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A thrill of looking at naval vessels is their uniformity.  To the layperson, which I am, this poorly shot foto shows the stern of a warship of some sort.

Uniformity means anonymity;  it does not mean pusillanimity.  Warships exude power.

But still, imagine my surprise–if wikipedia is correct about this–when I learned that this vessel–USS Simpson (FFG-56) is one of only TWO total US naval vessels presently commissioned that  can claim to have sunk an enemy vessel with its shipboard weaponry . . . aircraft are not “shipboard weaponry.”    Can you guess the other?  A clue is that it cost less than $4000 to build.  And foolish me ..  . I didn’t even get a proper foto!  In the foreground is an unidentified USACE vessel.  Learning the secret of  FFG-56 was similar to seeing–and then immediately knowing the back story of–Turner Joy last summer.

Yet another shot of C-Tractor 5 hooking up to

move USS Klakring off the dock.

Here a launch hurries over to attend to booms after Klakring departs.

Also in port was CG-69 USS Vicksburg, again . . . uniform but powerful would be an understatement.  .

I wish I’d taken more fotos, but copious fotos or no . . . I shall remember and appreciate my visit to Mayport.

Oh . . . that other currently commissioned US Navy vessel that has sunk enemy vessel usiing shipboard weaponry . . . is USS Constitution.  The vessel it sunk was HMS Guerriere, which although was battling for the British was French-built, taken by the British as a war prize in July 1806.

A few more fotos from Mayport include LCS-2  USS Independence, which reminds me of a DeLorean, somehow . . .

and another shot of C-Tractor 5.

On the morning of day 8 on the road, we caught USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world’s first nuclear-powered carrier  . . . from the eastern end of Beach Boulevard, Mayport.

Later in the day, from Miami Beach, we spotted Jan Caribe and then

a “floating-billboard” on the canal just west of the Beach,

a storm front moving across the Beach from

the Everglades and out to  sea, as

container vessel Sluisgracht heads into port.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who’s now headed out to see what Day 9 can show.

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July 2011