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USS Texas Escorted By Tall Ship Elissa
Greg
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Post Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:04 pm
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I thought this was a really nifty picture:


USS Texas escorted into Galveston Harbor by the Elissa
Photo by 2006 by Roger Wright. Used with permission.

I just love the incongruity of an old iron-hulled windjammer escorting a nuclear submarine! Grin

The USS Texas was commissioned last month on September 9, 2006. She is a Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine. Her range is measured by the estimated life of the ship, approximately 33 years. Her motto: Don't mess with Texas!

Her escort, the Elissa, is homeported in Galveson, Texas. She is a three-masted, iron-hulled sailing ship built in 1877 in Aberdeen, Scotland by Alexander Hall & Company. She has seen continuous sea duty ever since. After a long life as a merchant ship, her hull ended up as a diesel-powered tramp somewhere past the back of beyond in the Mediterranean. There, someone found her and brought her back to Galveston where she was restored to her full glory as the tall ship she was born to be.

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Kaylyn
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:49 am
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Oh, I love those old-fashioned ships like that! Now you got me in the mood to hunt down a modeling kit and build my own! smile

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Nancy
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:05 am
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Quite a contrast.

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:44 am
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Kaylyn wrote:
Oh, I love those old-fashioned ships like that! Now you got me in the mood to hunt down a modeling kit and build my own! smile


Get your boyfriend's gaming group to play Run Out the Guns.

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Ghostman
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:28 am
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I love the fact that a nuclear submarine has a female name. Very appropiate...

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Greg
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:50 am
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ghostman wrote:
I love the fact that a nuclear submarine has a female name. Very appropiate...


The nuclear submarine is the one named Texas, but they do indeed refer to her in the feminine gender. (All ships are "she," even submarines. It's one of the few classes of non-living objects in the English language that has gender. In fact, it's the only one I can think of.)

The tall ship is the Elissa.

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Ghostman
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:58 am
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When you said Virginia class I thought the submarine name was Virginia. My bad.

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Greg
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:00 pm
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Kaylyn wrote:
Oh, I love those old-fashioned ships like that! Now you got me in the mood to hunt down a modeling kit and build my own! smile


Yeah, so do I! In fact, I find that I'm fascinated by all types of ships, from triremes to aircraft carriers, but the big windjammers are the best! Elissa is a barque--three masts, square-rigged amidships. The big warships are neat, too, but Elissa is a working girl who has paid her own way throughout all her long life.

In fact, she's one of the few tall ships who's still seriously sailing; perhaps the only one. She's still working, too, though nowadays she's busking for the entertainment of the crowds instead of hauling cargo around the Atlantic.

Texas, on the other hand, is face-down in the public trough. (Unlike her namesake, which is the second largest contributor to the public trough, after California.) For that I can't fault her; she has an important job defending the public who fill the trough so she is a legitimate part of the overhead.

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Greg
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:26 pm
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ghostman wrote:
When you said Virginia class I thought the submarine name was Virginia. My bad.


Oh, right! The ship of the class is the USS Virginia, which is named after the State of Virginia, which in turn is named after Queen Mary of England. The Texas is the second in her class. She was christened by First Lady Laura Bush in 2004 and then after her shakedown cruise and sea trials was commissioned as a fully operational ship of the fleet last month.

The Virginia class submarine is a derivative of the Los Angeles class. Originally it was supposed to be a less expensive model. Only three Los Angeles class submarines were built before some bright boys came up with the Virginia class.

They did take advantage of a huge amount of off-the-shelf systems in the Virginia class and that reduced the cost of each ship, but after modifications to adjust her mission to the current threats, the cost creeped back up to almost the same as the parent class. Still, the Virginia class is really cool. Her mission is no longer just to counter the threat of a huge fleet of Soviet boomers and attack submarines.

She has that, even more because she's got four 21-inch torpedo tubes that shoot Mk-48 torpedoes and 12 VLS launch tubes. She also can launch a pod of Navy seals and has lots of nifty sensors. She's also (probably) the fastest ship in the ocean.


USS Virginia
US Navy Photo

The motto of the USS Virginia is Sic Semper Tyrannis (Thus Always To Tyrants). The last tyrant she visited now understands that motto. Nevertheless, she has a soft side to her--her hull is coated with a thick layer of rubber!

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Greg
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Post Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:50 pm
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Here are some more nifty pictures of the Elissa, sailing about in the Gulf of Mexico.


Elissa in the Gulf of Mexico



Elissa in the Gulf of Mexico
Photos pilfered from Terry and Sue Canup

She's 205 feet long from bowspirt to stern, 152 long at the deck, and 141 feet at the waterline. Her deep-loaded displacement is 976 tons. She's a general cargo ship, neither a bulk freighter nor a fast luxury carrier, with a beam of 28 feet. She carries no guns, but pirates should be respectful of the company she keeps. Back when she was built, her buddies would have been British ships of the line.

These days, well... see the first photo in this thread. lol

She's also an iron maiden. That is, her hull is riveted iron, rather unimpressed by cannonballs from black powder cannon. That's also probably how she came to be a working ship today. They had to patch some rusty spot but her hull and frame are almost entirely original. The wooden parts--long lost by the time she was found slutting about in Greece--were rebuilt using 19th century techniques so although they are new, they are true to the original.

Her one great anachronism is her 450-hp V-12 diesel engine. There was a terrible controversey about that when the Galveston Historical Foundation wanted to install in, in 1986. Purists didn't want Elissa to have a modern powerplant; she had sailed for four years with no power at all. But the Coast Guard didn't want a windjammer warping into Galveston Harbor with no backup power, and the foundation that owns her didn't want her to risk becoming becalmed when she's out at sea.

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Peake1981
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 1:43 am
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Actual, Elizabeth Tudor not her half-sister, Mary Tudor (aka Bloody Mary), was known as the "Virgin Queen". Mary was married to Philip Habsburg (Philip II of Spain). Greg have you ever heard of the once proposed Habakkuk class of Aircraft Carrier?

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Greg
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:44 am
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Now you've got me intrigued! What was the Habakkuk class of aircraft carrier?

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Peake1981
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 10:48 am
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It was planed as a carrier class made entirely of Pykrete, a frozen slurry of water and wood plup, not steel. The deck would of been large enough for a B-29 to take off normally. It would have a displacement of 2,000,000+ tons and be a third of a mile in length. None were built.

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Greg
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:25 pm
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Peake1981 wrote:
... None were built.


Perhaps that was wise. lol

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miros1
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 1:02 pm
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Sounds like the Spruce Goose of aircraft carriers!

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USS Texas Escorted By Tall Ship Elissa
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