USS Potomac

On November 4, 2023, Penny and I visited the USS Potomac and sailed around San Francisco Bay in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s yacht. Known as the floating White House, it is an historic landmark docked in Oakland, California.

What makes this trip radio-related is the fact that the yacht had a radio room onboard. But on top of that, I had worked this very ship on the air back in 2005 when I was living in Texas at the time.

Me with the USS Potomac in the background. I’m holding the QSL card that confirmed my contact with this ship back in 2005.

The radio room of the USS Potomac. Among the pieces on the right is a CRV-46156 receiver with a Navy Department tag. The smaller radio to the left is a Kenwood TS-440, which is likely the radio used to make a QSO with me on the Ham bands. Note the hand key farther on the left.

Here I am in the shack with my W6P QSL card. The ship’s normal Amateur Radio callsign is NE6JP. The ax on the wall might be useful for handling lids. Audio of Morse Code was continually playing in the background.

Here’s the QSL Card that confirms my 20M SSB contact with the ship in 2005.

The USS Red Oak Victory Amateur Radio Club activates the ship during Museum Ships Weekend. This event during June sees scores of ships around the world get on the air to make contacts with thousands of Amateur Radio operators.

On our visit this particular day we sailed on a three hour tour around San Francisco Bay passing by the Bay Bridge, Alameda, Alcatraz Island, Angel Island, Treasure Island and San Francisco. We got close to the Golden Gate Bridge but could not see it due to heavy fog there. But overall the conditions were terrific!

San Francisco, the Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island.

Alcatraz Island. In the background, thick fog is almost complete obscuring Angel Island from view.

The USS Potomac Association maintains the ship. They offer a number of ways to experience the Floating White House. You can tour the ship as it’s docked or schedule a cruise around San Francisco Bay. Several cruises cover specific themes such as lighthouses, World War II history, parks, bridges and more.

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