Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hartlepool (Pronounced Heart-lee-pool)

Today we ventured out to Hartlepool which is a coastal town about 30 minutes south of Durham. The porter from our building mentioned to me a few weeks ago that Hartelpool is a port for the Tall Ship Races sometime in late July or early August and also happened to mention that it had a pirate ship and fun marina to walk around. It sounded like a fun day trip AND like something we should do while the weather is still nice.

We ventured out with our friends, Orrey and Kristi. They were brave enough to join our family and the boys loved having some friends come with us on our little adventure. Graham has a little toddler crush on Kristi. He thinks she is one of his best buds.

Orrey and Kristi

Me, Kristi, and Graham walking along the coast

It turns out the pirate ship is actually a naval ship from the mid-1850s and you can (for a fee) gain entrance to the Maritime Experience and go aboard the ship to learn about how ships worked and what they looked like. The ship is the oldest floating naval craft in Europe (we think). After going on the ship, I gotta say that being a sailor must have taken some non-sensitive nostrils because this ship had only plastic/wax dudes on it and some parts of the ship smelled as bad or worse than the boys floor of a college dorm. I can only imagine 250 men working the ship. Stinky-ola!

The front of the ship

The back of the ship. The windows are part of the Captain's Quarters. It reminded us of one of Jon's favorite movies, Master and Commander.

Looking at upper deck of the ship. I couldn't believe how many cannons were on that ship!

Jon is teaching the boys about how the ship was steered.

We got to go to the lower decks of the ship and here Ewan and Isaac are looking all the weapons stored on the ship.
Orrey is checking the sick sailor in the infirmary.
The Captain's Quarters. His hammock is behind me and to the left.
The boys are checking out one of the cannons and how they could be adjusted to aim at other ships more accurately.

The Maritime Experience also has a marina set up with different shops that would have been around 18th century where you could learn about buying swords, trading goods, proper dress for naval sailors and the like. I learned that QUAY is actually pronounced KEY at the Maritime Experience. Who knew? I still want to look at it and say QWAY.

Need any pots or pans? Or baskets or buckets?

This is my favorite sign!

There were some exhibits that had some great hands on learning for the kids.

One of the boys favorite things was the AWESOME wooden pirate ship they could play in. I think it would be so cool to build something like this in our (future) backyard for the boys to play on. The inside had all kinds of rooms and places to run around. Unbelievably fun! It took them all of 10 seconds to start playing a creative role game.

After we left the Maritime Experience we ended up driving around the town and landed at the coastal front. There wasn't a beach but we did happen upon where the first soldier was killed on British soil in WWI. It was near the Heugh Gun Battery which houses military vehicles and artillary weapons. We didn't go in the HGB but instead walked around the coast and enjoyed being near the ocean and smelling the breeze.

Looking out at the ocean.
Me and Grahammy
Catching a smooch with the hubs!
Where the first soldier was killed on British soil in WWI.

Hartlepool is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. The marina in Hartlepool is apparently one of Europe's most modern marina facilities. Who knew? We didn't even get a chance to go to the marina and look at the boats currently docked. I don't think we will be going to the Tall Ship Races this year but I would love to go back sometime while we are here and see the ships come into port.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

That looked like a lot of fun. It also looked like y'all were the only ones there! Great day trip.