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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Destination - New Hampshire

I call it the Giant Tuna. The USS Albacore is a former US Navy test submarine. It is on display in Portsmouth NH just off I-95 at exit 7 or off Rt 1 a few blocks from downtown. It is in dry dock which is interesting because they had to close the highway, dig a canal to the current location, and then float it in from the Piscataqua River.

The Albacore was never a fighting boat, it was used to test experimental designs for the new class of fast attack boats that would be nuclear powered. It has two diesel engines that I'm told were quite troublesome. 

I met Norm Bower while I was taking these pictures. He served aboard the Albacore for 21 years and ended up as Chief of Boat when it was retired. He told me about how the boat was refitted five times with different configurations for the sail and tail. Our modern fleet owes much to Norm and the rest of the crew. It was most interesting to talk to someone who actually had first hand knowledge. A virtuall tour and the whole history can be found at the Albacore web site.

While you're in the area, you should go across the river to Chauncey Creek for lobster. It's one of my favorites. Casual elegance with moderate prices. Many people even bring their own tablecloth, silverware, and bottles of wine to highlight the experience. Make sure you visit but hurry before they close for the winter.