Of what floats … and dives

Almost three weeks ago, when we entered the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor at dusk, Paulo, Adriana and I were having a lively conversation about the second World War (We also ran aground – but that’s beyond the point).
Such conversation had been triggered by a ship docked right at the entrance of the harbor.
Some internet search revealed she could be visited, along with other WW2 craft across the bay.
So we did. And had a very interesting day.

Red Oak Victory is one of the many Victory-Class transport ships built during the mid 40’s to support the Allied forces’ battleships on the front during WW2. She has been salvaged by a foundation a few years ago. They brought her to within a few yards from where she was built and launched (it turns out Richmond was home to a large shipbuilding facility during WW2. More interestingly, the marina where we are right now was an actual ship construction site).
We visited her on a cold, windy morning. Being a weekday, there weren’t many visitors, and we ended up having a private tour of the ship:
Red Oak Victory - she is in great shape for a mature lady as she is
Red Oak Victory – she is in great shape for a mature lady as she is
The cranes near her dock
The cranes near her dock
One of her many passageways, this one with a view to the life rafts
One of her many passageways, this one with a view to the life rafts
Paulo trying the helm station. I guess he will appreciate Pesto's autopilot better from then onwards
Paulo trying the helm station. I guess he will appreciate Pesto’s autopilot better from then onwards
Helmsman's view
Helmsman’s view
Raquel checking one of the crew's quarters with our tour guide
Raquel checking one of the crew’s quarters with our tour guide
Top notch radio station. For the time.
Top notch radio station. For the time.
This plaque was affixed to the captain's private office's wall. I am just reporting it here. It's them saying, not me :-)
This plaque was affixed to the captain’s private office’s wall. I am just reporting it here. It’s them saying, not me 🙂
In te engine room, one of the mechanics let Raquel activate one of the chain weight lifters - cool.
In te engine room, one of the mechanics let Raquel activate one of the chain weight lifters – cool.
Checking on the ship's propeller - it is almost as heavy as Pesto !
Checking on the ship’s propeller – it is almost as heavy as Pesto !
After that, we went across the bay, to San Francisco, for another visit. This time we took it up a notch. Well, actually it was down. Even thought we made it to the city at 4-ish PM, we still had time to visit the submarine USS Pampanito. She had an active service in WW2, mostly in the Pacific routes.
Paulo had been mentioning and asking questions about submarines since we started our trip on Pesto three months ago – so, needless to say, the kid was exhilarated. So were we.
The visit is self guided, and I was surprised that we were actually able to visit the full interior of the vessel – from bow tip to stern:
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Of course, our visit to SanFran wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Ghirardelli store, which we gazed at for 24 hrs during our stay in the Aquatic Park, but couldn’t reach due to the impossibility of stopping the dinghy somewhere.
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