It was early morning when we pulled into San Diego Harbor to pick up Rear Admiral Konetzni, the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force Commander, and the 25 guests that we would be taking to sea for a day cruise. It’s a pain in the ass to position a nearly 600 foot, 18,000 ton submarine next to the pier, so we just pulled into the harbor and small boat came along side to transfer personnel. The admiral was the first to board and he raced to bridge to speak with me.
“Hey, Joe, Larry is extremely nervous about coming aboard. He almost backed out. I had to coerce him into coming by getting his wife and friends tell him that if he wasn’t going, then they wouldn’t go either. Don’t say anything the might frighten him.”
This not the Ohio, but the opening is a fantastic shot of
dolphins surfing a submarine bow wave.
By the time we sat down in the wardroom for lunch, Larry was completely at ease, and he was not the least bit shy about discussing his initial apprehension or how his wife and friends all conspired to get him aboard.
|Lunch in the wardroom with Larry King and friends.|
After lunch, we entertained our guests, and ourselves, by making high speed turns and doing angles and dangles, a series of maneuvers where we rapidly change depth by taking steep angles to move through the water column.
The day passed quickly and we surfaced to head back into port to drop off our guests. Larry sat on the conn so that he could watch and listen to the ship control party as they maneuvered the USS OHIO back towards San Diego.
|A relaxed Larry King smiles after an enjoyable day at sea.|
A few months ago, I tried to contact Larry so that I could share the above picture and maybe get him to sign a copy, but I got no response to my tweets or email. I'm sure my messages were lost in the deluge of solicitations that celebrities receive. Maybe this post will find its way to him?