S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien

Verden er din østers, lage en perle…

I hardly need to make you aware of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. However, take a break from the street performers and buzz by touring the historic S.S. JEREMIAH O’BRIEN- Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, CA.

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I will warn you, the gangplank does bounce when you walk on it, though I believe that is the nature of gangplanks.

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The S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien is a 441-foot Liberty ship (cargo ship from WWII) and is the only American vessel still around today known to have been a part of the Normandy invasion team. The ship has been maintain and restored to be as it was in 1944… yet as a floating museum, so… a 1944 WWII cargo vessel with some museum exhibits in it.

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Why did “Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army” start going through my head when I took this?
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Model of the Battle of Normandy, using actual sand from Normandy Beach.

The S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien is a National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, thanks to the triple expansion reciprocating steam engine.

One highlight is this gun, which Michelle and I were so happy when we found that the controls to move it still work.

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The perfect target was in site.

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… but that would not be nice. Besides, there were no instructions on how to fire it.

The next several minutes were spent spinning the gun up and down and side to side like we were on the magic carpet ride in Disney World. It’s probably for the best that you can’t move it very fast; we would have flung ourselves into the bay, taking a few other tourists with us.

Since it’s been declared a historical landmark, we had to check out the Engine Room, which is huge and would be the perfect place for Freddy Krueger to chase teenagers around in their dreams.

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Speaking of movies, does this thing look cinematically familiar to any of you?

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If so, it’s probably because you have watched James Cameron’s Titanic way too many times. Yes, the scenes in the Engine Room and Boiler Room from Titanic were shot on the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, namely this particular… thing… that the very helpful volunteer told me what it was and I forgot… I really do wish my brain retained more than it does.

Can you believe the movie Titanic was in theaters 20 years ago?! I remember in February or March of 1997 going to Studio 28 with a friend to see it (remember, Grand Rapids folks, when THAT was still around?!). My friend cried. A lot. I tried to console her, but couldn’t stop laughing when the guy hit the propeller and went spinning into the ocean.

Yes, I was that kid.

Was I really old enough to go to movies 20 years ago? Don’t answer that!

Visit the floating museum where you can learn of a historic time in America, and see the location of a now historic movie.

Until next time, dahlings…

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