USS Albacore, Portsmouth New Hampshire

Hi fellow Travelers,

Today we visited something that we've driven by so often but never stopped in to see it! The USS Albacore Submarine and museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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Subs

We've driven by this place quite often over the years but we never spent some time to take a trip into it and check it out. It was a pretty tough day for weather recently so we decided to spend some time and do some stuff. This was one we just happened to drive by and decided to stop in!

The USS Albacore is a cool submarine. I didn't know how much history this chunk of steel has! I found out the information I'll talk briefly about at their website, https://www.ussalbacore.org/about.

The Albacore was the first submarine that was truly meant to be underwater. The other ships were surface ships that could go underwater but not designed to stay under there. The thing that really made it a great innovation was the teardrop front shape of the sub, which many people know of submarines nowadays. I was really impressed to learn that!

Reading the history and the issues that the local Portsmouth residents and servicemen at the navy yard went through in order to bring back their prized submarine was really incredible to read. It's a short read but I think it's well worth it! https://www.ussalbacore.org/new-page is where you can check it out. The sub was decommissioned because it's design wasn't reliable for driving but the overall design with the teardrop hull is the contemporary submarine design around the world. Not wanting to renovate this particular sub, the navy decided to decommission it and had slated it to be destroyed. Thankfully the local maritime society learned of it and set out on bringing it back to where it belongs, it's origins in Portsmouth. The number of people who donated and the other challenges that local residents rose to without batting an eye is a great testament to when people will move mountains to do something that's important to them. Hopefully we haven't lost that sentiment is all I can say! It cost about 1.5 million dollars in the 1980's to bring it home and put it on the cradle it's on now. Such a cool historical thing to read about and right in our backyard!

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The sub was a really fun thing for the little man to see. He loves anything machine or ship related and this was certainly a pleasure to see. The propellers were a lot bigger than I realized and it was cool to see it up close. Pictures don't do a lot of justice to it! To think as well, that this was built in the 1950's is pretty amazing. The design of the propellers was apparently quite revolutionary and the X configuration of the tail of the boat was as well, very interesting to learn!

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Pretty mean looking from the back, those props are pretty intense!

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A bunch of extra propellers sitting on the ground. We weren't sure if we could go in there and touch them, the little man definitely wanted to do that lol.

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I would love to see the inside in a year or two when all the craziness dies down and people can get back to enjoying things back to normal. The thing is pretty large and I think it would be really interesting to see inside!

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The layout of the sub was surprising to me when I was looking at the diagrams below. I was confused, until I read their About page, that the sub didn't have any tubes to shoot out the torpedoes. Looking at the design though, you can totally see that they take advantage of every square inch of space that they can in order to maximize the space for hardware and crew but minimize the size and needed space for building.

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Looking down the nose of it was cool. Once I read the history about it, really brings it home that the innovation and conceptualized idea of having something with a nose like this underwater had to have been a cool project to work on. To also think that the engineers at the Navy yard here in New Hampshire were the first ones in the world to make a submarine that is the trademark look for submarine's ever since then. I love learning local history! I will definitely be taking a further look into the submarine and it's history, I love learning these types of things and the impact it's had on the country and the world. Pretty cool in the Boston area!

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