Belowdecks, Old Ironsides

It doesn’t take much imagination belowdecks on the USS Constitution to be able to picture what life would have been like.   As a man o’ war, the ship is dominated by her gundeck, and everything else is secondary.

broadside

The smoke, noise, and confusion of a battle at sea had to just be incredible.    Trying to work the gun in these low, close quarters must have required a massive effort on the part of each sailor.

Gun deck 4

Peering over the barrel of one of the many guns, I was able to imagine what it would have been like to try and aim the thing – on a platform that was moving – at a target that was moving.  It’s easy to see why, in her battle with the Guerriere, the Constitution held fire until they were within hailing distance.

take aim

And when it came time to get some rest – you weren’t sleeping on the QE II, that’s for sure!

sleep tight

All said and done, the belowdecks adventure on Old Ironsides is one of the neatest historical experiences I’ve had.  I’ve had the good fortune to visit her twice and will remember the visits forever.

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~ by Derrick Birdsall on August 23, 2010.

5 Responses to “Belowdecks, Old Ironsides”

  1. Amazing how perfectly restored they are. They look brand new!

  2. Wow, that was quick! 😉 The US Navy does an absolutely fantastic job of restoring/maintaining the ship. First class operation all the way, and that’s coming from someone who’s job it is to take care of old stuff. 😉

  3. One beautiful ship, ain’t she?? We did the tour a few years back and got such a kick out of the crew dressed in appropriate garb telling us all about how life was back then. Yep, pretty rough for those sailers! Nice shots! I know how difficult it is to get good ones on that ship! Especially, when other folks on the tour get in the way!

    • I flashed my “museum” card with our guide and he was nice enough to leave me alone after he was done talking. 😉 I should have used a mounted flash, had several good (composition wise) shots that didn’t turn out with too slow a shutter speed and I couldn’t hold it still enough….

      And yes, she’s gorgeous!

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