Katy thought it would be too difficult to manage all the stairs and tight passageways while carrying Jaxon (and now that we’ve been there, I can say she was definitely right!), so we were on our own for the day.
We stopped to get discount tickets on our way out of the Base, only to find out that they were closed for the holiday weekend . . . but we got lucky when we stopped at the Mt. Pleasant Visitor Center on the way to Patriots Point . . . they had tickets for the same price we would have gotten on base . . . and we got a good view of the Ravenal Bridge!
Patriots Point is the home of the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier,
the USS Laffey destroyer,
and the USS Clamagore submarine.
Arriving right around noon, we were pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t too crowded . . . everybody must be shopping!
We started our tour onboard the Yorktown. Home to almost 3500 sailors, the Yorktown is a fully functioning community . . . with a Post Office, a dental office,
(this one is for Dave & Joe – what do you think of this office?!)
a soda fountain and store, a barbershop, a hospital,
(Bryce is giving Tom an eye exam . . . still 20/20!)
and, of course, the brig!
(Not a very pleasant place to have to spend your time!)
We saw where the sailors live and work while at sea,
where their food is prepared,
(this is the Butcher shop)
and where their food is served.
Bryce was getting hungry, but he couldn’t get anybody to give him any food! lol!
We also found the bakery, and it really made it clear just how big of an enterprise these ships are!
And that’s just a single batch of cookies!!
The passageways and stairs were definitely narrow and steep, and sometimes treacherous! We couldn’t decide if we should climb down facing forward (so you could watch out for places where you could hit your head!), or backwards, which felt much safer, but occasionally resulted in banged heads!
The lower levels of the ship housed the many work areas, including the engine room,
and lots of hydraulic valves and gauges.
Nicolas thought it was all very complex, and wondered how these guys know how everything works!
From there, we made our way back up . . . and up . . . and up . . .
to the Flight Deck, and the Bridge.
We saw lots of fighter planes from WWII, and even with all those planes up there, we were amazed at how much space there still was!
We had spent about 3 hours touring the carrier, and we still had the destroyer and the submarine to go . . . and we were all starving! Good thing for us they have a snack shop, so were were able to get some lunch before we continued our tour.
We went to the submarine next, and were amazed at the conditions that these sailors are willing to live and work in! There weren’t as many stairs, but the passages were REALLY narrow!
It was very interesting to see how a space this compact can contain so much . . . sleeping rooms (including these sleeping berths in the torpedo rooms!),
along with communications, navigation and the engine rooms.
It’s not all that different from an RV, I guess, where every square inch of space is utilized, and everything has its assigned space!
From there, we moved over to the destroyer,
where Nick and Bryce had to take their turns at firing the “big guns”,
We didn’t spend nearly as much time on the destroyer as we did the carrier, but we made sure that we found the engine room,
always fascinating for the “car guys” in our group!
It was a long, tiring day, but we enjoyed our day learning about the various ships that protect our country and the men & women who live and work on them!