Thursday, June 9, 2011

Portsmouth, England

Jarrod sent me some stuff to post about the ship’s recent trip to Portsmouth, England.  His internet connection wasn’t great, so he wasn’t able to send a lot of pictures.  _______________________________________________________

Day of arrival – Duty day!  I stayed on the ship and put out fires all afternoon…such as not having a water barge (we couldn’t make water utilizing reactor power, so we had to rent a 120K gallon water barge).
 
1st full day in port – Portsmouth D-Day Museum & Blue Reef Aquarium – Great time, but it was COLD!!!  I really enjoyed the D-Day Museum, the scenic route around Portsmouth, and the Blue Reef Aquarium…even though my beautiful wife wasn’t with me I was able to squeeze some pleasure out of the day.  The D-Day museum discussed the preparations and build up for the invasion into France to prevent the Nazi’s from crossing over English Channel and entering Britain.  It was quite an experience and extremely informative from the build up side, D-Day “minus” aspect looking years in advance.  Portsmouth was one of four or five major launching points for the invasion of France in order to stop Hitler.  But that was only part of my day!  Upon completing the D-Day museum, I walked out the back of the center and marched straight to South Sea Castle.  I tell you, it would be a comfy place for me and my queen!  Castles are distinguished from forts by having a moat around them…this particular one having angled edges to improve defenses and allow for better targeting.  This castle is situated over the deepest part of the channel and protects the English Channel in conjunction with two “island forts” in the middle of the channel.  These are better seen once I get the pictures uploaded!  After an amazing look around the castle, I headed down to Blue Reef Aquarium where I viewed lots of interesting fish that the kids would have really enjoyed.  It was like many other nature centers we as a family visit, and I really missed my family while going through it!  It was way more than just an aquarium and helped to top off a wonderful day away from the ship!
 
2nd full day in port – Stonehenge and Bath…Stonehenge-big pile of rocks in the middle of a field.  But they sure are COOL!  Bath – SPECTACULAR!!!  I thoroughly enjoyed Bath and must save for the pleasure of allowing my dream girl a stay for a few days.  There was a gorgeous cathedral and the Roman “baths” were something else.  This bath area originated from a hot spring that the Romans build buildings around and enclosed, thus using gravity to move the spring water through the different bath tubs and then out into the river.  Really complex and intricate tile work was amazing to see!
 
3rd full day in port – Hampton Court & Windsor (not the castleSad smile)  So I spent my last full day in England checking out Hampton Court and then the town of Windsor.  Hampton Court was a really big castle complex.  Really amazing work done there and I enjoyed walking through and seeing the architecture and layout.  The chapel within was beautiful, but no photos were allowed.  I’m sure some photos can be found on the internet if you’re interested.  Now Windsor…wow!!!  I did not tour the castle, as the line for entry wrapped around the block.  But from the outside it is extremely impressive.  So I toured around the town…had an ice cream cone and a “swirl chocolate stick” that was stuck in the top of the cream cone.  It was good.  Then I lounged around in a park and read a bit, and made my way back toward the bus where I came across a “walking puzzle” that I played.  It was a fun game…saying something about chess originating from the kids sport. It was fun!  The weather turned cloudy and I made my way back to the bus where I enjoyed a quiet couple of hours reading and listening to some music! 

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