Saturday, 4 July 2015
A stiff restorative is now the Order of the Day for self.
I spent the afternoon at the Tall Ships festival at the Belfast docks.
I cycled in the trusty two-wheeler through Titanic Quarter and found a discreet parking space under the Lagan railway bridge, at Queen's Quay.
Thence I joined a queue for the shuttle bus, which took us to the County Antrim side of the river Lagan, specifically Pollock Dock, where HMS Northumberland is presently docked.
Northumberland, a Type 23 frigate, was commissioned in 1994; has a complement of 185; and weighs about 5,000 tons.
The queue for Northumberland was hundreds of yards long and it took an hour to reach the gangway, or whatever it's called these days.
Alas, Belmont was not whistled aboard (!), though we had a fairly free run of the main deck.
The interior messes, cabins and quarters were closed to the general public today.
A number of the ship's crew hail from Northern Ireland.
I gather that the new captain is Commander Patricia Kohn RN, and judging by the duty rostrum, she was aboard or afloat this afternoon.
You shall be relieved to hear that the two-wheeler was in situ when I walked back (quicker to walk - the bus queue was hundreds of yards long).