Sometimes I get to do really fun stuff because of work…on Saturday, under blue skies and with no wind, I got to go into Dry Dock One at the Charlestown Navy Yard and learn all about its history. Not only did we get to go into it, we got to spend about an hour wandering around, taking pictures, looking at fish and crabs, and climbing up and down the edges. It was awesome.
We found really interesting objects inside the dry dock (a skull!! How did that get there? Seems to be a prey and not a predator like I originally thought) and saw lots of numbers around us.
Most of these had fallen off of the walls as the epoxy used to secure them to the surface dried and cracked in the heat and cold. I sooo wanted to take a few home with me.
Then, we went into the Caisson…this is the thing that keeps the water out of the dry dock, and I was inside of it. It is actually very clean inside, which was slightly impressive. It is also impressive that so little metal is keeping the ocean out of that dry dock.
Next field trip may include the Chain Forge and the Rope Walk…and a trip to Lowell to look at their education program. Sometimes I love my job.
I had a great post here about the neighbors who want the USS Constitution to change the way she fires her cannons because they feel lit is too loud. They want the cannons to be quiet until 9 AM on the weekends and the National Anthem to not be played so loudly and the charges to be smaller.
To which I say: shut up.
This tradition has been going on since before 1800 and the charges have been made smaller over the years already. They barely use any black powder to set the cannons off already and oh yeah, we are at war. These cannons are shot off twice a day in honor of the men and women who are serving and who have served. Many of these sailors will be going off to active duty combat after their 3 years at the Constitution is up and many of the National Park Rangers have also served in some capacity. This ship is the mascot of the entire Navy and it is only appropriate for her to fire her cannons off as a sign of respect…and its pretty cool to watch them do it, as well.
I was lucky enough to get to take a trip on the Constitution a few years ago with my Dad. It was Armed Forces Day and so there was a 19 gun salute (why are they always odd numbers?) to the men and women of the Armed Forces. While I couldn’t really see over the sides of the ship, I knew enough to get down to the gun deck in time to see them load and fire the charges. Afterwards, I got one of the shells as a souvenier of my trip…it stunk to high heaven for a few weeks, but it is awesome. See:
So, be quiet people living at Flagship Wharf…Nomar would have never been a jerk like you are. Oh, and I hope you enjoy it next summer when they are turning the Yard back into a working one and putting the USS Cassin Young into drydock! That should be exciting…lots of banging and crashing and melting and tearing. Its going to be awesome to see what kind of letter you send to the NPS unit.
Today, I went to visit the Esmeralda, a tall ship from Chile. I had some mixed feelings after hearing about her past, but I also wanted to see what the ship looked like after meeting a few of the sailors the other day.
It was a rather dreary day at the Navy Yard and no one was really visiting. The gangway was angelled very high and my feet slipped a few times going up because of that and the residual rain from earlier this morning.
Once on board, I just wandered around the main deck. There were plenty of sailors to talk to, but I prefer to wander on my own. Took some pictures:
For more information on the Esmeralda, look at this post on Amnesty International. They are still trying to get information about the people who were tortured aboard the ship and where their bodies were buried.