Monday 29th July
While the CO-PILOT planned to visit the doctor today I took off to Mt Coot-Tha Botanical Gardens, specifically the Japanese Gardens.
I wanted to take part in a photographic course to learn more about using the camera, “off auto”. The course was open to over 50’s with a digital camera.
The biggest lesson I learned all morning was that I am happier using the full auto mode. The gardens are huge and somehow Donnis and I must fit in a visit, together sometime soon.
Wednesday 31st July
The giant USA aircraft carrier, USS George Washington http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_George_Washington_(CVN-73) (radio call Sign CVN-73) docked in the Brisbane River on Monday and will leave Saturday morning.
The ship carries a crew of 6,250, accommodates up to 80 aircraft, and is driven by twin Westinghouse A4W Nuclear Reactors. With a length of 333M and width of 78M it is large and impressive. Donnis had a dental appointment today so I planned to see the ship. For security reasons no open days are planned so the only way to see the ship is on the opposite bank from a lonely and desolate part of the Brisbane River called Luggage Point. The road ends here and parking was in grossly uneven ground covered in salt bush. The beach, such as it is, is mostly mud flats and struggling mangroves, a landing place for flotsam and jetsam as well as driftwood from further inland.
Despite the muddy uneven ground about 100 cars and occupants arrived for a look and to take photographs. While 3,000 crew were on shore leave, for the rest of the crew it was another work day. I did see two two planes brought out from below deck via Hangar Bay 3 and hoisted up onto the main deck.
The flight deck is around 4.5 acres.
Security on the water was also strong with one large Police boat anchored amidships while at least another 5 Police rubber duckies patrolled up and down the river. The raw power and huge size of the ship was impressive and listening to other people watching from the shore they were also impressed. Look at the photos and remember they are best viewed by double clicking and enlarging to twice their size. If you look at the big photo of the USS GW you can see the Police launch which is about 9 or 10 metres in length. Now compare it to the aircraft carrier and that will give a good indication of size.
Nothing much of any note happened for the rest of the week.