Thursday, February 28, 2013

Walking Tour: Puget Sound Navy Museum


As I wandered around town on a cold, windy day, I thought that it would be fun to pop into the free-admission Puget Sound Navy Museum next to the ferry terminal.

Look how they’ve made it look like a few men are standing in the window. Creepers! Or they are trying to channel Alfred Hitchcock?


The museum is housed in a giant, old, cool building that was used as something entirely differently for most of its life. I’m glad that it has since been converted into a museum.

It’s always a good idea to show off what this shipyard has accomplished in its long lifespan.


In front of the museum stands this awesome submarine tower. I am always blown away at how big these guys are in person. It’s neat how they’ve made it look like the submarine is buried underneath the cement.

But that has probably decreased its forward speed ability…

Can you imagine where this thing has been? What it has accomplished in its life before becoming an attraction at the Navy Museum?


When I left the museum a little later, this is where my creepy stalker tried to smooth-talk his way into my life. Gross. I ran.


I love that the admission is free! Now that’s my type of price!

I wonder where the little old lady is that hand-knitted this rubber rug. She should be proud of her work.


Sorry about the white balance. It makes it even more difficult to get good shots when far from windows and with painted yellow walls!

These stairs are ancient and creak when used. They took me to two other floors of the museum today. This place is huge with lots to see!

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As you first walk in, there is already lots to enjoy and admire. I love this giant wooden chain that must be as old as this shipyard. And these neat old clocks were in Navy ships at some point before giving their lives in the name of education at the museum.


Wow, this thing is just so old! I love it! This was the original name when the Bremerton shipyard first came into existence.

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So many artifacts from ships and people alike! I got a closer look at this wool ensemble for an enlisted lady. It didn’t look too comfortable but was probably nice and warm. Maybe that overrides the itchiness?

And this state-of-the-art Graphotype was used back in the day. I think that it was a giant embosser.

It’s cool, no matter what it used to do.


One of my favorite parts of any history museum are the pictures of people. Look at this graduating class of 1929. I love the clothes, and I’m pretty sure that is the present-day museum behind them!

But the best thing is to look at their faces. Sometimes, it’s possible to see what their lives were like, just from looking at pictures of them. I love that.


As I wandered around on the first floor, I got another peak of the submarine outside.

Hi, Subby!


This picture is great because it shows them working on converting submarines into ones that are nuclear-powered. Since they still do this today, I just love the old picture to compare.

And, once again, I am blown away by how huge those things are! And look at how thick the metal walls are to maintain pressure during dives! I had no idea…


This shows several of the slips that are presently used to dock semi-retired aircraft carrier ships. Can you see the runway on these two giants? And I love that another carrier is cruising past.


I loved this old toolbox, except for the pinup girls. I’m just hoping that this pervert nice young man didn’t really have them on his toolbox, and that the museum added them for affect later.

But I love the old hat and goggles. It’s easy to imagine someone wearing those they while work away in the shipyard. Whistling, no doubt.


Upstairs is a more modern tribute to one of the aircraft carriers presently based at Bremerton, the USS John C. Stennis. This super ship was launched in 1995 and is (I think) still going strong.

This portion of the museum seemed more geared towards educating kids about the happenings on a modern ship. This was the mess hall display, where you could lift the trays of food to find out how it was made.

Feeding over 5,000 people three times a day was no small feat, I’m sure.


Go read about this ship. It has already had quite the career since it began its life of service in 1995.

And it’s big. Really big.

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There were examples of what some crew members wore while on duty at sea. The firemen look pretty similar to land-based firemen! And that tank looks really heavy here, too.

I love that they had the tire and landing gear of an airplane here. It made it feel more museum-y.


And, for reasons beyond my control, this was my favorite mannequin of the all the displays today.

Pilots just rule, you know?

I think that it would be fun to wear a flight suit.


This display showcases some of the many aircraft that can land on carriers today. This particular boat, the USS John C. Stennis, was broken in by its first landing of an F-14 Tomcat. F-14s are retired now, so that just makes this whole situation cooler.

Some of these airplanes look too big and clunky to actually utilize an aircraft carrier, huh? It’s amazing what we little puny humans can do.


This was also a highlight for me today, since I’ve always wondered what the different color-coding of crew members on-deck means. This lovely little display showed me who-does-what.


You can study up. There will be a quiz later.


Ah, the landing gear again! I guess it would have been wise to not which airplane supplied this to the museum, but I forgot to look.

But it’s still pretty cool, even if it shall remain nameless today.


And I loved that the entire purpose for having it on display was to showcase how the airplanes are secured to the deck when not in use. It would be an awful day to have a $300 million airplane go overboard…just because the ship hit a big wave.

That guy would probably be demoted. And now I know that he would be wearing a blue shirt.


This was also a really neat display! You could control the forward-or-backward motion of this video by a twisting knob below. You could slow things down or speed them up to have a good laugh.

“Wow, those crew members are super efficient! Look at ‘em go!”


This was the control knob. Occasionally, an information slide would show up on the screen to let you know what was happening. It was really neat to be “in control” of the airplane taking off using the steam catapults.

Man, I love museums.

And that high-demand future of hand-modeling is still going strong for me!


It was incredible to see how these giant airplanes moved from one place to another until it was their turn for takeoff. See how the wings fold up? That is so more airplanes can be crammed on-deck. They even store a bunch of airplanes below deck and use an elevator to bring them top-side when it’s their turn.

Fascinating! But I would hate to work on an aircraft carrier.

I get seasick. There, I said it.


Once again, I failed to read which airplane provided these ejection seats. But aren’t they cool anyway?! The whole thing is fired out of the cockpit when the pilot ejects. Then he eventually pulls a chute and leaves the seat behind.

This entire process would hurt quite a bit, I’m sure.

I’m glad that Gladys doesn’t have ejection seats. And that there is no reason to need them when I’m flying a corporate jet.


The last part of the museum honored the present-day tool workers who still make wonderful things happen at the Puget Sound Navy Shipyard. These drill bits were huge, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting a set for our home repairs.

I wonder which shipyard worker is missing these?

So that’s a tour of the museum. What did you think? Do you like wandering through museums as well? Especially free museums?

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