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Saturday, August 18, 2012

It Figures...

The week I pick to be out of town, something really cool happens...

USS Constitution to sail under own power for second time in over a century
(AP) BOSTON - The world's oldest commissioned warship will sail under its own power for just the second time in more than a century to commemorate the battle that won it the nickname "Old Ironsides."

The USS Constitution, which was first launched in 1797, will be tugged from its berth in Boston Harbor on Sunday to the main deepwater pathway into the harbor. It will then set out to open seas for a 10-minute cruise.
You know, that's something I want to see before I die. I've been on Old Ironsides before, back in elementary school with the obligatory "tour historic Boston" field trip (there was also the mandatory "Go to Salem and see where the witch trials were held" trip), but I haven't been back as an adult. I've gone by the Constitution on different sailing trips (our work outings have revolved around sailing tours of Boston), but I haven't actually gone back since I was a child.

And seeing it under sail would be quite the experience. I've never been much for sailing in general, being able to resist the sea's siren call for the most part. I think living as close to ocean as I do, and having spent several weeks every year at a campground on the ocean for most of my childhood, it holds no special allure for me. From a historical aspect, though, it's a piece of living history that you can watch performing tasks much like 200+ years ago.

Plus, there's always the chance that the captain will order it to open fire on the condos in Charlestown...

That is all.


Dave H said...

A ten minute cruise? I didn't think a sailing ship could do anything in ten minutes. Except maybe sink.

I share your enthusiasm for the ocean. I don't mind seeing it now and then but if I'm going somewhere for a pleasure trip I'm just as likely to go to the mountains as the sea.

But seeing a piece of history, that I can get into.

Paul, Dammit! said...

Heresy! Blasphemy! Episiotomy! Oh, wait... Well, anyways, you guys are mising out, but more ocean for me, I guess. I'm bumming out that I'm missing it too, but smelling oil fumes for a month at a time is almost as good. I can't breathe, but I can fly and kill with my mind.

NotDilbert said...

They will only be useing 4 sails. (out of 36 when fully rigged). And only then if the wind is less than fifteen knots. That's like saying you re going to drive your vintage Ferrari F1 race car. ...... But we are going to use street tries and you can only use 1st gear and no more than 3,000 rpm and a quart of gas

Larry said...

Hell, she's more than 200 years old, what do you expect? If you're pulling that vintage F1 out of storage I'll bet you aren't pushing it to its fullest potential either, and for the same reason - the loss would be too much to contemplate.

Besides, she doesn't have the crew needed for a fully rigged sail-powered ship these days. (The Coast Guard does, since they have the Eagle for their middie cruises.)

Wally said...

I was heartbroken to hear it since I have got other commitments this weekend. But holy hell would I love to be on it.

It is imperative that I make it down, one of my most special machining projects ever is now quite prominent on that frigate.

Stretch said...

"open fire on the condos in Charlestown..."
Oh! A full broadside would do wonders

notDilbert said...

OK…. Yes, the Navy is a little light on experienced Officers that can handle a square rigged boat, but this how they get them. And the Outer Harbor certainly restricts room for maneuvering.

When she last sailed in 2007, They set at least 6 sails. - all 3 topsails, 2 Jibs and the Main. So I expect, the sail inventory and rigging still exists and the spars are now new.

But 10 minutes is barely enough time to set the sails, much less get any “way” ( speed) out of a boat that heavy in light air. I’m just saying that calling this exercise, “ Sailing under it’s own power” is a bit of a stretch.

…….. and this weekend is the Montery Historics, ample demonstration of car guys with waaay too much $ that are more than willing to drive priceless vintage racecars at 8/10ths and beyond ( The way they are meant to be displayed -- not just stuck in some museum).