P.O.D.

In the true spirit of the Amoeba Races, we are once again off to the races! The Amoeba Races!

Now that most states are opening up for travel, we are moving ahead with the Amoeba Races 2021, also known as this year's USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) reunion.

We are coordinating our reunion with the USSVI annual convention in Orlando, Florida. This allows us to take advantage of their hotel rates as well as their scheduled activities. Plans are still being developed but here is what we have now:

  • The USSVI convention runs from 30 AUG 2021 to 04 SEP 2021 and is being held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort hotel in Orlando, FL.
  • Info for the convention and room rates can be found here: USSVI 2021 National Convention
  • We will have a place for the Billy B. crew to meet on the evening of 30 AUG for a get-together. Location/size is to be determined. Cost is also determined as it will depend on the number of Billy B. attendees.
  • Those of you who were on more than one boat can take the time to meet up with your other shipmates. There are thirteen other boats having their own reunions during this convention. The list of boat reunions can be found on the Cold War Boats website, and also the USSVI Convention website.
  • USSVI has activities planned for the remainder of the week. A schedule of USSVI and Bates activities can be found here.
  • Come for the Billy B. get-together and stay as long as you wish!

You do NOT have to be a member of USSVI to attend this reunion or convention. You do, however, need to send in the USSVI registration form and return it to USSVI with your registration fee ($25/person) plus the fees for whatever activities you will be attending. If you are staying in the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort hotel, you will need to make your reservation. Registration info for these items are on the USSVI 2021 Convention website.

The one thing you must do, is let us know if your attendance plans. You can easily RSVP (and see who else is planning on attending on the Cold War Boats SSN-680 website using this link: FAST ATTACKS >> STURGEON CLASS (Stretch-Hulls) >> USS WILLIAM H. BATES (SSN 680) >> THE REUNIONS >> AMOEBA RACES 2021 >> RSVP.

Finally, each of your invited, and we hope you all will come.

There are many sea stories to be relived and our camaraderie refocused.

Our boat has long gone to the scrap pile but the memories live on in moments like these!

There is a hint of reunion in the air. A good idea, long overdue, is coming together. Enough of you have expressed interest to motivate a few of you to push this forward.

We really haven't established anything more than the possibility at this point, but it's looking like Labor Day weekend of this year in Orlando, FL, with the USSVI Annual Convention might be a real possibility.

Check here for conversation as this evolves. Look for updates through the P.O.D., Facebook groups, and the occasional Familygram.

We'll keep you posted!

I promised you the official declaration yesterday, but the internet decided not to cooperate. Which seems to be the way of things these last couple of months, but we keep on keeping on!

Thanks to all those who responded by email or Facebook to the announcement on the 19th. Your comments were encouraging in the face of so much that seems to be going off the rails, and I appreciate that you took the time to fire off a few lines.

All that said, the news flash today is unavoidable.

As of now, REGROUPEX 20 is postponed, at least until later in the year. So update your calendars, cancel your reservations, and put those plane tickets on hold (maybe the second week of November would be a good place to park them for the short term). I’ll notify the Navy and the hotel in Silverdale, and we can start working on a new date.

These are the times that try men’s souls…

American patriot Thomas Paine penned these oft-quoted words in his first “American Crisis” pamphlet in the closing days of 1776, and though he was speaking of the challenge of standing up to tyranny, his words still ring true for all of us in this difficult time.

Days we hoped would be behind us by now and we would be freed to anticipate the respite and camaraderie of our planned reunion on the 22nd of June, now only two months and three days away.

But on-going events, our primal fears, and the choices of others continue to conspire against us.

Some states, mine included, have extended the so-called ‘stay-at-home’ orders until at least the end of May.

The Navy, having better things to worry about than communicating with me, is not likely to open their bases to tourists in the near future. They have also extended their PCS travel ban until June 30, which doesn’t bode well for submarine tours at Kitsap.

Three months, twenty-seven days, and roughly five hours, but who’s counting? Besides me, I mean.

There is precious little time left to get your planning for June in order, and get reservations made at the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel in Silverdale, WA, and make whatever travel arrangements must be made.

Registration will be opened shortly, as soon as we nail down the cost, but expect it to be in the $100-$150 range, plus another $25-$50 for spouses.

In the meantime, everyone keeps asking me, “Who’s going to be there?”

Well, me for one, and that should be enough to seal the deal, but it would be a great help if you would take a few minutes to log into the site and update your plans and arrangements status.

You can update your REGROUPEX 20 plans and arrangements here:

REUNIONS >> REGROUPEX 20 >>> ATTENDANCE PLANS

Simply search for your name, click on the field to update, and make your choice from the options that will pop up for you.

Four months, twenty-two days, and 23 hours as of the time I’m typing until REGROUPEX 20 kicks off in Silverdale, Washington!

On the 22nd of June, 2020, we will gather at the Best Western Silverdale Beach Hotel for three or four days of re-connecting and reminiscing. If you are planning on attending, it’s time to start making reservations.

Our group rate contract is in place, so you can get your reservations set up by calling the hotel directly at:

 

360.698.1000

Forty-eight years ago today, the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) hit the water for the first time.

launching 003At a ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi, both the wife and daughter of Congressman Bates were present to applaud the result of two years of work by Ingalls Nuclear Shipbuilding afloat the way she was meant to be. While it would be another year and a half before she was ready for commissioning and sea trials, the Bates would go on to a noble career that would span almost 28 years.

U.S. Naval Institute News

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