Strange Places: Scorpion Submarine 

When I visited Long Beach, California for my honeymoon in 2010,  my husband and I spent three days staying on the Queen Mary. The second day we were there we were surprised to discover another vessel docked next to the large luxury liner, a Soviet Union B-427 foxtrot class submarine called the Scorpion that operated during the Cold War. While still active, the subs were used for long range scouting missions, and could travel 20,000 miles without refueling. 

The submarine was decommissioned and sold in the 90s. For a few years it was on display in Sydney, Australia, before being bought again and relocated to Long Beach Harbor. It was not my intention to feature locations two weeks in a row that can no longer be visited, but unfortunately the Scorpion suffered a rupture in a ballast tank June 23rd, 2015 that caused the sub to tilt and closed the exhibition. It is now fighting rust, lawsuits, and a raccoon infestation. 

Hopefully it will reopen, although it was not easy to take pictures inside, visiting the sub really gave me a new insight to the challenges of living in such cramped space for a long period of time. And you got to look at your surroundings through a periscope, which I managed to capture by holding my camera up to the periscope’s eyepiece and hoping for the best. It was probably the highlight of the self guided tour. 

The submarine is still visible next to The Queen Mary, and apparently the raccoons currently residing there can be seen at night. If anyone captures a picture of them I will gladly feature your photography and you in an update of this post!

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