What a day!!

Go fly a kite!The wind was just right for my beach project of the day.Flying a kite and watching the cruise ships, sailboats, floating casinos and submarines…We weren’t aware, but just across the inlet from the Jetty Campground where this entire floating menagerie departs is a Trident nuclear submarine base.Pedal and smile, pedal and smile....

Mentioning to one of the clerks at the registration desk about the cranes across the water and cement ‘pens’ she spoke about how they never see these mammoth subs come or go much.Anyway, there’s Tracy riding her bike down the beach Check out their hairdo'sentertaining the gaggles of sea birds that use this area as a migration stop off point and I might add looked fairly tired.My kite, the second one on this trip as the first one met an untimely demise after it failed to launch, was dancing in the ocean breeze.Trident class sub

I hear some yelling from the sea wall to my left, I look over and there it is.Two navy tugs guiding this enormous submarine down the channel and out to sea.The pictures don’t do this ship justice.Pictures are one thing, T.V. shows another but to see one underway, and then to find out it was the USS North Carolina, whose base near Wilmington, NC we visited on this trip in November, was truly fateful.

Okay, so if that wasn’t enough for one day….Having visited NASA and the Kennedy Space Facility earlier in the week.I was following the story of the latest shuttle Endeavour that, due to poor weather, had returned to Edwards Air Force Base in California Nov. 30th and was to return here to the Space Center piggyback on a 747 in the next few days.

Speaking to a lifeguard on the beach and discussing this particular interest he suggested that we might want to return to the beach sometime between 2 and 3 p.m. to witness the shuttles return.I thought he was joking, as the return of the shuttle piggyback is usually a secret due to security.The lifeguards are fire department personnel and as the aircraft passes within their jurisdiction to land just 10 miles away they knew a few hours in advance.

What did we have to lose?Sunshine, beach and this possibility was not to be missed.So we planted ourselves and we were not to be disappointed.There it was, as it broke out of the high clouds, a mere 1,000 feet above us and following the beach right over our heads. Tracy taking the still pictures and I the video on our digital cameras.

Getting lower Endeavour inboundEndeavour overhead
You won’t believe the video;

I had to look up from behind the camera to make sure this fly-past was actually happening.This day will be hard to beat on this trip and best of all; none of this cost us a penny.What a day!!


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