20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Part II (And a Starting Line Too)
All week at work I have been eagerly awaiting this weekend. This is not, in any way, to disparage my current job! Rather, while I enjoy my occupation very much, this weekend is extra special. Last June, my father retired after forty-five years spent in a career as a minister. His work as a pastor has been a significant part of my own life, and so while I am happy for him in his retirement, since June there has been a feeling that something is missing, a natural sense of loss for something that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. So when I found out that my dad would be guest preaching at a church near his home on Easter morning, I immediately made plans to drive the 300-plus miles back to New Jersey and spend the holiday with family and friends.
On the way down, however, I ended up in a bad traffic jam in Rhode Island, during which I narrowly avoided an accident. By the time I got through Providence, I was aggravated and stressed out. Despite wanting to press on and return to NJ as quickly as possible, my intuition told me it would be better to stop somewhere, get out of the car, walk around a bit, and mentally cool off. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a roadside sign: “U.S.S. Nautilus & Sub Museum.” What better way to stretch my legs than to finish the story of the submarine U.S.S. Nautilus, which had been closed for cleaning the last time I had toured the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, CT. After a quick stop at a gas station to fill DH’s tank for the ride home, I turned off I-95 and headed back to the museum for a very brief, but very cool, tour.
After touring the submarine, I was ready to get back on the road when a small exhibit in the museum caught my eye: the story of the U.S.S. Squalas, a World War II submarine that sunk during testing in 243 feet of water near Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Quick thinking by the crew kept the sub from flooding completely, but they were still trapped on the bottom of the ocean with no way of raising the ship. Deploying the new McCann Submarine Rescue Chamber, divers managed to rescue the surviving 33 crew members (26 had perished in the initial accident). This also marked the first operational use of a helium and oxygen blend of air for the divers to prevent nitrogen narcosis, a form of altered consciousness that occurs from too much nitrogen entering the bloodstream during diving (via Wikipedia).
To quote the late Steve Jobs: “There’s on more thing.” This Monday is Patriots Day, the observed anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord which started the American Revolution against England in 1775. It is also the day of one of the most famous sporting events in the world:the Boston Marathon. First held in 1897, this 26.2 mile race averages 30,000 participants and over 500,000 spectators per year. This year, I have a rooting interest, as my new friend Tia, who runs the very cool fitness blog Fit Over 50, will be running the marathon. The race begins in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and ends on Boylston Street in Boston. Runners proceed along Routes 135, 16, and 30 before racing into Boston itself. For work on Wednesday, I was in the town of Hopkinton, and thought I would swing by to take some photos. Good luck to all the participants on Monday!
The trip to the Nautilus was a wonderful break from driving, and a very cool, informative place to visit that is totally free! Despite having attended several Boston Marathons over the years, this was my first time ever seeing the starting line, and I was glad I made the detour to check it out. I am looking forward to the rest of this weekend, and I hope you have a great one as well, whether that is celebrating the holidays, spending time with family and friends, or running 26.2 miles!
2 thoughts on “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Part II (And a Starting Line Too)”
The flatware in that submarine looks nicer than at any restaurant I’ve ever visited! Luxurious without a doubt. It’s cool that they also use mannequins onboard to make things really feel legit. Thanks very much for taking the time to help Mama Tia with her Boston trip planning. She is having a great time out there – she and Todd did a “duck tour” yesterday, and last I heard they’re planning on hitting up a Red Sox game tonight. Happy Easter to you and your family — hope your travels are going well!
Of course! Glad to be of help. It seems like Tia & Todd are having a great time, according to all the photos filling my Facebook Newsfeed!