496. Sunday 12th June 2016. Back on the bike and big ships compared…

Saturday 11th June

I reached a new milestone today. Yesterday I started dusting, cleaning, adjusting and pumping up the tyres on my Powa Bike 24. The very same bike on which I had my accident on 2nd August 2015 and broke my wrist. Today I finished getting the bike ready for a ride. Not everything is completed, some small scrape damage which cannot be fixed and the speedo needs a new battery but it was enough to go for a ride. I parked it at the bottom of our driveway while I put on shoes, riding gloves and helmet. All the time the bike was sneering at me, daring me to get on and go for a ride. I sneered right back and carefully threw my right leg over the centre bar and got ready to ride.

My PowaBike ready for a ride.
My PowaBike ready for a ride.

OK.

All ready.

Correct gear selected and electric motor in the OFF position. Then I was away and feeling maybe a little too confident but nonetheless had to get riding again before I changed my mind. For a start I rode each of the 6 streets in our village – twice. Apart from a little saddle soreness and the broken wrist more than a little sore, I felt good and ready to ride again tomorrow. As I have slowly come off my pain meds so will I slowly build up my riding distances.

Sunday 12th June

Rode the Powa Bike again this morning.

The baby of the Australian Navy Fleet, HMAS Adelaide, Aircraft Carrier, was in Brisbane for three days. It was not open to the public but viewing could be made from Luggage Point, an area on the Brisbane River saltbush flood plains behind the International Airport.

120616 mudflats
Mudflats at rivers edge beyond that is a sandy base covered in saltbush and thick couch grass.

I decided to drive to Brisbane and see this billion dollar ship for myself. I was somewhat disappointed as I compared it to a previous visit to see the USS George Washington in July 2013. Our ship was designed and built as an aircraft carrier but sadly, the budget did not extend to buying suitable planes. It will be used as a Landing Helicopter Dock and based in Sydney. It was launched in December 2015  and is carrying out duties along various Australian ports.

As I moved away from the riverside viewing area to the swampy area the ship seemed to grow in size.
As I moved away from the riverside viewing area to the swampy area the ship seemed to grow in size.
The closer to the ship the smaller it seemed.
The closer to the ship the smaller it seemed.
The ship was specifically designed to give more lift to planes on take-off. Unfortunately there are no planes.
The ship was specifically designed to give more lift to planes on take-off. Unfortunately there are no planes.

I could not help making comparisons with the US ship. While the US ship was a hive of activity the Australian ship was almost ghost town like.

The USS George Washington. Look at the rust. Hmmm! I guess the painters must be painting the other side.
The USS George Washington. Look at the rust. Hmmm! I guess the painters must be painting the other side.

HMAS ADELAIDE                                                                              USS GEORGE WASHINGTON

Length                  231metres                                                          333metres

Width                    32metres                                                             77metres

Depth                   7.08metres                                                         11.3metres

Tonnage              27,500 tonnes                                                    104,000 tonnes

Propulsion          Diesel and Gas                                                  Nuclear Reactor

Crew                     1,046                                                                     6,102

 

Although our ship is probably the biggest in the Australian fleet it is almost half the US ship which is the size of a large town. On reflection I also compared it to the Norwegian Pearl a middle size cruise liner we which we travelled on to Alaska last year.

The passenger ship, Norwegian Pearl in Alaska.
The passenger ship, Norwegian Pearl in Alaska.

Length                  294metres

Width                    32metres

Tonnage              93tonnes

Propulsion          Diesel and Electric

Crew                     1,093 + Guests 2,394 = 3,487

So this cruise liner which is similar in size to the HMAS ADELAIDE carries three times the personnel. It is also a floating small town and much busier.

There are a number of businesses which specialise in buying moving and selling old houses. Many of these houses are stored on land which is probably useless for anything else. The blocks of land are slightly raised above the surrounding salt marsh flood plains. The land is further surrounded by a cyclone wire fence and moat like mosquito breeding swamps. I guess this helps to dissuade any person foolhardy enough and equipped with a suitable crane and truck, from stealing an old house.

Take a look at what is on offer.

Old houses stored in dry patches in the swamp.
Old houses stored in dry patches in the swamp.
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