Dr. Ekstrom and I decided to travel to the UK this year to celebrate my birthday. We have been in the major European capitals and have seen the touristy sites. What we love to do the most is to visit with friends and to enjoy the countryside. We are now visiting our friends, Mark and Sue, who live in a tiny village a little more than an hour southwest of Heathrow. Yes, even the little villages have wonderful English pubs and teahouses and are rich in history.
Another 40 minutes from their home is the town of Portsmouth, where the HMS Victory is moored. The Victory has been in service for 245 years and is the world’s oldest naval vessel still in commission. Stepping aboard HMS Victory was like stepping back in time. The ship, which played a pivotal role in the Battle of Trafalgar, offered a fascinating glimpse into maritime history. The HMS Victory was commissioned during the last years of the American Revolution but did not see a battle against US naval ships. During this time, the Victory was engaged in the European theater against French and Spanish vessels. The HMS Victory is the only ship to have served during the American Revolution, the French Revolutionary War, and the Napoleonic Wars. It was her role as the flagship of British hero Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson during his final battle of the Napoleonic Wars at the Battle of Trafalgar for which HMS Victory is most renowned.