Saturday, June 7, 2008
The Rose Festival Fleet is in.
After work Thursday, I spent several hours watching this huge ship and one other come in, complete with the Portland Fire Bureau's fireboat honoring their arrival.
USS KIDD arrives. The dark strip across the top of the photo is the underneath of the Steel Bridge with both the lower and upper levels lifted. That's one of it's towers to the left. In the background the open bridge is the Broadway. And that slight arch you can see going from the Kidd upward to the left is part of the arch on the Fremont Bridge.
I stood in amazement as the tugs swiveled the Kidd right there in front of me, so that its bow pointed back towards the Steel Bridge, then pushed it up to dock beside the USS Lake Champlain which had come in earlier in the day.
The fire bureau boat continued upriver as the Kidd was turned. I realized that I needed to change from my zoom lens to the regular one and stepped to the other side of the walkway along the east side of the river, right at river level. Already I had put up the hood of my raincoat to keep the brisk, cool wind off my head. As I turned my back to the fire boat to make preparations to change lenses, I heard something coming towards me--the spray from a fireboat cannon! In seconds I was drenched as if I'd stepped into a waterfall, shoes full of water--not from the spray but from the stream of water. Thank goodness I had my hood up and my back to the boat! Thank goodness nothing happened to my camera or lenses! Not only had I been able to see the fire boats shooting water, I'd met that water up close and personal, an utterly unforgettable memory.
USS GARY arrives. You can see the entire Steel Bridge opening in this photo and that the Broadway Bridge has already closed.
You can see evidence of the wind that blew the entire evening in this shot of the Gary's flag. It says, "USS Gary FFG-51. Two guns. Back off varmint!" I took about a dozen shots but couldn't get a better one than this.
Left to right, USS Kidd, USS Lake Champlain, and behind them, right to left, are the USS Preble--you can see a portion of it--and the USS Gary, all you can see of it is the tower, antennas, etc. Those trees along the wall are the cherry trees in this post.
The fleet is in.
Monday is departure day.