Day 722: Marshes, Subs, and the Coast Guard

We awoke to a disgustingly humid day at the Walmart of Brandford, Connecticut.  We got on the road as quick as we could and drove east to the Salt Meadow Unit of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge:

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We hiked down to the marsh.  We had to walk quickly to avoid the tenacious swarms of flies:

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On the way back, Trish and M encountered this healthy looking fellow:

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At the visitor contact station, the kids received a Biologist in Training workbook which is designed to be completed at a body of water.  We took the books with us, as well as the patches they will receive when the workbooks are complete:

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Our next stop was the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut.  The large hoop on the left represents the cross section of a modern Ohio-class submarine, while the small hoop represents the cross section of the Navy’s first submarine, the Holland-class submarine:

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The kids found a bird nest in the tail section of this submarine display:

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The museum includes a walking tour of the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine and the first nautical vessel to reach the North Pole:

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The torpedo room:

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Officer’s mess:

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The boat commander was the only one to have a private cabin:

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The Nautilus was the first submarine to use staircases instead of ladders to move between decks.  It’s quite steep:

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It’s not the Hilton:

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This schedule in the mess hall may soon appear in our RV:

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More bunks:

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In the museum itself, a Polaris missile, a submarine-launched ballistic missile, was on display:

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A model of a Gato-class submarine:

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Modern submarines have three decks:

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We left the RV at the museum and drove the truck across the river to the Coast Guard Academy in New London where we visited the US Coast Guard Museum:

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I really enjoyed this museum!  I had no idea that the Coast Guard was formed from many other services, including the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service which was formed in the 1790s to collect import taxes from ships arriving in the US.  The Coast Guard was moved from the Department of Treasury to Transportation to Homeland Security.  It’s the only branch of the military not under the Department of Defense:

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Here are various life saving devices from the U.S. Life-Saving Service, which was merged in 1915 with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard.  The object hanging from the block and tackle is a britches buoy, a floating life ring mated to a canvas diaper.  The person needing rescue would get into the diaper and be hoisted to safety:

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This life preserver is made of wood and is hinged to be snapped around the neck.  The instructions say “when jumping, hold down with hands” to prevent a broken neck upon hitting the water.  We were relieved to read that this design never made it into production:

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After returning to Groton to pick up the RV, we drove North to Norwich, Connecticut where we will be staying in the parking lot of the Brothers of Joseph synagogue through Shabbos.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 721: Weir Farm National Historic Site
Day 723: Hanging Out With the Brothers of Joseph

One thought on “Day 722: Marshes, Subs, and the Coast Guard

  1. What a beautiful opportunity you are giving your kids. I marvel at all you have done so far. You are a great example of loving and caring parents. You should be so proud of what you have accomplished.

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