Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cruiser Olympia

You know how when you live in a place you often don't go to the tourist attractions?  I got to see all the sites in Boston when we lived there because my sister and brother-in-law would bring their three girls to visit the Old North Church, the USS Constitution, etc.  If they hadn't, I probably would never have seen them all.

Now we live in Philadelphia.  One of the walks we take goes along the Delaware River and past several ships permanently docked there.  I believe I've already done a post on my favorite ship:  Moshulu.  It's now a restaurant.  I've never eaten there, but on nice summer days, my husband and I sometime have a beer on the top deck.  It's the ship Eric Newby wrote about in The Last Grain Race and it's beautiful.

But for years we've been saying we should tour the Cruiser Olympia.  There's an early submarine there, too, the Becuna.  I have no interest in submarines and touring one would be a nightmare for me.  A few weeks ago, we finally toured the Olympia.  Jack toured the Becuna - by himself.

USS Olympia was commissioned in 1895 and was Commodore Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manila during the Spanish-American War.  She was decommissioned in 1922.  If you want all the details, here's the Wiki link:

Jack was interested in the engines and the guns, I wanted to see how the crew lived aboard.  The ship has beautiful wood work, but, alas, like many of our National Historic Landmarks, it's in need of extensive repairs and maintenance.  We, as a country, should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing our history to rot away.

Here are some photos of the outside and the inside (that's the Becuna to the left in the photo):

Above, officer's quarters.  Below, below decks.

The galley is above.  The ship was lucky in that it, apparently, had one of the first ice machines.  This was especially nice because she was sailing in the Pacific.

If you needed surgery, this was the place where it happened. Gulp!

Then, of course, you'd want to wash all those bloody cloths in the laundry.

These are a few of the signs on the ship that I thought were interesting or funny.  I especially like the Overboard Volunteer one!


  1. Those are some nice photos of that ship. My husband would really enjoy seeing that and taking photos. In the last few years we have visited more of the sites in Santa Barbara because we enjoy doing photography excursions, but for years we did not visit many of the attractions.

    1. Credit for the photos goes to my husband, Jack. It's fun to play tourist in your own town or city. I also love to help tourists find attractions they're looking for and some they might find interesting. Maybe I have a second career as a tour guide?

  2. Very fun. Old ships are fascinating. great photos too!

    1. I like the romance of ships, but having sailed for many years, I admit that I stopped because I really don't have the stomach (literally) or the interest in sailing. It's Jack's passion and he's still grieving from selling his racing sailboat a few years ago. I will pass your compliments on the photos on to him. I finally have an iPhone, too, but I can't take photos like he does!