For those of you who have never been, it is probably the only museum you can honestly spend 2-3 hours easily without being bored. Why? simply because it’s packed with all kinds of awesome. This was the second time for me, the first time when I was back in elementary school, but honestly can’t remember much of that trip as that part of my memory was mercilessly destroyed during the college years. Needless to say, this experience was a nice refresher, fully engaging and interactive…the analogue way. As there is way too much to cover in one post, this one focuses on the details of USS Intrepid, specifically the Navigation Quarters of the control tower.
These elements not only make the ship what it is, but also serve to transport you back to an atmosphere that no doubt saw its fair share of chaos and uncertainty while serving time in the Pacific Theater during WWII. I must say, for me at least, there is a very eerie and yet awesome feeling that envelopes you as you walk around the tight steel corridors of the bridge and navigation rooms. Somewhat of an ah-ha eyeopening moment one has when you become aware that you are literally standing in the very same room that was once occupied by Admirals, Commanders and first officers who planned strategic attacks and coordinated defense for so many campaigns, where red emergency lights mix with natural sunlight to illuminate steel wire, switches, control panels, radiocomm and navigation equipment that was being used extensively while in service instead of gathering dust, complacently awaiting another visiting tour.
Yeah, she is a beautiful ship. And on that note, you may ask yourself as I did, why are all aircraft carriers referred to in the female gender?, well, from what I found out during a brief chat from a local maintenance operator on board, it’s simply a guy thing. Although I had a hunch, it goes more deeply, its a matter of tradition for men to give objects a persona, to proclaim things that are near and dear to them. Sailors who love and trust their lives to the ship, develop an important bond with the vessel and frankly find it more comforting to call it “Betsy” than “Tom.” Besides, what better way to express the depth of one’s devotion than to say she.