11:46 AM: Just back from the Museum of Flight, which hosted the annual media briefing about Seafair’s biggest week; we went to get the latest on points of special interest in our area, including the Parade of Ships, which is happening today. Rear Admiral Scott Gray, the U.S. Navy’s regional commander, announced that two Navy ships are participating – the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111). Also part of the “Seafair fleet” this year are the U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Active and two Royal Canadian Navy ships, HMCS Nanaimo and HMCS Edmonton. The ships should be in view by 1 pm, if not sooner. Later this week, tours begin; from the Navy announcement:
The Seattle visit offers the public an opportunity to take a tour of the ships and meet Sailors and Coast Guard members as they showcase the ships’ capabilities. It also gives the public a chance to gain a better understanding of how the sea services support the national defense of the United States and freedom of the seas.
The U.S. Navy ships on Pier 66 will be open for public visitation Tuesday, July 30 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, August 1 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and then Friday, August 2 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Times for tours may vary from day-to-day.
When arriving for public tours, all visitors will be required to present a photo ID and pass through an airport-style security screening checkpoint prior to boarding the ships. All visitors are subject to search prior to entering the security zone. Visitors are encouraged to bring as few items as possible when arriving for their tour, and are recommended to wear flat-heeled, closed-toe shoes.
Prohibited items on board include the following:
– Weapons, including knives, firearms and club weapons
– Defensive chemicals or sprays, including mace and pepper spray; spray cans of any type
– Fireworks, flammable liquids or other explosives
– Drugs and drug-related paraphernalia illegal by federal standards (including cannabis)
– Large bags, including backpacks, diaper bags and large camera bags (small camera bags and small handbags may be permitted, but will be subject to search)
– Do not leave personal items unattended.
– While general photography of this event is allowed, the use of drones is strictly prohibited within 3,000 feet laterally and 1,000 feet vertically of the U.S. Navy ships.
12:41 PM: The Parade of Ships has come into view off Alki Point, turning into Elliott Bay. A Seattle Fire Department fireboat is spraying mid-bay to greet them.
1:40 PM: Adding a few photos, and more to come.
2:34 PM: More photos, first, the USS Spruance:
USS Mobile Bay:
USCG helicopters passed by too, headed for a downtown demonstration:
ADDED: One more view of fireboat Leschi, by Monica Zaborac: