SEATTLE — Hundreds of sailors are visiting Seattle right now as part of Seafair Fleet Week. They arrived Monday during a parade of ships.
Many of the sailors said Seattle is the destination they look forward to the most.
“I’ve been to a lot of ports around the world. I don’t think there’s any one more beautiful than this,” said Chief Petty Officer Justin Franck, who is from Vancouver.
Franck works on the USS Mobile Bay, a Navy guided-missile cruiser, which recently returned from a 7-month deployment around the globe.
While many of their destinations were friendly, there were some tense moments.
“I would say the most sketchy area was probably the Middle East, off the coast of Iran, tensions there are pretty high,” Franck said.
He said Iranian ships would come aggressively close and practice shooting nearby, to make the Americans feel uneasy. But the Navy crew focused on their mission and sailed to calmer waters.
The crew visited the Philippines, Singapore, Dubai, Bahrain, France, and Colombia. They also went through the Suez and Panama canals.
“I would say it was life-changing. Besides San Diego and Washington, I really haven’t seen the world, and that’s what a lot of sailors say. They joined the Navy to see the world,” said Lieutenant Junior Howell Dakis, who is from Bremerton.
While many of the sailors plan to visit Seattle’s tourist attractions, Dakis plans to jump on a different kind of vessel as soon as he gets off the USS Mobile Bay.
“Once we pull into Seattle, I’ll just take the ferry home and see my parents over in Bremerton,” he said.
The public can attend Fleet Week events through Saturday on Piers 66 and 69. Click here for the full calendar of events.