Sunday, October 08, 2006

2004 Summer Vacation, Day 4

August 13, 2004

Westerly, RI to New London, CT
18 sm - by car

Rats! Foiled yet again! Mother Nature has single-handedly decided to turn my flying adventure into a vacation without flying. This time, it's the remnants of Hurricane Charley pushing up the Atlantic Seaboard. From the moment I fire up the laptop to check the charts, it's clear that we're destined for another day ground-bound.

We decide to stay close to home today for a little local sightseeing. Dad spent a few years in the Navy and eventually retired from one of their civil contractors.

Today we head off to see the USS Nautilus. She's the US's first nuclear-powered submarine. The Nautilus is docked at the Submarine Force Library and Museum, adjacent to the New London Submarine Base. Located on the Westerly River, it's just across from the Coast Guard Academy.

Built between 1952 and 1954, the Nautilus was the first ship ever to cross the North Pole, on August 3, 1958. Nautilus remained in service until 1980. In 1985, she arrived in Groton and went on display to the public the following year, where she remains to this day the world's only nuclear-powered sub on public display. Best of all, Nautilus and her accompanying museum are cost nothing to visit.

Now, if you ever thought that the cockpit of a GA aircraft is cramped, then you've never been aboard a submarine. There isn't a single square inch of space that isn't put to productive use on one of these babies. Must have been quite cozy to climb into the top bunk of a rack of four, and be nestled up against one of the forward torpedos.

Supplemental pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Grampa's house:

Dad's house when he was a kid:

Dad's school when he was a kid (now condos...):

Sights from around the hometown:

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