Our tour of the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, England, begins with the HMS Victory.
Thanks to centuries of tireless maintenance and restoration, the stunning ship looks brand new. Even today work is done to keep the 237-year-old Victory ship-shape, no easy feat considering the "moist" English air and the fact the ship is made of wood.
Step forward 100 years and we get to the HMS Warrior. Visually, it seems just a larger version of the Victory. But underneath it hides several advancements in ship design that made all other ships of the era obsolete. It combined the steam engine technology of passenger ships of the era with wrought-iron armor plating. It made her fast and incredibly hard to damage.
Just as the decks, stairs and cabins on the Warrior are bigger than its much older predecessor, the guns too are upsized. There are 28 68-pound cannons, nearly three times the size of the main guns on the Victory. There were even 10 110-pound breechloading guns.
None were ever fired in anger. The Warrior came into being during one of the longest stretches of peace in Britain's history, the second half of the 19th century.
It's weird seeing a piston the size of a car move. There's no steam, but they've rigged them up to move through their cycle, which is impressive to watch. It's like being miniturized and dropped inside a car engine.
This photo is a bit weird, but the best angle I could get. This is looking straight up into the conning tower. The sliver of wood you see is the door to the captain's cabin, said to be not much bigger than a single bunk. Location, location, location though, it was right above the bridge.
It is said that navy food is good, but submarine food was better. To hear the tour guide tell it, their cook worked magic with cans of random vegetables and sauce that lost their labels do to the on-board humidity.
Almost all non-nuclear subs are diesel-electric, as in they run on batteries recharged by diesel engines. The batteries are usually removed before the boat is opened as a museum. The engines...not so much. These are in for the long term.