Jake Egbert Photography Blog

USS Constitution - Boston

October 22, 2011 we took my parents to visit Boston and one of the highlights of the trip was touring "Old Ironsides" at the Charlestown Navy Shipyard. The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world (there is one older commissioned war ship in England, HMS Victory, but it is in permanent dry dock and no longer afloat...)

The sky was a bit threatening, which made for some pretty good contrast in the cloud cover. Last time we climbed aboard for a tour the top deck was covered by a canopy and the masts were not in place while they were doing some sort of maintenance. This time the ship was moored with its bow pointed towards Boston Harbor, and its masts were all in place. Another difference this time was that they didn't limit the size of each tour group. This meant that there was a much shorter wait but the tour was a bit less extensive than when they send smaller groups through.

Probably the biggest difference, though, is that last time I wasn't shooting on manual settings. This means my below-deck shots now have much better exposure and contrast without popping a flash. What do you think of them?

Tall masts reaching into gray skies

Sepia life ring

Our energetic enlisted tour guide, proud active member of the US Navy

I don't think the cannon mounts were meant to hold little boys, but don't tell him that

Stairways to the upper deck

I was amazed to get a shot of our tour guide and an otherwise empty deck as our group filed back up the stairs

Rows of cannons

The coils of rope are almost decorative

Tourists are encouraged not to play with the cannon balls

My son takes a turn steering the ship

Hello? Anyone down there?

Looking out into Boston Harbor

Not everything about the visit to the ship yard was positive, though. After the tour I stood at the stern of the ship taking in the entire scene. Imagine my dismay, nay, dare I say HORROR, when I spotted some clown greeting Navy personnel and walking around like he owned the place!

Raise your hand if you find this photo disturbing.
(Note to parents: If you wallpaper a young child's bedroom with circus clowns, they may just grow up loathing them... I'll have to ask my brother some time if that's true. Of course my wallpaper featured Butch Cassidy and a bunch of cowboys and I still don't care for those that dabble in the clowning arts.)

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