Ever since my little boyssauntered across the decks of the tall ships docked here last summer, they have been big fans of all things maritime.
Within walking distance of our home in downtown Tampa, Florida lies the city’s expansive port. We watch ships, dinner boats and fishing charters cruise in and out of the channel every day.
Dockside sits a historic U.S. Navy ship called SS American Victory. She is one of only three fully-functioning WWII ships in the U.S. The AmVic is also a fantastic museum!
As stated on the museum’s website:
The American Victory Ship & Museum endeavors to serve the community at large by preserving and interpreting maritime culture, folkways and the legacy of maritime industry through engaging youth and sharing a passion and understanding of the impact maritime industry on local, regional and national economies.
That sounds like a worthy and virtuous mission statement to me, so I headed over to the ship and took the boys on the tour!
We walked the planks throughout the ship to discover the cargo holds, radio and gyro rooms, hospital, galley, wheelhouse, flying bridge, the captain’s cabin, mess halls, crew cabins, lifeboats, and even the engine room!
On display were the many necessities sailors of the day used during their journeys around the world such as vintage navigational maps, WWII-era artifacts, a big brass ship bell (which the boys rang with great zeal!), canned water and other equipment and supplies.
Check out the vintage naval uniform model: : )
The boys and I truly enjoyed touring this buoyant piece of world history under the clear and sunny Tampa skies.
The sights and sounds on the ship were remarkable!
It is a testament to the level of fortitude and grit possessed by the many sailors who served aboard and endured the long, arduous journeys over the years.