When the weather outside is rotten, the logical thing to do is find some indoor activities. Today was such a day so we went to visit AGSS Albacore, an experimental research submarine, in Portsmouth, NH.
The main museum is the submarine, with a nearly-full-access self-guided audio tour. By full-access I mean lying in the bunks, playing with the dive-plane controls, flipping switches, and turning dials. The engine room is completely open (visually, if not physically, since some of the more dangerous bits have barriers).
It was cool because it gave an idea of how the crew lived. Tight quarters everywhere and no wasted space. Fifty guys shared a couple of toilets; I can’t imagine the smell.
The submarine itself was an experiment and was refit several times over its lifetime with enhancements like new propulsion, including an uncommon twin screw design.
The experience is much better than touring the USS Nautilus. The Nautilus is ok if you’ve never seen the inside of a submarine, but everything is off-limits so the tour takes five minutes (or less if you have small children). The guys in the museum office “don’t talk about the Nautilus” and felt quite a bit of pride in the openness of the Albacore vs. the Nautilus. We were in there for nearly three-quarters of an hour, and another half hour in the museum shop (including a video of how the got the submarine to it’s present location).