American Locations 29 – Patriots Point, Charleston

The trip is from New River, West Virginia, to Stinking Creek, Tennessee, by way of Long Key, Florida.

Patriots Point, Charleston, South Carolina

 

Leaving Boone Hall, we drove on Hwy. 17 through Charleston. I try to avoid large cities since the motor home is such a pain to drive in crowded conditions on unfamiliar streets. But Charleston wasn’t bad. The main thing I noticed about the city was all the bridges. Here is one of many.

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I knew Charleston was on the ocean, but I didn’t know there were 4 rivers flowing into the harbor – the Wando, Cooper, Ashley, and Stono. We stopped on the far side of the city and found a pleasant private campground.

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The next day we drove back across the harbor to see Patriots Point. This is a park on the waterfront where a decommissioned WW2 aircraft carrier, battleship, and submarine are docked. We spent an entire day here. I’d never been on an aircraft carrier or a submarine before.

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We started with the aircraft carrier.

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Inside we went through the sleeping quarters.

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They had a torpedo on display.

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The boiler room. The ship was diesel powered, of course. This was long before nuclear.

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The bridge.

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There were many other interesting area, such as the kitchens, the medical offices, the torpedo tubes. It was like a floating city, with about 4000 sailors on board. But the best part of the tour was going up on top to see the planes.

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Next was the battleship.

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A gun battery.

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A torpedo launcher.

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A depth charge launcher.

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No computers. The controls were all electric switches and valves.

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An interesting program on the battleship was a simulated encounter with a Soviet submarine. It was a very tense situation, since the captain didn’t know if it was merely harassing them or was really attacking. They had to prepare for an attack. They tracked the sub on sonar, ready to attack if it made the least hostile move. But it merely sailed away. The presenter said during the Cold War this occurred on a daily basis all over the globe.

Last was the submarine. As you can tell by the first photo it was still in the process of being restored.

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Inside is very cramped. If you have claustrophobia, I advise against going below.

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A cut-way torpedo, so you can see what was inside it.

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There was also a Viet Nam war era helicopter and a Quonset hut set up with displays from the war. Ken Burns’ ‘Viet Nam’ was playing inside, to provide images and set the mood with the 60’s music he scored the documentary with.

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After a full day, we drove back across the bay to collapse at our camp site.

 

Next Location – The Low Country, South Carolina

 

 

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