February 26, 2012 by Rob Hurlbut
Sunset In San Diego – At The Helm Of HMS Surprise
San Diego has a Maritime Museum that is much bigger and grander that it may appear to the casual pedestrian or motorist on Harbor Dr. It’s not just the Star of India and a collection of paintings. It is so much more than that; it is a one of a kind time capsule of sea going ships, submarines and artifacts that are all, in six degrees or less, connected to San Diego. It is an amazing slice of how the sea has had a spell over people since the very beginning. The 4 years I spent in the Navy were good, partly because I was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, but mostly because I was always near the sea. Maritime Museum of San Diego is a great way to connect yourself to what we have done due to our fascination with the sea and it’s a great place to practice some cramped quarters photography so you have a ringing endorsement from me!
Captain’s Cabin – HMS Surprise
HMS Surprise is a replica of an 18th century Royal Navy Frigate that houses a museum that walks you through the founding of San Diego and some amazing recreations that help to make it an immersive experience. The room pictured above was for the use of the captain, however it would best serve her majesty, I presume.
Torpedo Room Aboard Soviet Attack Submarine B-39
The highlight for me was the B-39 Soviet attack submarine because the relentless Russian efficiency, accentuated by sharp edges everywhere helped me remember a time when Americans were all on the same side, United against communism. When I was kid, back in the 1980s I don’t remember there being such a clamor for the rights of our enemies like the there is for Arab terrorists now; back then, an enemy of the state was not given mercy and look at what happened… We won the Cold War!
Having a Quiet Moment On The Toilet Inside…
There is less than enough room for just about every physical activity on this Soviet submarine. There is a way to smash or scrape yourself along every square inch of the submarine, even sitting on the toilet.
The Bathroom On Foxtrot B-39
The shape of the submarine, the curve of the hull is everywhere. Before you pick your nose, you have to make sure you won’t bump you elbow into something. Sitting on the toilet is a luxury that does not require headroom when you are in the Russian Navy. It is comical, almost ridiculous how Soviet designers allow you to do a job and nothing more.
Officer’s Stateroom On B-39
The lens I brought to the maritime museum was a good choice; my 8mm prime. The round distortion of the lens helped to accentuate the curvature of the submarine and the way the lack of headroom must have dominated every aspect of life while aboard.
Walk-Through of Soviet Attack Submarine Foxtrot B-39
There is a lot more to see than I have represented in this post so while I’m working on some more photos, head down to Maritime Museum of San Diego and check it out for yourself. There are at least 9 ships to walk through, so allow yourself plenty of time and don’t forget to bring a camera. Cheers!