Saturday, 8 March 2008

The USS Alabama (late blog post by Dan)

Dan wrote this blog post a few weeks ago in Alabama but it was on the wrong laptop and its only now that I've managed to copy it onto this one. So, sorry its late, but here is our blog post from Alabama....

Today we took a trip to the war ship USS Alabama and all had a great day out. It was a full on memorial park with battle ships, planes, tanks and submarines. The city of Mobile seems to be a very industrial place and it was no surprise that many of the ships were built in that area. We took a turning off an 8 mile bridge to get there which was a little strange ( if you took a turn off all the bridges I know you would be in big trouble). And once again great thanks to Louise for getting us there quickly and free from maps.

After having breakfast in the car park we headed straight for the battle ship which cost us the equivalent of about £15 for the whole family which was great value. The ship was amazing, there were three self guided tours which you could go on and we did them all, and that was just the battleship. You could walk through lots of rooms and touch almost everything, it was fascinating to see all the different rooms and get a taste of what it must have been like to be at sea. With the exception of the officers, life aboard a warship would have been, lets say “compact” and it was very interesting to see how they lived their lives.

Anyone that knows me would guess that I spent the entire day talking about how much organizing would be involved taking a warship to sea over long periods of time with a crew of 2500 men aboard, and how much supplies and equipment you would need. The ship had aboard a doctors, dentist, barbers, hospital, bakery, massive kitchens, stores for weapons and uniforms, as well as temporary prison cells, darkroom for the photography, printers and pretty much everything you could think of. Even the hospitals had a mix of doctors specializing in almost every field of medicine.

I could go on about it all day because we learnt so much about the day to day running of the ship and the manpower to work there.
During the day we took a break from the ship and made our way the large submarine. This was a lot smaller but you did get to go inside and walk the whole length of it. After going down some stairs you are met with a door about four feet tall and almost the same width and thickness, you almost had to crawl into it. Bree was a little anxious as she is quite claustrophobic but she did really well. There was not much room inside which gave you taste of how difficult it would have been to be at sea in it. There must have been tens of thousands of different knobs, levers and switches and it just made you wonder how they ever build them. It seemed like the most complex thing on the planet.

The kids really enjoyed the day and even barney who had his little legs walked off him loved it. There is so much to see and explore there its impossible to be bored. It was cold today though, felt like home when the wind blew.

As we are heading closer to New Orleans we are staring to see the total devastation left by hurricane Katrina. They had on display many photos of the damage caused at the park. We were looking inside an aircraft carrier full of planes from different wars and presumed that the damage on world war two planes were from wear and tear over the years. They turned out to be mint condition planes before the hurricane ripped its way though the place.

All wars are such a shame, some are necessary and some seem pointless but in all conflicts there are the innocent people who suffer and I could not help looking down the barrel of the huge guns and thinking of the ships sometimes tragic past and the loss of lives because of mankind’s evil and greed.

On a lighter note most of you know that I m quite a friendly guy, well it does me no harm over here. All the women in the shops think I am just great. All day I hear “ hi sweetie” “hey honey” “bye Hun” “what you say there darling” I could get used to that. Twice I have been in a bank where four women have all tried to help me at the same time. If you are lucky you might get a grunt at the tills in sunny Banbridge.

Tomorrow we head for Mississippi for four days before heading on to New Orleans in Louisiana. No camp site booked this time we will just see what happens when we get there. Bye for now.

(written several weeks ago by Dan).

1 comment:

Davy said...

Looks like your animal magnetism is working on the US ladies as well -- no woman is safe!