in the belly of the ship


We visited the USS Alabama on our way home from vacationing in Orange Beach. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing we decided to do instead of spend that morning playing on the beach. Nice thing about having “older young children” (that’s what I call it) is that we can change plans last minute and everyone just sort of goes along. Not sure how long this phenomenon is going to last. I’m soaking it up while I can.

Anyway, I thought this relatively cloudy morning would make for a good ship tour. Yeah. Except we get to the walkway leading onto the deck and here’s all these folks walking down the opposite way drenched in sweat and complaining of heat exhaustion. That should have been my first clue. The ship was NOT air conditioned. Actually, it had selective air conditioning. Meaning, only certain areas were tolerable… and barely, at that.

They were kind enough to ease us into the furnace. The first first part of the tour was not so bad, but the further we descended into the belly of the ship, the hotter the air became until we were standing in the engine room swaying on our feet and I was really hoping this wasn’t what the sailors manning this ship suffered on a daily basis. I’m not generally a claustrophobic person, but five minutes in that engine room was plenty for me. Then I turned around and suddenly couldn’t find Caleb.. or Jon. I will not have a panic attack in this ship!

Anyway. That was it for me. We proceeded to the closest set of stairs and hallelujah! I was ever so glad to see the deck again. I recommend touring this ship in winter. Coat probably not required.

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