Just came back from a wonderful yet cold visit to the USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum.
This is actually my second visit, but the first time I was around 5 years old, so I don't remember much if anything at all. Today might not have been the best day to go, but I braved the elements nevertheless and was rewarded with some very unique views of the snowy flight deck and the USS Growler surrounded by ice. The USS Intrepid's flight deck is home to a host of international planes including the one and only OV-101 Enterprise. Inside its (heated) enclosure you can take some impressive picture and learn a lot of very interesting facts like that the Enterprise never actually went into space and that Star Trek fans pleaded NASA to change the name from Constitution to what we know her as today. The inside of the (also heated) carrier allowed to see he crew quarters to the mess and hangar deck. Having seen the USS Yorktown last winter, the New York based Essex class carrier seemed very similar on the inside. The one major exterior difference I noticed (besides the copious amounts of snow) was the lack of any sort of AA mounts. Maybe I overlooked them in my haste to escape the cold, but I don't see them on any one of my pictures. Overall I enjoyed my visit to the Intrepid, but If I would have to choose between the two exhibits I would prefer the USS Yorktown. Besides being cheaper, at Patriot's Point you also get to visit the USS Laffey, an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer. However, having the chance to see a space shuttle was a great opportunity that definitely gives the USS Intrepid some added value.
Comparing the two submarines, the first thing to mind is: different. You can't deny that the USS Growler's two missile storage tubes look extremely weird and out of place. Coming from the USS Clamagore with its sleek exterior and design for operation in the Pacific theater in WW2, and then seeing the bulbous cruise missile submarine, provides a sharp contrast in submarine design and purpose. On the inside not much seemed to have changed in the 13 year time span between their commissioning. It's still extremely cramped for a 6ft tall guy like me, but luckily I managed to traverse the submarine unscathed. With ice floating around the entire hull of the USS Clagamore and the cold January wind biting at your face, you could easily picture it on its patrols off the eastern Soviet coast.
USS Intrepid Pictures
USS Yorktown Pictures