If you like old ships, I recommend a trip to Baltimore Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland.
My wife and I recently took a business trip to Maryland, and we had a chance to see some of the antiquated ships that call the harbor home. While there are several historic vessels there, two of them grabbed my attention more than the rest.
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The USS Torsk
The first was the USS Torsk, a World War II era submarine that fought near Pearl Harbor, Guam and Japan.
One legend says that the craft was, at one time, commanded by Jimmy Carter. However no records have been found to verify that legend.
I was particularly struck by the bow (front end) of the submarine. I would not have guessed that there would be a hole right through the nose of the sub.
I also was moved by the exposed layers of paint and beat-up metal that cover the sub; they speak to its heavy usage and battle-torn history.
After WWII, the Torsk became a U.S. Navy training vessel. Having made more than 10,000 dives, it supposedly is the most-dived submarine in U.S. history.
The USS Constellation
I once worked at a ship yard near Shelburne, Vermont, and the company I worked for was often hired to restore antique sailboats. It was one of my favorite jobs, probably because I am drawn to ancient things, and all the more if it floats.
Although the rigging of such vessels is primitive, it is also mind-mindbogglingly complex. Managing and maintaining a ships rigging required a lot of experience and detailed knowledge.
This ship is actually the second U.S. naval ship named Constellation. The first was a frigate that was in service from 1797-1853. The rigging you see in this photograph belongs to the second Constellation, a Sloop-of-War that was in service from 1854-1955.
This Constellation patrolled the Mediterranean, warded off pirates near Cuba, blockaded our southern ports by command of Abraham Lincoln, and participated in a celebration commemorating the 100th anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner.
Have you been to the Baltimore Inner Harbor? What was your impression? I’d love to hear your comments.