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Sunday, August 06, 2017

Long Beach - the Queen Mary and the Harbor

The Queen Mary and the Soviet sub
The ship is a hotel
Everything needs paint
While Lulu was at the convention - I drove down to the harbor to see the Queen Mary. The ship was one time the fastest ocean liner - taking about 4 days to cross the Atlantic Ocean at a speed of 30 miles per hour. When it was retired during the 60s - Long Beach bought it from Great Britain for $3,500,000. It was turned into a tourist attraction and hotel. It has gone through a series of owners including the Walt Disney Studios. None of them turned a profit. 

Today - it is still a hotel and tourist attraction. They charge $30 to tour the boat. It appears to be in poor condition. The paint is faded and peeling. 

Parked next to the Queen is an old Soviet submarine. It was offered for tours - but that was closed to
the public today. 

I visited the Queen Mary twice before - first in 1977 - and then later in 1992. In 1977 - we had Lulu's birthday party there.

The second time I visited the Queen Mary was mainly to see the Spruce Goose - a plane build my Howard Hughes. The plane was kept in a dome next to the ship. 

The plane was officially called the Hercules H-4. It was a wooden plane built during WWII to carry troops across the Atlantic. It was made of wood to save on valuable war materials. It had a 320-foot wingspan - also 8 propeller engines. The crew could walk in the wings and repair the engines while flying. The plane flew only once when Howard Hughes took the controls in 1947. He flew is right in Long Beach Harbor. The plane was moved to Oregon 25 years ago. Today - it is in the Evergreen Aviation Museum. The war ended before the plane could be used. 

The Queen Mary site is in bad shape. The British Village around it is boarded up. Admission to the ship is $30.
It looks like the rats left a long time ago
You can stay in the hotel yet
$30 to tour the ship
The Spruce Goose plane was here 25 years ago
ATM machine in old phone booth
Rusted and peeling paint
This English Village was boarded up
The castle looks ready to fall over
They broke the plane in 4 pieces and brought it out this door
Today the dome is the cruise port and also a roller derby home
You could ride the helicopter to Catalina Island in 14 minutes
Carnival Cruise Imagination was getting ready to leave
They tried making the ship a horror story scene

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