Sunday, March 09, 2008

 

Charleston

I arrived in South Carolina yesterday after getting sideswiped by a winter storm in Kentucky. Today was "Warship Day" as I went over to see the Hunley submarine at noon and the Patriot Point fleet in the afternoon.

The Hunley was a Confederate privateer that was the first submarine to sink an enemy warship in 1864, but was lost on that same mission. It was recovered from the ocean floor in 2000, and has been undergoing conservation in Charleston ever since. No photography is allowed in the conservation area, so I don't have any shots of that.

But the USS Yorktown is outside for all to see. It's moored at Patriot Point along with a destroyer, submarine, and Coast Guard cutter. I've been on the USS Intrepid which is from the same era as the Yorktown, so the experience is similar. It's been a few years, but I think the Intrepid has more exhibits and more pristine aircraft displays. But I'm sure its location in New York brings in more revenue and makes that possible. But anyway...

I was sitting on a bench on the destroyer, the USS Laffey. I could not believe how narrow it was. It's only 41 feet wide! On this ship, 336 men lived in cramped quarters for months at a time, and from time to time went into battle. As I get older, and particularly today after I banged my head going up one of the low stairways, I find it harder and harder to believe that humans do such things.

Click on this image of the Yorktown to see a larger version.


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