Today's Times brings up an intersesting question: What happens when a floating military museum needs to get touched up and repaired?

The answer it seems, at least in the case of the U.S.S. Intrepid, which has been sitting at a dock on the West Side of Manhattan for over twenty years, is a mystery wrapped in secrecy:

sometime in the next several months, the 900-foot-long leviathan, with a collection of jets and helicopters strapped to its flight deck like hood ornaments, will be dragged down the river to a dry dock, where it will be patched up and repainted.

For the moment, executives of the foundation that operates the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum are acting as if loose lips could sink their ship. They are guarding the nature of the ship's ailments and details of when, where and how the repairs will be made like military secrets.

But they have notified local and federal officials of their intent to move the ship, though they have not laid out the specifics of their plan.

It seems that the repairs for the Intrepid are to be tied in with repairs planned for Pier 86, which the ship is docked to, but other then that though, details are scarce. The ship will move, but where to, by whom, and for how long is currently not public knowledge. All we know for sure is that the 900-foot-long ship will soon drift away for some much needed R&R. Sigh.

While we find the idea of going down the West side and not seeing her docked a little unnerving, we hope that when she does go that the Intrepid comes back quickly and better then ever. At the least because it has been such a reliable place to send visiting family for an afternoon (little boys especially seem to love those planes)...

Photo of the U.S.S. Intrepid from hawkwild's flickr stream.