4.6.18

RULE, BRITANNIA

For the anniversary of Winston Churchill's "We shall fight" speech (the famous passage comes at the end, after a somber report to Parliament of how badly things have gone in Belgium and France) and the Incredible Victory at Midway, let's consider HMS Queen Elizabeth, the newest aircraft carrier in the Royal Navy.


Queen Elizabeth is still being fitted out at Portsmouth, with preparations for a ceremony.  You do not want to bring your pleasure craft too close aboard.  Her fighter wing will be the naval version of the F-35, an illustration of continued transatlantic cooperation.


Nearby, HMS Victory looks on, and welcomes visitors, and your tuppence to help maintain her in a state of good repair.


HMS Warrior, an ironclad steam frigate, also welcomes visitors.  The green passenger ship will take you to the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear.


An intra-service joke runs that an aircraft carrier is a ship that carries aircraft to keep other aircraft away from it.  That's partly true: destroyers and guided missile ships also have a role to play.

Now it's time to disembark.  The evolution of bringing a car ferry to the ramp is the same, whether on Lake Michigan or the Channel: drop anchor, then pivot around and set back.


What's different on Brittany Ferries, though, is that passengers drive their cars onto and off of the ship, likely with traffic direction by ship staff.  On Badger, it's valet parking.

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