18 September 2010

The navy comes to town.........

......make that three navies. The South African, Brazilian and Indian navies are about to embark on a joint anti-piracy exercise in the Indian Ocean. Seems like they are preparing, for in case the pirates extend their sphere of operations to the Southern Indian Ocean.

Today we had the oportunity to visit some of the ships.

The first stop was the INS Mysore, a Delhi-class destroyer and then INS Tabar (battle axe), a Talwar-class frigate from India. It was an enjoyable visit and soon it was time to leave.

We then had a taste of navy protocol, or maybe it was a reverence for authority. When we were about to disembark the officer in charge would not let us leave, a decision, which to me made no sense. One thing that really pees me me off is a lack of logic. He was very aggitated and not content to make us wait, we were then asked to move to the stern side of the gang plank. Soon a more senior officer arrived and barked out an order to straighten the gang plank. This was done with great alacrity. When all was in order a grey haired gent in civilian clothing, with the look of someone who had a stick thrust into the nether regions of his anatomy, marched up the gang plank and was smartly saluted.

It turned out that he was the fleet commander - el supremo the man who makes the life and death decisions - who does not stand aside for anyone on his ship. No wonder us civilians were kept waiting, we are mere mortals after all.

The next stop was the Brazilian frigate, MB Niteroi, which was alongside the SAS Spioenkop, a Valour class frigate. By this stage it was getting late and we had to leave and so did not make it on to the SAS Spioenkop. You will see that the MB Niteroi has anti-rat barriers on some of its ropes.

Looking out across the harbour was a "little yacht" sailing past the INS Ganga is a Godavari-class guided-missile frigate, from India.

On our way out  the SAS Amatola was coming in to dock. It is the first of four Valour class frigates that were recently acquired by the SA Navy.

I was not too happy with the overcast weather, but I think grey light combined with the colour of the ships has almost given the pictures a monochrome look that is quite effective.


sonia a. mascaro said...

Hi Max,
You took great photos!
Sounds that it is really a good oportunity to visit some of the ships, including the Brazilian navy.

Scriptor Senex said...

I agee - the light seems just right for those shots.

Rose said...

I agree...gray skies fit the subject. I would love to tour some ships like this...one of these days when things settle down maybe we will get to.

Firefly said...

I so wanted to go and see these, but time just didn't allow on Saturday. Should have slipped out on Friday. I haven't taken pictures in over two weeks and really need to get something to kickstart the passion again.