Benicia Favorites

  • U.S.S. Iowa
    U.S.S. Iowa
    by SteveOSF
  • Mothball Fleet
    Mothball Fleet
    by SteveOSF
  • Hughes Mining Barge HMB-1
    Hughes Mining Barge HMB-1
    by SteveOSF

Most Recent Favorites in Benicia

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo

    Hughes Mining Barge HMB-1

    by SteveOSF Written Sep 26, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hughes Mining Barge HMB-1

    Favorite thing: Hughes Mining Barge HMB-1 is among the collection of ships in the Mothball Fleet. It was constructed for Project Jennifer that was intended to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the ocean depths during the Cold War. Howard Hughes in affiliation with the CIA built the Glomar Explorer and its associated Hughes Mining Barge HMB-1 for this task. Hughes involvement was intended to shield the actual purpose for the ships. The Glomar Explorer also spent some time in the Mothball Fleet before it returned to service for oil exploration. The Hughes Mining Barge was submersible. It was intended to be deployed below the Glomar Explorer in order to conceal its cargo. The project only was able to raise a portion of the Soviet submarine. The HMB-1 is easily recognizable as it has a rounded half dome top. However the barge currently hides another interesting ship. The Sea Shadow is currently inside of the HMB-1. The Sea Shadow was built in 1985 to experiment with naval stealth technology.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo

    Mothball Fleet

    by SteveOSF Updated Sep 26, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mothball Fleet
    4 more images

    Favorite thing: The National Defense Reserve Fleet is anchored off the shore of Benicia in Suisun Bay. It consists of ships that are no longer used but are retained in the event they are needed to deal with a national emergency, war, or humanitarian aid. They are in various states of readiness. Some could be ready to serve in a few days, others would require months. Some of the fleet is part of the Ready Reserve Force which can be brought to use in a relatively short time. For some vessels, it would be a matter of a few days.

    The fleet contains Navy, Merchant Marine, and Coast Guard vessels. Most of the fleet is cargo ships, transports, tankers, and military auxiliaries. These ships can be seen when driving across the Benicia Bridge and along portions of Highway 680.

    Among the collection of grey ghosts are some historic ships. The battleship U.S.S. Iowa can be found among the ranks of the mothball fleet. The U.S.S. Hoga is an ocean going tug that was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. She worked nonstop for several days recuing survivors and suppressing fires. After being decommissioned from the Navy, she served as a fire boat for the City of Oakland.

    The fate of the Mothball Fleet is uncertain. Local communities have concerns about hazardous materials that may be on-board the rusting ships, especially those any with potential for polluting the bay. Political pressure is mounting to have the fleet removed.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • You must go see the Camel...

    by loki6277 Written Oct 4, 2002

    Favorite thing: You must go see the Camel Barns - they are open odd hours but they hold all of the town's historical items. I would also recommend seeing the State Capital Building - it was the last capital before they moved to Sacramento. A hiden treasure is the Benicia Fire Museum which most locals don't even know much about.

    Fondest memory: Benicia is beautiful! This is the last small town in the SF Bay Area. I miss the small town atmosphere every moment I'm gone.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Benicia

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

107 travelers online now

Comments

Benicia Favorites

Reviews and photos of Benicia favorites posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Benicia sightseeing.

View all Benicia hotels