Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our weekend adventure to Charleston: Saturday, a day of sea and stars

Saturday dawned bright and early on board, reveille sounded around 6, with breakfast at 7.  Henry and I made it over around 8:15ish and enjoyed the ship before the days visitors arrived.  The boys had already explored pretty throroughly before we got there and the night before, and enjoyed showing us the cool things they found. 

Brant loved the planes that were open to sit in
 Already hot, we enjoyed the Medal of Honor museum, which was down right chilly.  My camera lens fogged up when we came out!
The periscope

We headed towards the flight deck next.  The commander briefed us on the day's flights.

B loved to get on these in Okeechobee, and to see them where they belong was neat.

of course, whatever brother did Henry needed to do as well!
 Brant checked out every inch of this plane...

You really don't realize how big the ship really is...

The engines were removed from most of the planes.  It was funny to look right through!

Brant said he could see out the cockpit from his seat in the rear!

The U.S. S.  Clamagore, the only guppy class sub that's been preserved

Of course, it's neat to see the ships heading into port

It was a tight squeeze for Daddy and Henry, Mommy had to be sure Henry's head didn't get bonked. 

Skipper Brantley!

 We headed over to the U.S.S. Laffey as well.  More of the same, but with a neat early unmanned helicopter that carried torpedoes.

Daddy and Henry didn't go in the sub, it was a tight squeeze for Mommy and Brant.  And hot.  whew it was hot.
We knew the submariners had tight quarters, we just didn't realized they shared berths with torpedoes!

The view of the Yorktown from the Clamagore

We took some other scout parent's photos with their cubs, they were happy to return the favor

Guess what Henry got at the gift shop.  Aye aye!

After a lunch and a cold drink to refresh us, it was time to head to our first class, oceanography.  Taught by a science teacher, it was hands on fun about the habitats surrounding the ship.
But first they boys checked out another cockpit on the way!
 Just like a cruise ship (ha ha ha, not really!) there were hidden rooms, including a marine lab to get up close and personal with some of South Carolina's critters.
Brant was entranced.  That boy will pick science and math, along with reading non-fiction, any day.

The teacher was great, fielding all sorts of questions and comments

Hello! That's one big hermit crab.  

And a baby horseshoe crab!
 It was time to head outside to the dock...
The pier was decked out in Old Glory.

The cubs learned all about estuaries and marshes, as well as the types of plankton

And everything stopped when the first helicopter ride of the day took off.

Time to catch some plankton!

Daddy and Henry had a good view

Over the side

Didn't get much (the teacher said the end cap thingy was the wrong kind, but there was a  water sample in the room)

U.S.S. Lafferty, the destroyer

Low tide, and a lesson about the ecosystems.  Apparently dolphins like to scrape the oysters and crabs and critters off the boat for a snack.  We didn't see any here, but saw some further other.  The ship is sunk 26 feet in the mud, by the way

Back to the classroom/lab

The cubs measured the salinity of the water samples

After dinner, served in the mess hall and too busy and confusing to take photos of (picture gray room...long tables...red bug juice...hot scouts enjoying the AC), we headed to the theater to sit in more AC. Henry was crabby because he never really napped and Brant was quickly waning.  Mom and Dad were more than glad to sit still in the cool, dark theater.  Watching an old documentary news reel, both boys dozed off (shhh...so did Daddy!)  We got them up in time to head to Astronomy class!
Yep, tired scouts!

Henry was pretty much done for too.
 The astronomy class was supposed to go up on the flight deck to do some star gazing, but the cloud cover was too heavy.  But we learned some interesting facts, and that binoculars are actually quite good for viewing the stars and moon. As a matter of fact, with just regular binoculars, you can see the solar panels on the international space station!
I needed a tripod to get a good photo, but this is the best I could do.  
The boys walked Henry and I to the car to say goodnight, then back for their last night on board.

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