Sailing for Show
“Whenever we do an evolution [event] of 15 or 20 ships at sea, we have to take photos to show the formations and the ships. Sometimes we have to get within 400 yards with ships on each side to get good photos, and that’s difficult to do while moving at 13 knots on the open water. If you get too close, you can trade some paint. The participating foreign countries want the shots to establish that their Navy can do our maneuvers as well. There’s a joke that if you do an evolution without taking pictures, then it didn’t happen.” –Lt. Addison Carr, while sailing the York River, without another ship in sight.
People onboard wonder, “How does the bridge turn?” Dave Brockman of Christiansburg got a waterview perspective of the George P. Coleman Bridge when he sailed past it on the York River with his wife Sharon. Now Dave works for Carter Caterpillar in Roanoke and helps service the hydraulic system that turns both spans of the bridge sideways.
“A large powerhouse in each pylon runs four independent motors on wheels. Each takes 120 gallons per minute to flow in the hydraulic fluid at 3,000 PSI. But there’s not a machine in North America that can test it at full load. Our test handles 60 gallons up to 6,000 PSI, which works fine.” Up above, we could hear the thunder of traffic crossing the steel grid.
Watching the flag flutter on the tall ship Eagle in the York River brought back memories of Sept. 11. For example, Don Birkenhagen of Pennington, New Jersey, recalled, “I worked on the 110th floor of the World Trade Center and had just left a three-month consulting job a week before the attacks. I lost all but two of 32 people I worked closely with. I think about them every day.”
Roseanne Gaston was visiting New York from Kansas. “I was going to take my mother to dinner at Top of the World restaurant Sept. 10, but it was raining too hard. We decided to do lunch instead the next day.” She paused and looked at the ship’s flag. “Driving back to Kansas, it was impressive to see so many American flags flying from buildings, homes and everywhere.”
Let’s Go Sailing for Show
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