Sunday, June 11, 2017

USS North Carolina

Day 3, still raining. Today, we took a drive up to Wilmington to see the Battleship North Carolina, which goes along with the Sea and Sky curriculum we did with the boys.

I've lived in NC for a total of 20 years (besides our 5-year stretch in CO) and I had never been to see this ship. It's HUGE!
The boys got a kick out of the huge guns, but thought it was cooler that they could actually touch the smaller ones and pretend to shoot down planes.

That's a big shell... not the kind you want to find on the beach.
There were all kinds of cool interactive exhibits on the ship for the kids to touch and experience.

Of course, Ezra and Irene were hungry and demanded to be fed...
Even though the kitchen was permanently closed. ;) Walking around, it seemed like such a big, open space inside the ship, but then you consider that they had 2500 men working, sleeping, eating and bathing inside her and you realize that it was probably pretty tight quarters.
Manually steering the ship from the belly of the ship was apparently an optin they had if there were damage to the Bridge or steering controls.

This is one of the many policies I'm considering instituting at home... You leave your stuff out, it's an extra hour of work to get it back. The kids were not excited.
For entertainment, they had movie projectors they could use in the Mess Hall. They also had ice cream and candy they could buy, a post office, and an on-ship newspaper. 
These are the kid of bunks I wanted to put in the kids rooms, but could find anywhere for sale. They fold up against the wall to make space to move around when nobody's sleeping in them.

The "Navy Shower"... another policy I'd like to implement for the kids...
The pharmacy was way impressive... I guess when you're out to sea months at a time, you'd better be able to make your own medicines.
They even had a surgical bay on board.
The doctor had some decent quarters, but they weren't exactly roomy, and they still had to share the showers with the rest of the men.
I told the kids to weigh anchor, but they failed. It as just too heavy for them.
On the bridge, the kids got to see where the real controlling of the ship took place. 

Ezra, the crotchety Captain.
Quite a view...
Gabe and I learned how to plot the position of friendly and enemy ships.

Ezra figured out how to tell the engine room how many RPMs to set the propellers for by turning these little brass wheel.
On the way out, Ezra wanted to sit in an anti-aircraft gun. It was crazy just how big even those were...

After I walked the rest of the family towards the exit, I took a quick run back to the Engine Room, which we had somehow missed on our tour. It was incredibly cramped with all the pipes and such, so it was hard to really make out anything that made a decent picture until I found this console. That's a lot of dials and gauges to watch... Cool note: see that brass plate with the 3 squares in it? the wheel that Ezra turned on the Bridge changed the numbers in those squares to tell the Engine Room how fast to go.

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