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About Literalman

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  1. You are right that a lot of the museum is aimed at children. I guess I enjoyed some of those exhibits just the same. I had adult conversations with the museum staff at the shark petting zoo and the horseshoe crab pool. In my college days I was a deckhand on a bluefish party boat on the Jersey Shore, so I had a lot of experience with dogfish, similar to the little sharks at Nauticus, and had seen horseshoe crabs washed up on the beach but had no experience of live ones, and little knowledge of them. I guess I was just as pleased with the natural history materials as with the exhibits explicitly about ships. And there was a nice exhibit about the Great White Fleet, and even though I'd toured the New Jersey a few years ago I still enjoyed wandering around the Wisconsin. As I was walking around the deck, another guy turned to me and said, "This is awesome!" I agreed.
  2. A few weeks ago, for the first time, I visited the Nauticus museum in Norfolk, Virginia. I enjoyed it very much. It has exhibits about the port of Norfolk, the Navy, sea life, and more. It has a good number of ship models, and the battleship Wisconsin is one of the exhibits. There are two 3D films, Aircraft Carrier and Secret Ocean, which is by Jean-Michel Cousteau. I watched that one (I didn't have time for both), and it was excellent. In the same building is the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, which is free. I had to breeze through that one for lack of time; I really wanted a couple of hours to see the exhibits, so I'll have to go back some day. I had lunch in the Dockside Cafe; the food was delicious and not too expensive. I had a Hampton Roads Transit day pass (which costs only $4 and is good on the buses, light rail, and Elizabeth River ferries). After Nauticus closed, I boarded a ferry just for the boat ride. As the ferry approached Portsmouth on the other side of the river, I saw the Portsmouth lightship on display out of the water, just two blocks from the ferry dock, so I walked over there. The shipyard museum was closed for the day, but the lightship is outside where you can walk up to it. Clearly there is more for me to see. Some years ago I visited the lifesaving museum on the oceanfront in Virginia Beach (about 10 miles from Norfolk). This is worth a visit too. (I hope this post isn't duplicative; I searched the forum and didn't find anything about Nauticus.)
  3. Hello, everybody. I'm somewhere between beginner and master model builder, as the home page says, though I've been away from the hobby for decades, so I'm probably closer to beginner. I never lost my love of ships, though (I have a few ship pictures on my website at I built a few models, both kits and from scratch. My first one, the Model Shipways Phantom, is in a display case in my apartment, and I noticed that a bit of rigging had come loose. I figured I could fix it in a minute but had some trouble, and I was intimidated by all the tiny bits of wood and wire and cord, as if they'd been done my somebody else. I was probably 23 when I built it, and now I'm 63. ("Cry me a harbor," you might be saying.) Anyway, I'll manage it, and I have the Harriet Lane kit that someone gave me as a gift long ago and that I barely started before having to put it aside, and once the Phantom is repaired and back in the case, I'll try to pick up where I left off. I look forward to learning from all the great material on this site, and I'll post again now and then if I have anything sensible to say.