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This was on Tumblr. I am putting it up here so it does not get missed. In and among all the Trafalgar feels, I am thinking again about how sailors and Navies have always had more in common with each other than they do with the rest of us.

I miss the Navy word. I miss seeing sailors every day.It was like a big weird club, complete with silly hats and secret hand gestures. Even though I was just a wife, I felt part of it all. When I came onto the ship everyone was kind and helpful to me. I miss the smell of it. It smelled of coffee and machine grease, and heat. It was always warm inside. I had follow Mike closely as we went through passageways and down ladders, and up ladders, and around corners.Her always knew where he was going, but it all looked the same to me. I particularly love the first scene on Justinian, where Archie has that long speech-- because that is what it is like, (without the farm animals and the fiddle music,) Archie knows exactly where to go, and Horatio is just so overwhelmed and confused.

When C was very small she asked why Mike had to go to sea, why he could not just stay home like the dads on TV. He told her he had to sail around to make sure that the ocean did not get filled up with pirates! And it is actually not untrue. (Although perhaps not the whole truth.)

Anyway, here is this:

Age of Sail nerds might be enjoying the Battle of Trafalgar anniversary today, but it’s also my ship’s birthday! She’s in dry dock for regularly scheduled maintenance now, but normally the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat (sorry, HMS Victory). And since the USS Simpson was decommissioned earlier this month, she’s now the only commissioned warship in the US Navy that has sunk an enemy ship in battle. Not bad, Old Ironsides, not bad at all.

(Image source: USS Constitution official Facebook page)

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
ba1126
Oct. 21st, 2015 08:16 pm (UTC)
About ten years ago, I went back to school nights to get my degree. One course was on Boston History and we had a tour of Old Ironsides!! It was awesome! I've been on the 'replica' Mayflower, which is also great, but Ironsides is the REAL THING. A friend of ours who was a priest and a former Naval chaplain got my husband aboard as a guest when they took Old Ironsides out for it's annual 'turning'.
mylodon
Oct. 22nd, 2015 09:22 am (UTC)
I bloody love Ironsides. See icon!
anteros_lmc
Oct. 22nd, 2015 10:20 pm (UTC)
I particularly love the first scene on Justinian, where Archie has that long speech-- because that is what it is like, (without the farm animals and the fiddle music,) Archie knows exactly where to go, and Horatio is just so overwhelmed and confused.
Yes! That is one of my favourite scenes too! Archie knows exactly what he's doing, he isn't even looking where he's going. I suspect in some ways the experience of sailors, and perhaps their partners, never changes.

USS Constitution was launched in 1797, the same year as the Droits de L'Homme engagement. Astonishing that she is still with us and still afloat.
eglantine_br
Oct. 23rd, 2015 03:20 am (UTC)
Imagine how astonished they would be, to see it in the age of smart phones and helicopters.
vespican
Oct. 24th, 2015 06:54 am (UTC)
Not only is she still with us after 200 plus years, but she has been under sail at least twice in the past two decades!
Dave
anteros_lmc
Oct. 24th, 2015 09:19 pm (UTC)
That makes her all the more astonishing!
vespican
Oct. 24th, 2015 11:39 pm (UTC)
Indeed!
I am fortunate and count it among the high lights of my life that I've had a chance to visit and be aboard both HMS Victory and USS Constitution.
Dave
vespican
Oct. 24th, 2015 06:57 am (UTC)
Even for sailors, the first time aboard ship, especially a large one, such as a carrier. everything looks the same. After a while various locations, begin to take on or reveal individual characteristics. Condition or color of the tile, color of the bulkheads, smells in a certain location, the number of kneeknockers to step over enroute from one compartment to another, and so on. And of course, every space has it's compartment number or "bullseye" posted prominently.
Dave
eglantine_br
Oct. 24th, 2015 08:25 am (UTC)
We usually ended up in DC central, or all the way down in the engine room. Somewhere we have a picture of me in the engine room of the Shenandoah, with a two week old baby in a snuggliey!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )