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First: if you haven't yet watched the video I posted last night, go do so! It is short and very cool. (It's a 100-second retrospective of fashion in the last 100 years in London, illustrated via a nifty dance routine and some extremely good editing.)

Next: as you can tell from the subject line, still playing catch-up. On July 4th, the Constitution is brought out of its berth and pushed out as far as Castle Island and Fort Independence, before being turned around and pushed back into its berth. This is apparently to rotate it so that it weathers evenly, and it's done 4 times a year. On July 4th, they make a big deal out of it.

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my_tallest and I had gone out on one of the chaser-boat cruises a few years ago, and at the time said, "we should go one year and watch it from the landward side. This year, as she posted herself back closer to the actual date, katie_m actually got to go ON the Constitution for the cruise, so that gave us a good excuse to try to make it down there. My Tallest, myself, elishavah and veejane made the trek out there. (All these years and I'd never gone out there at all.)

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In fact they did not let you into the actual fort, until after the turnaround was over. I thought they might fire off those cannon you can see at upper left, but they didn't. Phooey.

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Many people showed up, although it was a hot and sunny day. Very festive. Hey, where's the ship? Oh, there it is...

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It took its own sweet time getting to us, I can tell you that. (Actually they had timed it very well to reach us to fire its salute and be turned around right around noon. I will remember this for the future.)

Down on the pier, there were a bunch of reenactors, whom we felt very sorry for, because they were all dressed in wool. Occasionally they would fire off a very small cannon they had, or the guys would line up and fire a volley of muskets. (After the first volley, I believe one wag behind us yelled, "Medic!")

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There was also a fire-boat, which reached us early and rotated in place while festively creating a waterfall of its jets.

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FINALLY, the Constitution approached nearer.

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In the background, you can see the control tower for Logan airport. Quite a few planes taking off could be seen banking for a view of the ship below.

I took a bunch of pics of people on the deck, hoping that I would have managed to get a pic of Katie in the process, but I only really managed to get guys in funny hats:

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Close up of prow:

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Then the Constitution started firing off a salute from its cannon (blanks), alternating shots on each side, as the tugs rotated it around.

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Until it was ALL the way turned around, and started being pushed back.

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Finally -- It only occurred to me most of the way through the cannonade that my camera has a video function... and then, since it's a new camera, it took me until nearly the END of the cannonade to figure out how to start it recording. So I missed most of it, but here's what I got, including the horn-honking salute from the flotilla of sight-seeing boats afterwards, and at the very end, the sound of the little cannon on the dock being set off.



So there you have it! We may try to go down again next year and make a picnic out of it, as there were some nice places to do that, and it wasn't nearly as mobbed with people as we thought it might be.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
jenlev
Sep. 1st, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's quite impressive! Looks like a hot day too. :)
eregyrn
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
It was quite the hot day. But we survived, and it felt very summery. :)
jenlev
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Just looking at it made me want to turn my AC up. ;)
cofax7
Sep. 2nd, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, those are great pictures, and it looks like a fun day!
eregyrn
Sep. 5th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
On the one hand, I think Katie had the most fun, since she was ON it. On the other hand... as she related, they were on the ship for like 6 hours and nobody provided any water or snacks to them at all; at least there were bathroom facilities! But then, we had our own challenges finding places to eat, ourselves. We'll know better for next time.
okojosan
Sep. 8th, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
Fabulous photos! I love those old ships, and used to visit the Star of India regularly when I went down to San Diego.

Interesting that they turn the ship four times a year. I know the Star of India gets turned too, but I'm not sure how often.
eregyrn
Sep. 8th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
Very possibly, the weathering that the Constitution gets in a northern harbor in winter is worse than it would get in a milder climate? So, turning more often?

It's nice that they make a production out of it at least once a year.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )