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Chaos Manor Special Reports

A Trip on USS Hopper

Monday, December 11, 2006

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Over the Labor Day Weekend, 1997, I was privileged to spend two days aboard USS Hopper as she completed her maiden cruise from Maine to San Francisco where she was commissioned. I got aboard at 0630 Friday morning. We were scheduled to reach San Francisco harbor about 4 PM Saturday but there was a Fleet emergency and Hopper was tasked with refueling a medevac helicopter late Friday Night. This took us about 150 miles off course. We then made 30 knots most of Saturday, and arrived at the Golden Gate about 6 PM, where my colleague John C. Dvorak joined us, getting aboard from the pilot boat just outside the Gate.

The USS Hopper was named after Admiral Grace Hopper. The unofficial name of the ship is "Amazing Grace"; which is pretty appropriate.

I had intended to put the full report of this journey on this web site, but John and I have recently arranged to open a new site in which we will jointly discuss, debate, and present our views on a variety of matters. We will also be rating software. If this reminds you of Siskel and Ebert, it's supposed to.

The Hopper report will go on that site, which will open in December 1997 or January 1998. The site will be run under MILLICENT, the DEC system for 'selling' subscriptions and views for small amounts of money; see my upcoming January 1998 BYTE column for details. The cost will be about a dime a week, surely not an excessive amount. By then I'll have done my photo-essay on my journey, Dvorak will have added his observations, and you'll get a complete tour of the ship as seen by us.


Until then here are a couple of pictures:

The Engine Room Control Station and Chief Engineer. You almost expect him to say "Ach, Captain, I dinna ken if the engines will take warp 10!"




The Ward Room, with Admiral Grace Hopper's inspirational portrait. Twice in my life I had to make a speech just after she did. I never knew a harder act to follow. Truly Amazing.


John C. Dvorak comes aboard from the pilot boat.



You'll just have to wait for the rest.

(December 2006: Alas, we never managed it because Millicent didn't get off the ground. It might have been quite a popular place...)