Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Into the Mystic"

The southern coast of Connecticut has a long and rich maritime history. Two locations we visited were the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum and the Mystic Seaport Museum.

The U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum is the home of the USS Nautilus, which was the first atomic powered submarine and changed the nature of submarine operations. The Nautilus was the first vessel to reach the North Pole, and it did so by sailing UNDER the Arctic ice pack.

Space in a submarine is limited, so the accomodations are pretty tight.

Having this much battery capacity would be great, but the weight might put our RV a little over our weight limit!

The "facilities" looked pretty familiar to these RV travelers.


The Mystic Seaport Museum is dedicated to preserving America's maritime heritage, and has an awesome collection of sailing vessels and other maritime artifacts. We found this museum to be absolutely fascinating.

The museum is set up as a seaport village. Most of the buildings are historic structures from the area that have been moved here.

The museum has a large lift so that they can move vessels between the Mystic River and their drydocks. When we were there, they were just starting a refurbishment of the Gloucester schooner the L.A. Dunton.

This is the Charles W. Morgan, the last surviving American wooden whaling ship.

Many of the buildings were businesses common in the past. Many of them had interpretive staff to talk about the business. This building was a printing business with several old printing presses along with racks of type and other things needed for printing.

This shop was a great example of life before electric motors. Overhead shafts provided power to equipment using a system of belts. I imagine workers had to be very careful to keep clothing and tools from getting caught in the belts and pulleys.

This is a visit we highly recommend. Plan on spending at least one full day.

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