Last voyage of decommissioned USS Constellation, past West Seattle

August 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

(Photo added 9:45 pm, by Gary Jones at Alki Point)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:55 PM: It’s been about an hour since the scrapyard-bound USS Constellation was towed from Bremerton.

(US Navy Public Affairs photo)
The aircraft carrier is passing the mouth of Dyes Inlet and in another hour or so should be visible from West Seattle, as it emerges from Rich Passage between Bainbridge and Blake Islands. We’ll be updating as it gets closer; you can track the tow via MarineTraffic.com – a group of tugs is escorting it now, and the oceangoing Corbin Foss is en route to rendezvous with them, preparing for its solo 16,000-mile tow around South America and up to Brownsville, Texas.

4:45 PM: Still a ways to where they’ll be out of Rich Passage and visible from here. It’s somewhat hazy off to the west so it won’t be a really crystal-clear view as it would be if it were a cloudless summer morning – Alki Point and vicinity will likely be the clearest. But the tugs are showing on MarineTraffic.com as having picked up some speed – about 2 knots per hour now. We’ll update when they’re in view (at least via binoculars).

5:40 PM: Getting closer. The tugboats show on MarineTraffic.com as starting to round the point that is just north of Manchester.

6:09 PM: Now in view with binoculars from Emma Schmitz Viewpoint, having just emerged from Rich Passage. At this moment, it’s still pointed south, and has to be pulled to face northbound before it will start sailing toward Alki Point and beyond.

6:49 PM: It’s still in the shadows near Manchester, looking across from here. The Foss blog-format website tracking the journey has a photo looking back this way as the Corbin Foss and “Connie” get acquainted at the start of their 16,000-mile journey. (Click here for a larger version of the photo in Foss’s update.)

7:37 PM: You can see the silhouette without binoculars now, and it appears to be slowly starting to make the turn. At this rate, it’ll likely be a lovely sunset scene somewhere in front of Bainbridge!

8:05 PM: After four hours on Beach Drive, we headed for higher ground. Looks like it will be a great view from west-facing North Admiral (we’re at the famous Seattle/Sunset street-sign mini-viewpoint waiting for it to get into better photographic range).

8:22 PM: Some spectators up here. This viewpoint likely will be good all the way until dusk, since you can see north to West Point from here. Meantime, the Foss website has linked to a photo gallery of the Bremerton departure.

(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
8:55 PM: Just as it gets dark, the Connie and Corbin Foss are heading out of range.

(Photo with vehicle carrier Auriga Leader passing, by Greg)
9:49 PM: Added three photos, from three photographers. (Thank you!) Corbin Foss and Constellation are expected to arrive at Long Beach for a refueling stop at mid-month; the trip around the tip of South America (as someone pointed out while talking with us during Connie Watch, it’ll be summer down there) and up to Texas is expected to take almost five months.

14 Comments

  1. Looks like 4 other tugs are pushing it out of Bremerton and that the Corbin Foss is on scene. At 4:40 it’s showing only 2 miles north of the Bremerton ferry dock.

    http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-122.5934/centery:47.56958/zoom:8/mmsi:366902220

    Comment by JeffK — 4:43 pm August 8, 2014 #

  2. Yes, it’s relatively slow going. I’m watching from Beach Drive at a point where I’ll be able to tell the minute it comes into semi-view. Looks like they picked up to 2 knots, though, from an earlier 1.5.

    Comment by WSB — 4:49 pm August 8, 2014 #

  3. Sure wish I didn’t work night’s would love to be there

    Comment by jimClark — 5:47 pm August 8, 2014 #

  4. There are some great stories and pictures at:
    .
    http://ussconstellation.org/
    .
    I was amazed that the ship even has an escalator!
    .
    http://ussconstellation.org/Tom_Armstrong/slides/DSC00634.html
    .

    Comment by kevin — 5:57 pm August 8, 2014 #

  5. Watching from the driveway, what a scene! I love tugs and I love our military fleet.

    Comment by T Rex — 6:13 pm August 8, 2014 #

  6. has it passed by the point yet? It can’t have sailed past and be gone yet…

    Always amazing to see carriers – they’re immense.

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 7:03 pm August 8, 2014 #

  7. Nope. It’s just now coming around the front of south Bainbridge. We left Beach Drive and headed up to North Admiral for a better view.

    Comment by WSB — 8:02 pm August 8, 2014 #

  8. Thanks for the coverage. The comments ,or lack of, on this topic seem to confirm that in this area of the NW we don’t really have a lot of interest in the military. I have lived in West Seattle my whole life 40 yrs so never grew up around bases or communities linked closely to them. I don’t support military in general or anything to do with it.

    Comment by NW — 8:26 am August 9, 2014 #

  9. Lack of or proliferation of comments on any given story isn’t an indication of interest or readership – some stories, there’s not much to say. In this case, I don’t know that it’s military so much as one of the “what’s that going by our shores” maritime, and that’s why we published an early heads-up and then tracked it. I have little military in my family background myself, but I’m always surprised to find out how much military presence there really is here in West Seattle – I didn’t know about the Manchester Fuel Depot right across the water until we started investigating the bright lights from a ship that spent time there recently – it apparently is one of the Navy’s largest fuel depots – there’s the Bremerton shipyard, the subs, and more – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:45 pm August 9, 2014 #

  10. @NW- You should get out more/your negativity or opinion isn’t needed.
    I’ve served my country so I guess I’m biased. This ship has a large amount of history, so it’s worthy of some coverage.

    Comment by Guy Olson — 7:58 pm August 9, 2014 #

  11. Loved that girl……..1986
    -1990 Attach Squadron 196.

    Comment by Brian Cleborne — 11:24 pm August 9, 2014 #

  12. I agree with Guy Olson and his comment regarding NW. My dad was in the Navy so I’m also biased, but give me a break… NW says “we don’t really have a lot of interest in the military”. What about the hoopla regarding the Blue Angels a week ago! Our military neighbors in Oak Harbor, Bremerton, Lewis/McCord Bases are you not aware of them?! NW sounds out of touch or ignorant of neighboring military support for your freedom.

    Comment by lori — 4:06 am August 12, 2014 #

  13. Please see photo used from Blog. The USS Constellation CV-64 is being followed with a daily report seen at: http://navy.memorieshop.com/Constellation/Quick-Links.html Click on Number “1″ to see link to your photo.

    Comment by Vern Bouwman — 7:39 am August 17, 2014 #

  14. My home from ’76-’80. Still miss my Connie.

    Comment by S. Haile — 8:59 am August 29, 2014 #

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