Pearl Harbor on 1 October and began a period of local operations and upkeep. On 12 February 1971, she entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for a restricted availability which concluded in late March with trials at sea. Early in April, she took part in SUBASWEX 1-71 in the Pearl Harbor area. After conducting torpedo firing exercises, Blueback entered upkeep at Pearl Harbor.

She began another Far eastern assignment on 25 June and arrived at Yokosuka on 12 July for a week of upkeep before beginning a month of operational training at sea. The submarine next visited Sasebo for 10 days and then continued on to Hong Kong for a liberty period. Blueback traveled south to the Vietnam war zone to render training services to destroyer units of the 7th Fleet and then returned to Japan for upkeep at Yokosuka. On 11 October, the submarine got underway for more training at sea. She paused once again at Yokosuka before sailing for Hawaii on 29 November. She arrived back in her home port on 14 December.

Local operations occupied her during the first 10 weeks of 1972; then, the submarine began a lengthy overhaul at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard on 29 March. Nearly a year later early in March 1973, she finished the yard work, commenced local operations and trained in preparation for deployment. She sailed for the Orient on 8 August and, while there, participated in several operations with other American warships as well as with naval forces from Korea and Taiwan. Among the ports she visited were Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan; Chinhae and Pusan, Korea; Buckner Bay, Okinawa; Hong Kong; and Subic Bay in the Philippines. On 5 January 1974, Blueback left Subic Bay and visited Keelung, Taiwan, for two days before heading back to Hawaii.

The submarine arrived in Pearl Harbor on 31 January 1974 and commenced a leave and upkeep period. During the remainder of the year, Blueback took part in numerous training operations and exercises. She provided services to surface ships and aircraft, conducted torpedo firing drills, and did another tour preparing prospective commanding officers for the new jobs.

During the first two months of 1975, the submarine continued local operations. In March, she participated in Exercise “RIMPAC 75”, which included ships from the navies of the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Upon completion of this operation, Blueback commenced a restricted availability. Early in June, she resumed local operations including a series of torpedo firing tests, type training, and services to surface and air units. The warship closed out the year in upkeep at Pearl Harbor.

She held sea trials and weapons exercises in January 1976 and began another long overhaul at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in February. She did not complete those repairs until 1 December. Blueback commenced refresher training 12 days later. In February 1977, she took part in Exercise “RIMPAC 77”, then conducted torpedo trials. After a brief period of upkeep, the submarine departed Pearl Harbor on 28 March and proceeded to her new home port, San Diego, arriving there on 8 April. After an inspection and services to aircraft, she set out for San Francisco on 27 May, made a brief visit, and returned to San Diego on 1 June to prepare for duty overseas. On 21 June, the submarine got underway for Santa Marta, Colombia. Upon arriving there on 7 August, she joined Task Force 138 to participate in UNITAS XVIII. The task force also included USS Mahan, USS Capodanno, and USS Vreeland. During the deployment, Blueback visited ports in Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. She departed Talcahuano, Chile, on 27 September and headed back to San Diego. She stopped at Rodman in the Panama Canal Zone, and made a four-day liberty call at Acapulco, Mexico, before reaching San Diego on 11 November.

The submarine began 1978 in upkeep. She got underway on 13 February for a short visit to San Francisco, returned to San Diego on the 21st, and provided services to ships and aircraft in the San Diego area. From 23 April to 23 May, she underwent a battery replacement in preparation for an upcoming deployment. The ship sailed on 30 May for Portland, Oregon, where she represented the Submarine Force at that city’s Rose Festival. She then continued north along the coast to conduct an exercise with Canadian forces off Esquimalt, British Columbia. Following this operation, Blueback arrived at Seattle on 23 June for a two-day liberty call before returning to San Diego.

The submarine began a restricted availability on 17 July and, on 8 August, began final preparations for deployment. On 11 September, she got underway for her eighth western Pacific cruise. She touched at Pearl Harbor on the 22nd, but soon pressed on for Japan, and arrived at Yokosuka on 7 October. She next made a run to Chinhae, Korea, for two weeks of joint special warfare and ASW exercises with units of the South Korean Navy. On 5 November, Blueback arrived in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to participate in ASW exercises with the Taiwanese Navy. From 14 to 24 November, she took part in a 7th Fleet exercise and then proceeded to Sasebo for a leave and upkeep period. Blueback then spent five days at Hong Kong from 6 to 11 December before heading on to Subic Bay where she arrived on 13 December to close out the year in upkeep.

Blueback got underway on 5 January 1979 to provide target services for ships of the 7th Fleet undergoing ASW training. She then took part in special warfare exercises with Army Special Forces troops. On 22 January, the submarine arrived at Subic Bay for upkeep. Nine days later, she set out on a submerged voyage back to the United States and reached San Diego on 1 March.

After a few weeks of leave and upkeep, the submarine took up local operations again and continued so engaged until beginning a tender availability on 14 May. She resumed local operations again on 12 June. Blueback sailed north on 18 August to visit Astoria, Oregon, and Seattle, Wash., returning to her home port early in September. Following a minelaying exercise off the southern California coast between 17 and 20 September, the submarine entered drydock on 1 October. She began sea trials on 27 November and then provided ASW services before closing the year in a holiday leave and upkeep status.


Blueback spent the first three and a half months of 1980 in local operations and exercises in preparation for overseas movement. Blueback departed San Diego on 15 April and completed her submerged transit of the Pacific at Okinawa on 11 May. The submarine then took part in ASW exercises in the Philippine Sea. She began upkeep at Yokosuka on 18 May and then got underway for special operations. Blueback began the month of June in upkeep at Sasebo but soon returned to sea to participate in joint exercises with South Korean forces. After another period of upkeep and liberty at Sasebo, she got underway on the 22nd for ASW operations in cooperation with the Japanese submarine Isoshio. At the conclusion of the exercise, Blueback visited Beppu, Japan, before heading for Subic Bay, where she arrived on 8 July. After upkeep, the submarine participated in an ASW exercise in the South China Sea with several ships of the 7th Fleet.

On 22 July, Blueback began a six-day journey to Chinhae to take part in extensive exercises with the South Korean Navy. Early in August, the submarine visited Sasebo and Subic Bay. She conducted special warfare operations from 18 to 21 August and then entered port at San Fernando on northern Luzon. She got underway on 25 August for ASW operations with ships of the Royal Navy. After a final call at Subic Bay, the submarine began her voyage back to home port on 15 September. She entered San Diego on 15 October and began post-deployment leave and upkeep. Then came several days of type training in nearby waters followed by holiday leave and upkeep to close out the year.

Decommissioning and disposal

Blueback was decommissioned on 1 October 1990 and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet in Bremerton, Washington. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 30 October 1990. With her removal from service, the last warship that was a diesel-electric submarine of the United States Navy had left the fleet, leaving the research submarine USS Dolphin (AGSS-555) as the last diesel submarine of the US fleet.

In February 1994 the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) towed Blueback to Portland, Oregon, where she now rests as an interactive part of the museum and a memorial. Her propeller was removed and installed outside the museum as a National Submarine Memorial. OMSI offers guided tours of the submarine several times a day. The vessel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in September 2008.

The radio room has been restored by the USS Blueback Radio Club with both historic military radios and operational modern amateur radio gear which use the original military HF and VHF antennas. The submarine’s radio call sign is now W7SUB.

Honors and awards

Blueback (SS-581) earned two battle stars for her Vietnam War service.

Popular culture

Blueback appeared in the episode “Samurai” of the 1970s television series Hawaii Five-O.

Blueback appeared in the 1990 movie The Hunt for Red October, although she did not perform the famous stunt of an emergency main ballast tank blow during an emergency surfacing procedure seen in the film. A film crew was allowed on board to film a torpedo room scene and some of her crew were paid $50 (USD) each to have their hair cut and to put on Soviet Navy uniforms for the scene, but the scene was not included in the film.

“Blueback” also is referred to in Season 2, episodes 10 and 11, of the TV show Portlandia. The Mayor of Portland, played by Kyle MacLachlan, is lost while kayaking on the Willamette River, and upon seeing Blueback says “Oh look, there’s the submarine, I know where I am”.

and yes, I asked if that was really a dragon boat in the corner of the submarine picture and apparently…. it was! Amazing what you get to see in Portland:)IMG_5125

Posted in life, life ........with wheels ; ) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

no, we don’t get tired of these sunsets…


the start of a gorgeous weekend and some of our former Eastside neighbors to share it with…..good times:)

Posted in life, life ........with wheels ; ) | Leave a comment

A good weekend….. as long as you ignore our choice of parking space ;)


given what happened to our car while we did a quick overnight in Portland this weekend I was pretty amused to see this ad for a play that is currently showing at ACT Theatre when we got home. David might not be quite as amused but as he’s still outside trying to wash all the bird detritus off the car we’ll never know! Hey, I pointed out all the very obvious signs that LOTS of birds must spend the night in the tree overhanging that parking space but it was free to park and close to our downtown Portland hotel so he ignored me. Too bad he didn’t get a picture of the car the next morning but he may have been too busy swearing😉

Luckily the rest of our trip worked out perfectly – we made it in time for happy hour with Bill & Maureen who lived next door to us for a long time and were hosts to all of our Thanksgiving feasts plus many, many happy hours over the years and we were able to hook up with Rich’s parents for a very nice brunch the next morning, putting my Smart Drive to good use rolling up the hill from 6th to 15th to get there. We even managed to make it home before the sun disappeared behind this incoming cloud bank despite the ridiculous traffic between Olympia and Tacoma.IMG_6030  All in all a very good weekend jaunt and I didn’t even need an aisle chair, always a plus!!:)

Posted in life, life ........with wheels ; ) | Leave a comment

A different kind of view

It was ridiculously hot for early April in Seattle when I was out on my roll today but thanks to my new Smart Drive I don’t really care about the temperature anymore because I can just hit the power button if I start to feel trashed. That means I get out for a lot more rolls which is nothing but good both exercise-wise and given the fact that my usual route takes me past some fabulous views every day. I also spend a lot more time talking to people because I’m not the only one out there getting some fresh air and exercise and I run into a lot of my neighbours as well as getting to know some complete strangers but hey, that’s a whole ‘nother story 😄

That didn’t stop me salivating over this wonderfully cool looking picture that David took somewhere over Greenland on his last trip when I made it home for my cool down though. Those patterns on the mountain peaks are just amazing aren’t they?!

Posted in life, life ........with wheels ; ) | Tagged | Leave a comment