The Royal Navy has a bunch of coastal patrol vessels that are named after rivers around the UK. From what I have read, HMS Severn is one of the first batch of vessels and it is less capable than the later batch. Although originally planned for retirement, it has been kept in service patrolling the UK coastal region. It was heading out of Portsmouth when I saw it. I think it was originally painted grey when it was commissioned but it currently has more of a camo scheme applied. It made me think of the disruptive camouflage used during the First World War. I actually shot a pano of it as it headed out taking advantage of the lack of an immediate background to avoid any issues with the movement between shots.
Tag Archives: warship
A Broken Aircraft Carrier
The Royal Navy has recently commissioned two new aircraft carriers. At 60,000 tons, they are the largest ships the Navy has ever had. The first is HMS Queen Elizabeth and the second is HMS Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales was due to undertake its first major exercise off the east coast of the US but, shortly after departing Portsmouth, it experienced some technical issues. I don’t know whether there is official confirmation of what happened but there is a suggestion that one of the screws contacted the seabed.
Whatever the issue, she had to return to port and the Queen Elizabeth was substituted for the exercise. There has been discussion that the ship will need to go to Rosyth for dry docking but, as of our visit, it was still alongside at Portsmouth. I was able to get some good shots of it from Spinnaker Tower as well as some from the ferry as we headed to the Isle of Wight. I hope they can fix whatever the issues are rapidly.
Pacific Fleet Home At Esquimalt
Continuing a theme from some recent posts with preserved Royal Navy ships, I add another part of the Portsmouth historic dockyard. HMS Warrior was the world’s first iron hulled warship. See served a reasonable career as a warship but, as was the case in those days, technology moved on fast and she was gradually relegated to lesser duties. Eventually she became a hulk for storage and then a floating oil jetty. Restoration was undertaken in Hartlepool in the 80s and she was opened to the public in Portsmouth in 1987.
I have not ever visited her. I moved away from the area around the time she arrived and, while I have been back there more recently, I didn’t include her as part of the visit. I have photographed her from a distance though. Writing this has made me think that I need to visit at some point. With Victory and Mary Rose in the same area, you might get a bit “shipped out” but I shall have to give it a go some time.
Old Victory Shot
I was searching through my archive looking for some ship shots and the keyword search threw up a few extras that were separate from what I was after. It included some shots of HMS Victory. Victory is one of the most famous warships in the UK. She was the flagship of Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar and he died on her deck as the battle was won. She survived after her main career was over and sat afloat at Portsmouth for many years before being restored and put on display in a dry dock in the navy base.
I have been on board a few times over the years. I have some old photos from the film days that I took and also some aerial shots of her and thought I might share them here. I understand that she has recently undergone a further restoration. The hull had been sagging around the supports underneath and so she has been repaired and the support system modified. It is also now possible to go under the hull as part of the visit. This is something I would like to try when I next have time during a visit to the UK.
Royal Navy Warships at Portsmouth
My aerial photo searches brought me to some shots of the Royal Navy’s dockyard at Portsmouth. One or two shots from this were used in a post about a flight I took with Pete but not very many. Flying over the home of the Royal Navy, we got to see a bunch of ships – large and small. HMS Bristol was moored for use as a training ship. I think she may have now been relieved of that duty so don’t know whether she is still around and for how long.
Plenty of frigates were moored alongside and there were surplus Type 42 destroyers at various locations too. This got me thinking about a day many years ago when we were in Portsmouth for some reason. We took a trip around the harbour in a sightseeing boat and I got a few shots of some ships then too so these are interspersed here. Now the arrival of the two carriers to the fleet would mean a good chance of getting a far larger vessel alongside. Might have to think about doing something like this again at some point when I am in the UK.
Naval Station Everett in the Sun
I was flicking through some old shots that weren’t well keyworded and was surprised to find some shots from a San Diego visit which included some warships. I had some shots of an aircraft carrier including a few for a panorama that I had never compiled. Why not correct that? Here it is, the USS Ronal Reagan.
This Is A Real Warship
My friend Bob alerted me to an unusual warship visiting Everett’s naval base. The USS Michael Monsoor is the second of the Zumwalt class of destroyer. Only three of these ships are going to be built so it is an unusual thing to see. They have a shape unlike almost any other ship with a stealthy profile. I had seen pictures of them and figured I would try to catch it at some point. I was hoping to see it shortly after Bob mentioned it but then saw it had already sailed for some local exercises.
As with aircraft, there are ship tracking websites available so I waited to see if it was heading back. It wasn’t coming in that day. Nor the next or the one after that. Instead it was going to and fro off port Angeles at a low speed.
Then, as I got up one morning, I happened to check the tracker and I saw it was heading back. The weather was pretty grim but was forecast to clear up a bit. I grabbed my stuff and headed for Mukilteo. They would come passed the point en route to Everett and it should provide the best opportunity to get a shot. There followed quite a bit of trouble as they first appeared to not be coming my way and then made a 180 and did indeed come towards me. I will spare the details of this. Meanwhile, the sun had made an appearance.
I initially spotted them a long way south. The odd profile of the ship was conspicuous, even at a distance. As it got closer, the unusual shape seemed strangely unreal. Pictures do make it look strange but seeing it in person it is somehow stranger. The sun was appearing and disappearing behind the clouds but I was able to get some nicely lit shots. The details of the structure were interesting with the bridge seemingly buried in the structure, the guns on the upper rear decks looking like something out of a sci-fi movie and the side door open with the ladder lowered, presumably for the pilot.
After it had gone, I was tied up on a call for a while but I did drive back along the shoreline towards Everett to get a look at it tied up alongside in the base. Head on you get a clear idea of how different it is from the rest of the ships of the fleet.
If you are used to a modern shape of an anchor, particularly one for a large ship, the old style of anchors in the days of the early 1800s will be rather strange looking. They look like a giant version of the sort of anchor you would see on a small boat. This example sits on the seafront in Southsea and comes from a ship that fought in the battle of Trafalgar. It seems in pretty good shape. I wonder whether that is a feature of the materials used or the result of lots of bits of it being replaced over the years.