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USS McFaul (DDG-74) Arrives in Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day

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Savannah – After I woke up this morning, I was surprised to notice on Twitter via WSAV that the USS McFaul (DDG-74), an Arleigh Burke class Aegis Destroyer would be coming in to port in Savannah this morning for St. Patrick’s Day. I quickly changed my plans for the day, grabbed some breakfast, and headed out to Fort Pulaski to catch her arrival. I read that there was going to be a salute given at Fort Jackson, but I figured there would be less fuss at Fort Pulaski.

The sun rising over  Tybee Island (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

The sun rising over Tybee Island (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

The sun rising over  Tybee Island (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

The sun rising over Tybee Island (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

Sunrise over the marsh of Cockspur Island

Sunrise over the marsh of Cockspur Island

Fog Bank along the Savannah River at sunrise (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

Fog Bank along the Savannah River at sunrise (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

Fog Bank along the Savannah River at sunrise (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

Fog Bank along the Savannah River at sunrise (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

Fog lifting from the Savannah River as the sun rises (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

Fog lifting from the Savannah River as the sun rises (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

Fog Bank along the Savannah River at sunrise (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

Fog Bank along the Savannah River at sunrise (taken from the Fort Pulaski Bridge)

Forster's Tern perched on the Fort Pulaski Bridge

Forster’s Tern perched on the Fort Pulaski Bridge

Laughing Gull perched on the Fort Pulaski Bridge

Laughing Gull perched on the Fort Pulaski Bridge

Unfortunately, the gate to Fort Pulaski didn’t open in time to catch the McFaul’s arrival. I could see her mast over the trees of Cockspur Island and the US 80 side of the Bridge was not going to be the place to get good photos. I jumped in the car and quickly made my way to Fort Jackson, where I discovered there wasn’t a large number of people nor was there any kind of organized ceremony; there was just a lone re-enactor and a cannon to fire the salute along with a handful of folks who, like me, were there to see the ship. I’m glad I went to Fort Jackson because I was able to get a series of photos as the re-enactor fired the salute and was close enough to hear the crew piped to attention over the 1-MC as they approached the fort. I also got some photos as a tugboat joined up with Destroyer to make it’s way into port.

Tug Captain John and barge General Sayler moving downriver before the McFaul's arrival

Tug Captain John and barge General Sayler moving downriver before the McFaul’s arrival

Tug Captain John and barge General Sayler

Tug Captain John and barge General Sayler

Derelict vessel in front of Fort Pulaski where the river splits into the Savannah River and the Back River

Derelict vessel in front of Fort Jackson where the river splits into the Savannah River and the Back River

USS McFaul (DDG-74) approaching Fort Jackson on the Savannah River

USS McFaul (DDG-74) approaching Fort Jackson on the Savannah River

USS McFaul (DDG-74) approaching Fort Jackson on the Savannah River as a re-enactor stands by to fire a salute

USS McFaul (DDG-74) approaching Fort Jackson on the Savannah River as a re-enactor stands by to fire a salute

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson loading the cannon in preparation for a salute to USS McFaul (DDG-74)

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson loading the cannon in preparation for a salute to USS McFaul (DDG-74)

Re-enactor at Fort Jacksoni preparing to fire a salute to USS McFaul (DDG-74)

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson preparing to fire a salute to USS McFaul (DDG-74)

Re-enactor at Fort Jacksoni ready to fire a salute to USS McFaul (DDG-74)

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson ready to fire a salute to USS McFaul (DDG-74)

Re-enactor at Fort Jacksoni salutes prior to firing a salute to USS McFaul (DDG-74)

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson salutes prior to firing a salute to USS McFaul (DDG-74)

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson fires a salute as the USS McFaul (DDG-74) passes by on the Savannah River

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson fires a salute as the USS McFaul (DDG-74) passes by on the Savannah River

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson fires a salute as the USS McFaul (DDG-74) passes by on the Savannah River

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson fires a salute as the USS McFaul (DDG-74) passes by on the Savannah River

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson fires a salute as the USS McFaul (DDG-74) passes by on the Savannah River

Re-enactor at Fort Jackson fires a salute as the USS McFaul (DDG-74) passes by on the Savannah River

USS McFaul (DDG-74) passing by Fort Jackson on the Savannah River

USS McFaul (DDG-74) passing by Fort Jackson on the Savannah River

The Colors streaming as USS McFaul (DDG-74) steams up the Savannah River in front of Fort Jackson

The Colors streaming as USS McFaul (DDG-74) steams up the Savannah River in front of Fort Jackson

USS McFaul and tug Florida meeting up on the Savannah River in front of Fort Jackson

USS McFaul and tug Florida meeting up on the Savannah River in front of Fort Jackson

The crew on the fo'c'sle of the USS McFaul (DDG-74) as it passes in front of Fort Jackson on the Savannah River

The crew on the fo’c’sle of the USS McFaul (DDG-74) as it passes in front of Fort Jackson on the Savannah River

The crew on the stern of the USS McFaul (DDG-74) as it passes in front of Fort Jackson on the Savannah River

The crew on the stern of the USS McFaul (DDG-74) as it passes in front of Fort Jackson on the Savannah River

Crew along the superstructure of the USS McFaul (DDG-74) as it passes in front of Fort Jackson on the Savannah River

Crew along the superstructure of the USS McFaul (DDG-74) as it passes in front of Fort Jackson on the Savannah River

USS McFaul (DDG-74) on the Savannah River

USS McFaul (DDG-74) on the Savannah River

USS McFaul (DDG-74) and tug Florida on the Savannah River

USS McFaul (DDG-74) and tug Florida on the Savannah River

I had the Uniden BCD436HP with me and listened to the McFaul‘s arrival as well. Unlike the last time I watched a US Navy ship’s arrival in Savannah, there wasn’t a USCG escort into port, which somewhat surprised me. Unlike many US Navy ships that use “WARSHIP ##” on Marine VHF when they come into port, I liked that the McFaul was identifying as “USS McFaul” on Marine VHF 13 and 16 this morning with vessels they were passing on the river.

It was an unplanned but wonderful morning. I thoroughly enjoyed getting out to Fort Pulaski and Fort Jackson and taking some nature photos and some ship photos. This time I was at home in Savannah to catch a US Navy vessel as it came into port!


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