Field Trips

The PLRC toured the hospital ship USNS Mercy (TAH-19), at the Naval Station San Diego. This buoyant event was arranged by club member Tim McCully. While on active duty in the US Navy, Tim was Commodore, Military Sealift Command (MSC) Pacific from 2000-2002−with headquarters at the Naval Submarine Base on Point Loma. 
While subsequently serving as MSC's Liaison Officer to the Pacific Fleet Commander, Tim was privileged to be the MERCY Task Group's Commodore for three months in 2005. MERCY then provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief during its mission to Indonesia, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea.
In a classic example of "What goes around, comes around," Tim arranged for the then current captain of the Mercy, Captain Tim Quast, to provide an inspiring pre-
sentation about MERCY's duties.  Photo by Tim McCully  

These include providing emergency, on-site care for U.S. combatant forces deployed in both war and peacetime operations. The ship (and her sister ship on the East Coast, USNS COMFORT) provides rapid, flexible, and mobile medical and surgical services to support Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Forces and Army and Air Force units deployed ashore, naval amphibious task forces, and battle forces afloat. The ship is sailed by U.S. Merchant Marine civil service mariners, while the 1000-bed hospital is staffed by U.S. Navy Medical Corps personnel.     
The PLRC and the Pt. Loma (branch) Hervey Library have been connected since 2000. Each week, the club donates a book obtained from the Hervey Library to the guest speaker. In April 2022, the PLRC's guest speaker, Library Director Christine Gonzalez (photo left by Robert Cenko), addressed the PLRC at the Hervey Library.  
Much of the library's design follows a nautical theme. It thus includes a faux ship's hull, and an actual working peri- scope from the USS Flasher (photo right by Christine Gonzelez). It extends from the lower floor to the roof. Patrons can thereby enjoy a 360-degree view of the surrounding community. A rotunda, with a terrazzo map of the Point Loma peninsula on the floor, was designed to be a pivot point between the library and the community meeting area. 
This state-of-the-art facility holds 80,000 books and other materials. Book stacks were designed in a radiating fashion so that library staff at the central desk has visual control of most of the library. The roof forms simulate waves breaking on a beach. The Hervey Library is thus a beacon/landmark for the neighborhood that is reminiscent of the region's most notable landmark, the Point Loma Lighthouse.