The Open Deck

By Patrick McSherry

Continuing forward, the visitor will find themselves on the open deck. Interestingly, in spite of the size of the ship, there is very little open space on the vessel's decks, as is evidenced here on the spar deck.

The visitor will see several items of interest in this area. Moving forward, passed the engine hatch, and two steam winches. The steam winches had a variety of uses. They could be used to aid in the raising of the OLYMPIA’s sails, which were seldom used, and also to raise and lower the vessel's cutters and boats. More importantly, the winch would have been used to raise containers of coal to fill the always-hungry coal bunkers.

Continuing, the visitor will pass the funnels, and the ship’s bell, while overhead are the racks to hold OLYMPIA’s steam launches, cutters, dinghies and other boats. The boat davits remain in place though at present, the boats do not.

 

On the left is the ship's bell. On the right is one of the vessel's searchlights on its platform.

A search light on a raised platform remains in place on both the port and starboard sides on the vessel. Searchlights had become crucial parts of a vessel's defenses by the time of the Spanish American War. The main task of these lights were to help in defending against a night attack by a torpedo boat.
 

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