Duty @ NAS NorthIsland was great to be in SanDiego , And my main Adventure were my 2 kids @ home . But My job/Duties/Deployments were another adventure for me, Our H-2 helicopters were based there , I went on 2 western pacific cruises for 9 months each. Our ports were all neat , but seeing Bangladesh showed me how much nicer Tijuana Mexico really was back home! We went to sea on naval ships. We maintained the 1 H-2 Helicopter , on a tiny flight deck and hangar. We moved the helicopter around by hand , so when the seas were especially rough it was even harder work for us! The ocean spray is very corrosive , so when the seas were rougher than usual , we stored the helicopter indoors , in the hangar. The hangar was rather small , and housed the spare parts too . So when we moved it indoors , the main rotor blades were folded By us , by hand then , now its all automated ,as is the towing to and from the hangar , so we really can relate to the “old-days”! The USS was powered by a gas turbine engine , the engine was a jumbo jet type turbo , laid on its side to fit in the ship , so when the ship sped up , it sounded like an airplane! Both of the ships were Escorts for the Aircraft-Carrier-Battle-Groups , and The ships were small enough to visit many shallow water ports , so we often cruised aways from the Carrier . 1 of the most exotic islands we visited , was seychelles. And next in line had to be Hong Kong , but now the Chinese are sure to put an end to all the success!
Duty @North-Island was unique for sure. When we were “home” in San Diego , California had many of nice sights , and we were right next to Tijuana , Mexico , so we went there for a change!? The USA Navy Warned us of the danger there , and we were forbid to wear our uniforms , and any hint of the USA , on our clothes to make sure we could blend in with the locals there. The $s went far there , but with bargains(?) was a trade for our safety , as kidnapping was very common there , as the drug trade there really dictates how the Government acts. I lived in Imperial-Beach , so the border patrol helicopter was rather busy at night , as the mexicans jumped over the rickety fence (Since reinforced?) and the helicopter had a bull-horn to blast a bilingual message to them. Mexico and USA were quite different from each other , but I was shown even more when I saw some of the world in the western pacific ocean !