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It’s a ship, not a boat…

February 26, 2012

Hubby frequently tells us the difference between a ship and a boat when the kids and I refer to one or the other in the wrong way. Ships carry boats! We most definitely were on a ship for our tour of the American Victory in Tampa Bay.

After a not so stellar morning trip to the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs– I think we went too early– we decided to head back to Tampa, say a quick “Hello.” to hubby’s friends and then over to the docks at Channelside for a tour of the S.S. American Victory.

The S.S. American Victory is one of only four fully operational WWII ships in the country. It is a world-class, shipboard, maritime museum dedicated to honoring the men and women who built, sailed, protected and served through the American Merchant Fleet since 1775. To find out and learn about the American Victory please visit their website. It is chock full of interesting information.

view from the deck house to the bow

Both of hubby’s grandpa’s served for the American Merchant Fleet during WWII. His paternal grandfather worked in the galley and had his ship shot out from under him twice. He survived.

We had fun climbing all over the ship, seeing how the men and women that served there lived for months at a time. Seeing how the ship was run and serviced. Knowing that it was still functional after all this time.

we climbed a lot of these, inside and out

These quarters below are only some we’ve seen and these are pretty spacious. Not for the regular crewmen, they bunked together in a more cramped space.

See the difference in the officer’s quarters? They sure had a lot more room and much nicer accommodations. But I guess, being an officer they earned it.

Guns, guns, guns… let’s not forget the cool stuff. Everyone got in on the fun on this one. Hubby and the boy checking out the 20 mm cannon on board.

And here are my girls.

Kids putting on their sailor hats and trying their hands at the wheel.

The views from the top were absolutely stunning. Looking down the bay, seeing all the different ships and boats and watching the sun sparkle on the water… it gets me every time.

We were lucky enough to see a cruise ship (The Jewel of the Sea) docked next to us. Due to heavy fog the ship couldn’t come into port until the sun had burned it off. It was great for us, not so great for the people trying to get off and on.

The sheer size of these cruise ships is amazing and hard to fathom. I got this shot and thought it helps just a bit in grasping the enormousness of these moving hotels.

Saw this tug boat chugging along and had to take a picture. The tug boats are so much smaller than the ships they tug or tow.

Hubby is our history fanatic. Ask him any question about any war ever fought, any ship or airplane in the military and he will probably most definitely have an answer for you. See that smile? He had a blast and gave all of us a nice history lesson.

One last shot of the ship. It was a beautiful day, full of sunshine, smiles and interesting facts. Can’t wait to go back and do it again. Hubby and I may go back and take part in one of their Re-live History Cruises. They take the ship out for a cruise to the Sunshine Skyway, do re-enactments, have a band play music from the 40’s and even a WWII airplane fly over. How cool is that?

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  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell February 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    You really captured the size of these. I knew they were big, but wow! I hope you do get a chance to go back with him where he can really soak up some more history.

    Very cool!

    • Susi February 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      I hope so, too. It would be such a cool thing to experience. I mean how often do you get to go on a WWII ship and sail into the sunset? 🙂

  • Jennifer February 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I love touring boats, err ships! We have the USS Yorktown here in Charleston and even though I’ve been there a bunch of times, there is so much to see that I see/notice new things every time! Fun!!

    • Susi February 27, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Ooohhh, I better not tell him about that he’s liable to invite himself over!!! 🙂

  • RoryBore February 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Wow! so very cool. I’d never get my kids off that boat….er, sorry..ship. 😉
    seriously, they would be begging to sleep overnight.
    I think the Jewel is more my style though. I’d definitely not want to get off.

    • Susi February 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      The kids had a great time. Climbing up and down all those ladders, checking out those guns… bt yes, the jewel did look pretty cool. Only after the Costa issues lately, not too keen to go on any cruises!!! 🙂

  • Hilary February 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    what great pictures… Love them all, and hubby looks in his element!

    • Susi February 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      He had the best time. It doesn’t matter how often he’s been on this ship he still gets all excited. Ask him about the U.S.S. Intrepid one of these days!!! 🙂

  • Nicolette February 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    What a cool experience. I can’t imagine being in such close quarters for months at a time but am thankful for the people that do. Looks like everyone had a great time. BTW: Thanks for the award the other day, I’ll post about it very soon. I’m on slow motion this week, something about growing a human that slows me down and erases half my brain 😉

    • Susi February 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      Yeah, I remember preggo brain… it can get tough. Take your time. And yes, it was pretty cool to be able to walk the whole ship and look into all the nooks and crannies.

  • Rebecca February 27, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Great photos! We visited the U.S.S. Slater in Albany, NY, a similar kind of tour. SO educational! 🙂

    • Susi February 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Thank you. Isn’t it great? I love how you get that education and have fun at the same time.

  • Sweaty February 27, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    The SS American Victory is one handsome ship! Great pictures, Susi! They really captured the scenes and I could easily imagine the size and the mightiness of the ship. It’s quite awe-inspiring, how long ago the ship was built and yet how lasting it is!

    • Susi February 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Yes. I love that these pieces of history are still around and that we are able to show our children. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  • J. G. Burdette March 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

    I recently had a similar experience on the LST-325. It’s smaller than this ship. Would love to see the American Victory!

    • Susi March 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      It’s pretty awesome. If you ever have the chance to see it you should. Thanks for stopping by.

  • It’s time for Spring Break | Boca Frau March 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    […] spend the day together by ourselves and enjoy a cruise on the American Victory. Remember that post? Click here if you need a refresher! Gosh, I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have at least […]

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