It’s a ship, not a boat…

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?