Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A right royal visit to the Queen Mary in Long Beach...

On Sunday after Cooper had exhausted himself playing at the Long Beach Dog Zone, we left its sandy shores to visit another local attraction in the vicinity, the Queen Mary ocean liner.
Queen Mary docked at Long Beach seaport
Now permanently moored at the Long Beach Seaport, we drove over to the Queen Mary just as the sun was breaking through the thick morning marine layer.
Ocean liners at Long Beach seaport
This famous retired ocean liner sailed the North Atlantic from 1936 to 1967 and is now listed on the United States official National Register of Historic Places. Now the ship serves as a maritime museum and hotel in Long Beach, California.
Long Beach port welcome sign
The impressive ship was named after Queen Mary, the wife of King George V and retired from regular passenger service after completing 1,001 crossings of the Atlantic Ocean.
Cooper at Queen Mary seaport
As we'd primarily visited the neighbourhood to give Cooper the opportunity to play on another dog beach, it seemed a shame not to take this advantage to visit this local landmark. 
Queen Mary seaport floral display
Not only is it a local tourist attraction, along with the nearby aquarium, but it's also been used as the location for many films and TV shows, including The Poseidon Adventure, Pearl Harbor, Being John Malkovich and Escape from L.A, to name but a few.
Otel Queen Mary at Long Beach
The 1,000-foot ship was bigger, faster and more powerful than the Titantic.
Scorpion Submarine and Queen Mary ocean liner
The luxury cruise liner's maiden voyage was on the 27th May 1936 and she hosted the world's rich and famous across the Atlantic.
Queen Mary and Scorpion Russian submarine at Long Beach
In 1939 when World War II broke out, luxury travel ceased and the ship became a troopship that transported as many as 15,000 soldiers from Australia and New Zealand to the UK in a single voyage.
Queen Mary ocean liner at Long Beach port
Joined by the Queen Elizabeth, these fast former ocean liners both became known as 'The Grey Ghost' for their grey wartime camouflage and elusiveness, their high speeds allowing them to outrun German U-Boats.
Ghosts and legends of the Queen Mary ocean liner
In addition to once being named a ghost, the Queen Mary is also rumoured to be haunted and operates daily themed ghost tours and has been the subject of many paranormal TV shows and magazines. 
Queen Mary and Scorpion submarine
After the war the Queen Mary was refurbished and resumed its elegant transatlantic voyages in July 1947. Unfortunately during the following years the world moved on and due to age, lack of public interest and other outside factors, the ship was retired from service in 1967.
Russian Scorpion submarine sign
Today moored beside the former luxury ocean liner you'll also find a Russian Attack Submarine called 'Scorpion'
Queen Mary ocean liner and Russian submarine
This Foxtrot Class relic of the Cold War was built and commissioned by the Soviet Navy in 1972. Seventy-nine Foxtrot's were built and they were the second largest class of submarines ever built by them.
Scorpion Soviet submarine at Long beach port
Scorpion was decommissioned in 1994 after a twenty-two year career and was bought from the Russian Navy in 1995 and displayed at The National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia for three years, until it found a new home in Long Beach.
Long Beach port heron
I was quite surprised that there was all this on offer at the Long Beach seaport. With Cooper accompanying us, we didn't go inside to experience any ghost tours or the conditions of a real Russian Cold War submarine, but it was interesting to see their exteriors nonetheless.
Heron at Queen mary seaport
He was far too interested in the local bird-life and was fascinated by this heron amongst other things.

And that was just another part of our on-going California adventure, I'm sure more excitement will follow...


J said...

The inside of the submarine is very cool. Much more interesting (IMHO) than the inside of the Queen Mary.

Jason in Hollywood said...

Thanks, that's good to know :-)

Michael Rivers said...

I would love to see this. Hopefully next time I'm in Long Beach! Thanks for sharing.

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