You are here

National Park Quiz 97: Ships

Two rangers are transported ashore at Glacier Bay after serving as tour guides aboard a cruise ship. Do you know what the daily quota is for cruise ships entering Glacier Bay? Bob Janiskee photo.

This month's quiz will test your knowledge of ships and their role in the National Park System. Answers are at the end. If you peek, we'll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: "A ship is a vessel of considerable size, usually designed for deep-water navigation. Unlike its smaller counterpart, the boat, it is not designed to be lifted out of the water for transport, storage, maintenance, and related purposes. This does not prevent people from calling a ship a boat, much to the disgust of many people who know the difference."

1. At Glacier Bay National Park,  ______ cruise ships are allowed to enter Glacier Bay each day, subject to seasonal quotas.  
a. two
b. three
c. four
d. five

2.  Ships passing through the Verrazano Narrows can be seen from vantage points in ______,  a National Park System property.
a. Fort Vancouver
b. Fort Pulaski
c. Fort Stanwix
d. Fort Wadsworth

3. Sir Francis Drake ______ his ship, the Golden Hind, in the vicinity of Drake’s Estero in present-day Point Reyes National Seashore.
a. disassembled
b. burned
c. careened
d. renamed

4. People can see the USS Constitution while visiting Boston National Historical Park. All of the following statements about this historic vessel are true EXCEPT:  (Choose the one that "does not belong.")
a. It was given the nickname "Old Ironsides" following a Revolutionary War victory.
b. It is the world's oldest floating commissioned vessel.
c. It is capable of sailing under its own power.
d. It is berthed at the former Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.

5. Among the historic ships or replicas that visitors can tour in America's national parks are     
a. the Balclutha and the Friendship
b. the Mayflower and the Niagara
c. the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria
d. the Saratoga, the Yorktown, and the Missouri

6. The steamer Far West was one of the best known ships in the history of the American West.  With which of these events now commemorated in National Park System units was the Far West most closely associated?
a. The Klondike Gold Rush
b. The Battle of the Little Bighorn
c. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire
d. The 1859 Pig War in the San Juan Islands

7. A model of the historic sailing ship San Salvador is on display in
a. De Soto National Monument
b. Cabrillo National Monument
c. Virgin Islands National Park
d. San Juan National Historic Site

8. True or false? While visiting Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, people can tour exact replicas of the ships used in the Roanoke voyages (1584-1590) that supported the first English attempt to colonize the New World.

9. True or false? People can take a ranger-led tour of a historic whaling ship while visiting Massachusetts' New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.

10. True or false? The National Park Service allows diving on sunken ships (wreck diving) in the waters of Isle Royale National Park .

Extra Credit Question:

11. In which National Park System unit can visitors tour the USS Red Oak Victory?

Super Bonus Question:

12. A National Park System unit commemorates an American naval victory in which a ship sailed into battle flying a banner reading "DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP." Name the park.  Give yourself an extra point if you know the war in which the battle was fought and the state in which it the park is located.


(1)  a -- The daily quota for cruise ships at Glacier Bay is two.  The quota for the summer season (June-July-August) is 153 use-days and the quota for the shoulder season (May plus September) is 92 use-days.

(2)  d -- Fort Wadsworth, a historic brick masonry fort built to protect New York harbor, is a component of Gateway National Recreation Area. Situated at the foot of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, where it occupies the highest ground in New York City, Fort Wadsworth offers fine views of New York harbor and its gateway, the Verrazano Narrows.

(3)  c – While circumnavigating the globe (1577-1580), English explorer Sir Francis Drake chose this place to perform some badly needed maintenance on his galleon Golden Hind (Drake’s only remaining ship).  The vessel was careened, or hauled over on its side, so that its hull could be cleaned and repaired.  

(4)  a -- It was a War of 1812 victory over the British warship HMS Guerriere that earned the USS Constitution the proud nickname "Old Ironsides."  The sturdy oak sides of the Constitution was said to have repelled some British cannonballs as though the hull were made of iron.

(5)  a -- The 1886 square-rigger Balclutha is one of six National Historic Landmark ships displayed at Hyde Pier in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and a replica of the 1797 East Indiaman Friendship is exhibited at Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

(6)  b -- The Far West figured importantly in the Battle of the Little Bighorn and its aftermath. The US Army leased the river steamer for use during the 1876 campaign against hostile Sioux and Northern Cheyenne Indians. The 190 foot-long ship drew only 20 inches of water when fully loaded, so it could navigate the shallow rivers of the Upper Missouri River System.  The Far West served vital supply, communications, and headquarters functions on the Little Bighorn River, evacuated wounded Seventh Cavalry troopers after the battle, and delivered the news of Custer's defeat to Fort Abraham Lincoln in North Dakota (from which it was telegraphed throughout the country.   

(7)  b -- A model of the sailing ship San Salvador is on display at Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego; it's inside the Age of Exploration Exhibit Room near the Visitor Center. The San Salvador was the flagship of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo (1499-1543), who led the first European expedition to explore what is now the west coast of the United States.  In September 1542, Cabrillo claimed San Diego Bay for Spain.

(8)  False.  North Carolina's Fort Raleigh National Historic Site does not have historic ship replicas for visitors to tour.  In fact, no plans for vessels used in the Roanoke voyages are known to exist.

(9)  False.  New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park does not have a historic whaling ship on display. Park visitors can see a large whaling ship model at the nearby New Bedford Whaling Museum.

(10)  True.  Wreck diving is allowed in Michigan's Isle Royale National Park, which has nine major sunken vessels in its waters.  Scuba diving is quite dangerous there, however, due to the water's depth, cold (39-45 degrees F in some places), limited visibility, and other hazards of open water diving in Lake Superior.

(11)  The USS Red Oak Victory is berthed at Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, where it is currently available for public tours four days a week. The Red Oak Victory was launched in 1944 and saw service in the Korean and Vietnam wars as well as World War II.  It is the only Victory Ship constructed in the Richmond Kaiser Shipyards that has been restored.

(12)  Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put-in-Bay, Ohio, commemorates the September 10, 1813, American victory over a British fleet in the greatest naval battle fought on Lake Erie during the War of 1812.  American fleet commander Commodore Oliver H. Perry sailed into the fray on a flagship flying a battle flag inscribed with the words DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP.

Grading: 9 or 10 correct, rest on your laurels; 7 or 8 correct, pretty darn good; 6 correct, passable fair; 5 or fewer correct, nothing to brag about.


on #7, the San Diego Maritime Museum and Cabrillo National Monument are constructing a replica of the San Salvador at Spanish Landing, just across Harbor Dr. from the airport, and about 5 miles from Cabrillo NM.  Most weekends and some weekdays you'll find CABR interpreters in their 1500s dress at the construction site.

(9) True. Wreck diving is allowed in Michigan's Isle Royale National Park, which has nine major sunken vessels in its waters. Scuba diving is quite dangerous there, however, due to the water's depth, cold (39-45 degrees F in some places), limited visibility, and other hazards of open water diving in Lake Superior.
Most of the wrecks are in less than 70 ft of water and have caused no problems.  But the Emperor sits at an angle with the bow at 80 ft at its top and 110 ft at its bottom and its stern sitting in over 200 ft of water.  I performed 2 autopsies on divers killed diving the Emperor in the 90's.  The accidents were both caused due to inexperience with diving in deep, cold water.

The comment that most of the wrecks at Isle Royale are less than 70 feet deep is simply not correct. The Emperor, Congdon, Kamloops, Chisholm Engines, and portions of Cox, Glenlyon and Algoma and Cumberland range deeper than that, some much deeper. The America and Monarch and parts of Glenlyon are the only sites I know at Isle Royale where people would be attracted to dive less than 70 feet.
In addition to depth and cold water, the under-ceiling environment at Isle Royale is a hazardous part of the diving experience.  One of the first fatalities along with several close calls on the America were due to penetration and entanglement not depth. Whether deep or shallow, Isle Royale is one of the most serious sport diving locales in the country. Besides being deep, cold and under ceilings it's very attractive--sort of invites one to push limits. Divers who are quite experienced in most tourist areas are not ready for Isle Royale except under supervision of the local charters or the right divemasters.  The NPS has a proficient dive team there; they would be good ones to ask about the wrecks, conditions, etc.

Add comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide