One of the best things to do to beat the Winter Blahs is to schedule a field trip. Getting out of the house to look at something new and interesting is a great way to chase away the gray skies and blue moods. We were delighted to see a Homeschool Day scheduled at Nauticus, the last week of February. We penciled it in after our normal Co-Op and found a few friends to join us!
By the time we got there everything was very, very quiet so The Daughter and friends pretty much had the place to themselves as they wandered through the exhibits and learned all about the day-to-day workings of the region’s influential port, our nautical history including the Battle of Hampton Roads, and a few other fun things, like trying their hands at Morse code using both signal lanterns and finger tapping.
Everyone loved the enormous and beautifully carved figure head on display.
A small exhibit about the sea life in Hampton Roads featured some tanks of local fish, including a few that have become invasive. We briefly visited the highly touted touch tank of small shark species but no one was interested in touching them! We particularly enjoyed the wonderful docent who patiently answered my questions and was very informative about Horseshoe Crabs! She picked one up for us so we could see the gills underneath. Fascinating!
We made it through the major exhibits in time to see the Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag in 3D, a surprise (to me) hit with the girls! Afterwards, we had about thirty minutes to explore portions of the U.S.S. Wisconsin, which was not enough time. We were extremely fortunate to find an interesting and informative docent who had actually served aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin and shared some great stories! So our time, though brief, was educational! (Click here for background and history of the USS Wisconsin) I would love to go back to the U.S.S. Wisconsin for the tour of the flag bridge and engagement center!
Nauticus is expensive on a normal day, and with our tight budget, and the terrible economy, the museum hasn’t made it to the top of our field trip list. However, with Homeschool Day discounts the pricing wasn’t too bad. We were there at the end of the day, and some of the displays were not working, others appeared to be shut off. However, there was plenty to see. Nauticus is blessed with well-trained, smiling, friendly docents, who are approachable, knowledgable and interesting.
A very few pictures: