I was in SFO
for the weekend prior to a weeklong gig in Pleasanton and decided to see the Hornet as it was just recently opened as a museum. It was still a work in progress and the docents and workers were putting in overtime getting the thing cleaned up after an event on the hangardeck the previous night, and they weren't open yet. I had gone out there early on a Sunday and was incredibly lucky to have the USS Charlotte, an improved 688 class SSN
berthed next to the ship on the next dock over so I moseyed over operating on the principal that someone would tell me if I was going wrong.
It had a group of students from a local high school lined up for a tour and I walked up to the guard at the gate to ask about the tour, and he told me it was the Captains alma mater and he had arranged for a tour. I asked if it was open to polite taxpayers as well, and he got the XO
who told me to come back at the end of the student tour.
I showed up and got to see the whole vessel, forward of the reactor area. I looked through both periscopes, and zoomed in on the SS
Jeremiah O'Brien across the bay with the target indicator not knowing it was linked with the plasma tvs in the mess and the wardroom. The crew watching got a kick out of that. I went into torpedo room, saw the crew quarters, the sonar area, with the interesting stuff covered up. I got to sit at the helm position where they actually drive the boat. It was the coolest tour I ever got on a ship or boat of any kind.
The carrier was great, but the sub was incredible. I had seen the SS
Pompano the previous day, and have seen other subs before, even been on a live one before, but this was a complete stroke of luck. I'll have some very good memories about Alameda because of that.
One other piece of trivia. They built a complete section of highway on the base for the filming of Matrix: Reloaded. The highway chase sequence with Morpheus and crew fighting Daniel Bernhard was filmed there.