Spending the night on-board the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Spending the night on-board the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

ONBOARD U.S.S. RONALD REAGAN (HawaiiNewsNow) - After spending the entire day out at sea on-board the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan on Tuesday, I didn't really think I'd need another set of sea legs throughout the night and most of Wednesday as well.

The thunderous fighter jets and planes take off from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

It was by far, the highlight of the day, after touring the 90,000-ton ship from top to bottom.

It's around 6 p.m. when we hop in a helicopter for a short ride back to Pearl Harbor.

But shortly after take-off, something scary happens. The flight crew notices a warning light that's flashing. They tell us it's an emergency and my heart starts racing. Something's wrong with the transmission and we can't go on any further.

We circled around and landed safely on the ship. as the sun began to set, so were our chances of getting back to land. We're told flights after dark with civilians aren't allowed.

A part of me is excited, yet the other side of me is nervous, mostly because I've never spent the night on-board an aircraft carrier, let alone one of the most prominent ones in the united States' fleet.

The situation got a lot better when we were told about our rooms. Get this, State Rooms, the dwellings reserved only for VIP's, like visiting admirals or even the Japanese Consulate General, who actually stayed in it Wednesday night.

I check in to my room called, "The Commander in Chief," which seemed nice, but not as spectacular as I expected. That, until I spoke with shipmates, who said it looked like the penthouse, compared to their rooms.

Next was finding a solution to my growling stomach. The food was probably the only thing we could depend on throughout the trip.

We got some dinner and then headed to bed. But it didn't mean we'd get any sleep. The night shift crews made sure we knew they were there.

With the rocky ship swaying in the ocean already making it hard to get some shut-eye, we hear bomb-like noises and chains rattling above us.

Sleep is intermittent, but at the crack of dawn, the loudspeakers blare out warnings.

It's time for a ship-wide drill, involving a bio-terrorism plot.

Everyone was running around with gas masks and there was not a chance we were going back to sleep.

We eventually arrived home this evening, extremely exhausted, but well fed.

Somehow I feel like I've enlisted in the Navy, even if for just a couple days.

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