Friday, March 21, 2014

Battle Stations!

Today we took a day trip to Wilmington, NC with the sole purpose of touring the USS North Carolina battleship.

The skies were Carolina blue and the temperature was lovely.

The self-guided tour can take anywhere from 1-2 hours so we took our time wandering and pondered what life was like as a sailor on this vessel during WWII.

The Enlisted men's mess hall.
Big kettles, big griddles.
Eliza Grace was very pleased to see that the sailors had regular access to her favorite food: ice cream.
You could turn and move many of the levers, buttons and gears in the engine and other mechanical rooms. The spaces full of electrical panels and fuses were amazing. Rows and rows of equipment that had to be maintained and carefully adjusted with hundreds of switches are, in today's ships, monitored and controlled with a computer screen and the touch of button.
The laundry drop off area.
This area was once a garbage shoot but is known now as the "wishing well."  Eliza Grace and Will took turns dropping quarters down the 4 stories to see if they could land their coin in the bucket at the bottom.  The money is used to help maintain the ship.
The 16 inch powder magazines and projectile storage areas.
Can you imagine the heat down here while deployed in the South Pacific?  Especially in the middle of battle?
Dental office.
Suture room.
Officer's quarters.
40 MM gun mounts.
The view from outside the Captain's quarters.
Signal bridge.
One of many sleeping quarters.  Imagine being Scott, 6'4" tall, and sleeping in those.
The bridge.
Will honoring those who fought and died so that we remain free.
After nearly 2 hours of climbing up and down lots of narrow ladders and ducking under and stepping over lots of steel bulkheads, we headed to the Front St. Brewery for a beverage and some ice cream. 
It was a perfect pit stop to talk about what we had seen and learned and to even further appreciate those who have and still do put their lives on the line to ensure our continued freedom.  

A debt we can never repay.

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