U.S.S. Constitution — Boston, Massachusetts

We spent the morning walking the Freedom Trail and ended up in the Charlestown Navy Yard, part of Boston National Historical Park. The main attraction is the U.S.S. Constitution, launched in 1797 and still a commissioned Navy vessel.

We had a 20-minute wait for the next tour. One of the guides, an enlisted sailor, was standing at the boarding steps right next to where we stood. I asked him how he got this particular duty. He said he’d been a radar technician on a submarine for two years and was being re-assigned because he had eye trouble. He’d heard there was an opening, applied, and got the duty for two years. He said there are 16 sailors on board.

The tour took half an hour and was fascinating. We covered the spar (top) deck, the gun (second) deck and the berthing deck where the crew and officers slept. We didn’t get down into the hold because this is used for storage and for quarters for the current crew. I was impressed by the size and beauty of the ship. It felt powerful and graceful, even though it was moored to the wharf. The guide was excellent and obviously cared about his subject. That’s him standing behind Sally in the photo.

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