Many Americans were unfamiliar with the name "Iowa Battleship," but if it were referred to as "Iowa-class Battleship," then many army fanatics would know it very well.
The production of this series of battleships started on July 1st, 1939. They started service on February 22nd, 1943, and served America for 50 years. It had a nickname: "Battleship of Presidents."
It got this nickname because The USS Iowa had been the flagship in 1943, as it carried President Franklin D Roosevelt across the Atlantic Ocean to meet with the British prime minister and the leaders of the Soviet Union.
"For this reason, this battleship had been specially installed with a bathtub for President Roosevelts use. She had become the only naval vessel in the history of the United States to have provided the President with a bathtub."
On the way there, Tina smiled as she shared, "I went in that bathtub when I was young. It was very comfortablethe navy must have respected Roosevelt very much, to have installed this super comfortable bathtub for him."
The driver said, "Then you, miss, must be from a rich family. Going by usual practice, the Presidents bathtub would not be shown to just anyone, and it is certainly not normally used."
Tina was startled but reacted quickly. "Oh, is that so? We visited as a school groupmaybe we were given special privileges."
The USS Iowa was being maintained and operated by The Pacific Battleship Center. The American navy had invested huge sums of money to ensure that this decommissioned battleship was well-maintained.
Even when they were some distance away from the shoreline, Li Du could already see the battleship.
As though there was a fierce wild beast at sea, the battleship, with its steel-clad body stood enormous, its strong exterior confident of the power it had. After seeing it, Mr. Lee could not help but sigh, "God, what a big fella!"
The USS Iowa was indeed a big fella: it could displace 45,000 tons of water; it was 887 feet long and 108 feet wide.
One needed to know that the standard soccer fields length was about 390 feet, and they could be as short as 300 feet in length. This battleship was almost as long as three soccer fieldsabsolutely shocking.
Tickets needed to be bought in order to view the battleship. As it was not during any holidays, there were not many visitors; only a handful of tourists were on the ship.
Li Du bought two tickets and Tina bought two drinks before the two of them boarded the ship.
As he set foot on the gangway, he thought the scale of the ship was even more astounding. A man was cleaning the body of the ship, and looked like spiderman hung up there doing his work.
He couldnt help but comment, "Judging by the price of the ticket, it wouldnt be possible to rely on such low commercial income to maintain this ship, right?"
There were too few tourists; he had bought two tickets for less than twenty dollars. This was because there usually wasnt much business, and so there was a promotion.
Tina shrugged. "This ships existence is not for making money but to pay tribute to the worlds best and last available battleship as well as the people who served on it. Its also a great platform to educate visitors."
Having boarded the ship, Li Du started to snap photos and Tina started her narration.
Standing in the fort area, the three main guns were obliquely pointed at the sky. The 50-caliber artillery guns, just as Li Du had heard, looked as though they were capable of massive destruction with their staggering power.
Tina said, "Look at the second gun turret. On April 19th,1989, during an exercise, the gun turret exploded and killed 47 crewmen. This was the largest number of casualties suffered in the history of the American Navy since World War II."
Li Du lamented, "We Chinese believe that weapons should not be used. Its a double-edged swordyou could not only hurt others but also hurt yourself."
Tina smiled and said, "But we need weapons for defense. What could hurt others are not weapons, but the people controlling the weapons."
This was the common attitude many American people had toward weapons. And because of this reason, the firearms ban could not be implemented everywhere in the country.
The people believed that the government should find a way to guide people to use firearms properly to avoid hurting others, and not to ban the use of firearms; only a useless government would impose a non-discretionary regulation across all the board.
The two of them spent a good part of the day touring the battleship, and after leaving the ship with a collection of photos, Tina brought Li Du to the RMS Queen Mary nearby.
The ticket price for the RMS Queen Mary was 14 dollars. This was a regular luxury cruise liner; it was more spectacular, and much safer, than the infamous Titanic.
The ship was launched into service in 1936 and had crossed the Atlantic Ocean 1,001 times. During these trips, it had ferried many politicians, the affluent, royalty, as well as the army.
However, it was most famous for being haunted. It was said that many had seen a dancing female spirit in white; others had seen a child spirit passing through pillars.
Compared to The USS Iowa, this ship was more flourishing. It was not just an old museum in a ship but part of it had been converted to a hotel.
Tina asked, "How brave are you?"
Li Du replied, "I have no problem with staying here tonight."
Tina gave him a thumbs up. "Youre good. Im actually hardly afraid of anything, but Im scared of ghosts. They, um, well, are a little scary."
There were many who were scared of ghosts, but there were even more people who were curious about them.
To attract tourists, the RMS Queen Mary even provided a ghost-hunting tour.
Li Du was not that bored. He felt indifferent toward ghosts, although he would rather believe in their existence than otherwise. Both eastern and western cultures had folklore about spiritsit would not be fair to say that there was no such thing.
Unsure if it was to suppress the spirits, Li Du saw that there was a huge church on the ship. There were people getting married there.
The joyous families of the couple saw them and invited them into the church.
In terms of appearance, Li Du and Tina were considered above average. While Li Du would not usually be regarded as a heartthrob, Americans valued physique over looks, so he won them over with his fit body, which he trained every day.
Hence, the two of them were chosen to be seated in the front rowthe families had hoped that they could find tourists to offer blessings to the couple. Li Du agreed readily.
When the pastor pronounced the couple legally wed, he walked up to them together with Tina and hugged them as he wished them a long, blissful marriage.
The groom smiled, presented a bouquet of flowers to the two of them, and said, "May all couples have happily ever afters. I hope that the both of you can step into Church to receive Gods blessings soon."
Li Di and Tina smiled in embarrassment. Evidently, they had been mistaken as a couple.
This was to be expectedafter all, they had been touring a church and had attended a wedding. Other than being a couple, what else could they be?
Since they did not know each other, Li Du did not bother to clarify. Just like Tina had said: enjoy the surprises that life brings.
The two of them had spent all morning on the two ships. When it was time for lunch, Hans called and asked for their whereabouts, saying that he wanted to eat together.