Saturday, July 23, 2005

Battleship Cove

I know it's been a while since this was updated, but I can't seem to get Dianna interested in maintaining it. And me -- well, I have to work. Most of the time anyway. Today is
Saturday and I am in Rhode Island again. I came up on Wed and worked in the office Thursday and Friday. I have to go in tonight at 6:30 for a few hours, but I had the day to explore. The weather is warm and beautiful for a change so I drove down to Battleship Cove in Falls River, MA for the day.

Battleship Cove has several ships to explore. You can visit their web site at Battleship Cove to see what they are all about. I have toured many ships but this museum has to be one of the the best. Most ships I have toured in other places are only partially restored and you are guided along a fairly limited path through just some parts of the ships. These were almost completely open.

The destroyer Joseph Kennedy was quite interesting since I don't remember being on a destroyer before. Somewhat cramped quarters, but an interesting ship none the less. You sure have to learn to climb small steep stairways, and it is very easy to hit your head.

They had two PT boats restored that you could look into through openings in their hulls. You could not actually get on these boats. Pretty impressive wooden boats that could hit 50 MPH.

The Lionfish submarine is similar to others I have toured, but this one is in good condition.

The Hiddensee is a Russian missle frigate and it was interesting to see all the Russian writing on the equipment. It looked very much like the American ships except it seemed to me to be much more roomy for the sailors. Their rooms were larger and the whole ship felt uncrowded. That surprised me.

Then I toured the Battleship Massachusetts. That is one big ship! They give you a guide for a suggested way to tour the ship, and even with that I got lost several times. I toured the Texas several years ago and it was not nearly as good as this ship. I was able to go almost anywere I wanted. They were really small floating cities.

They offer a camp aboard program and during the summer they have hundreds of kids who spend the night. Most are boy scout or some other kind of group, but even families can make the arrangements if they wish. It's a pretty neat program, but it did result in hundreds of the little buggers running all over the place. Fortunately, it is a big ship and they all spent more time sitting on the guns than crawling through the engine rooms. It was really fine.

If I had one complaint it would be that there is so much to see and they do not really do a good job of posting directions. It would have been much easier to tour all the ships if they had painted some lines on the deck, or even had directional markers to guide you on prescribed routes so you could be sure to see everything and not spend so much time just trying to figure out where you were!

Anyway, it was a fun day for me. I'm sure Dianna would not have enjoyed it nearly as much so it worked out well. I return to Dallas tomorrow and we spend the week getting ready for vacation starting next Sat. Actually I will take Thursday and Friday off to go get the truck and make preparations to leave. Our plan is to tour Colorado this year. More on that later.

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