Wednesday, February 29, 2012

O Boy and Dad's Hunley adventure

O Boy loves the Hunley. If you'd like to read more about his obsession with the Hunley, you need to read the other post about it.  He has been asking to go visit the Hunley ever since he began studying up on it, and we always treated these requests as a joke, or "maybe someday when you're older".  But then Phil realized that we had just the right amount of old United Airlines miles just sitting around waiting to get used and an idea began to form.  Why not take O Boy to see the Hunley now, as a birthday present, when he really loves it and knows all about it rather than waiting until he's older and onto other passions?  So Phil quickly began researching all the details and everything quickly fell into place.  Within just a few weeks of the original idea they were off and on the plane for a Dad and O Boy weekend trip to Charleston, SC.  It was truly a trip of a lifetime for O Boy and a pretty special time for Phil to spend with our amazing middle child.

O Boy in front of the Lasch Conservation Center where the Hunley is housed.

A model of the crew inside the Hunley

In front of the wax heads modeled off the actual skulls of the crew.

Hunley's compass

O Boy with a volunteer in period dress in front of a model of the Hunley.

This is a model of the Hunley used in a TNT movie based on the actual story of the Hunley.

A copy of the famous George Dixon coin.

More artifacts found in the Hunley - a button and something else.

A pencil found in the Hunley

A model of the framework used to raise the Hunley.  We watched (twice) with O Boy the excellent Nat Geo documentary on how they raised the Hunley.

The actual dive suit worn by Harry Peccorelli when he discovered the Hunley.

A shoe found in the Hunley

O Boy with their tour guide in front of an early model of the Hunley.  He was brave/confident enough to raise his hand during the tour (of mostly older adults) and suggest to the tour guide his theory on why the Hunley sank.
Cranking a model of the Hunley!

Up through the hatch

After touring the Hunley site, they still had a day and a half to explore Charleston.  They found plenty of other fun things to do...
HUGE pinecones

Ready to fight off any potential alligators

He wanted this photo taken for the Little Sweetie (a cute fish).

And he wanted this photo taken for Mr. T (a car!)

Another photo he requested for the Little Sweetie: a pink car!

The other big attraction they visited was a place called Patriots Point Park.  There are docked several different retired military ships, some of which you can tour.  The largest one is the USS Yorktown, a retired aircraft carrier.  On its flight deck are many, many old military aircraft to see and climb in and around.  This was definitely another highlight for them.  And it did mark a nice transition point for O Boy: instead of just making the Hunley over and over again in Legos, he has now turned his attention to making aircraft carriers and jets to land upon them!  He's also started bringing home library books on aircraft carriers.  A new passion...
Trying out an aircraft gun

Pretending to be a real pilot

This is a model of the space capsule that the Yorktown pulled out of the ocean after it splashed down from one of the  moon missions.

Looking inside the dental office on the aircraft carrier.

Steering the massive aircraft carrier.  Hope there aren't any objects ahead!

USS Yorktown

Nearby there was also a Vietnam memorial area with several Vietnam-era helicopters to look at.

They also visited Fort Sumter.
From Fort Sumter you can look out at the place off Sullivan's Island where the Hunley sank.

And of course, they visited the cemetery where all 3 crews of the Hunley are buried.

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