Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Shape of Things to Come - Yardbirds

Rory Gallagher (2 March 1948 - 14 June 1995)
Just flicking through 'You Tube' last night looking for the 'unusual', I came across it in copious amounts when stumbling upon Joe Bonamassa playing Gary Moore's Midnight Blues on Rory Gallagher's trademark 'beat-up' 1961 Original Sunburst Fender Stratocaster guitar, which he owned from his very early days until his death in 1995. There was a brief moment when he was parted from his most precious 'axe' when it was stolen from the back of his tour bus. " I did actually have the Stratocaster stolen in Dublin in the sixties, and I got it back after two weeks - it was thrown over a ditch, with a few extra scratches from the brambles and things so when I got it back - it had been out in the rain as well - so I mean, I swore I'd never sell it or paint it after that"...Rory Gallagher
Yes, you guessed it, more of the beleaguered Summer weather with 'rain bearing' clouds hugging the Ridgeway Hills well to the north of Weymouth Inner Harbour accompanied by a chilly wind. A slightly later start this morning, so the bus straight to Portland
where, looking from the top of New Road across West Bay and Chesil Beach things looked no brighter.
It was a surprise then to find any Butterflies on the wing let alone
SMALL SKIPPER, which was my first of the year, as was a fast moving Ringlet (no photo).
and GREATER KNAPWEED, with attendant Beetles, looked good in the odd moments of sunshine.
The c3 RAVENs were hanging around the same field as previously,
with this one so close
it was difficult to resist loosing off a few shots.
On reaching the Observatory, this RED ADMIRAL was perched on the wall as a few Marbled Whites fluttered around in the long grass.
The Shape of Things to Come relates to the upcoming Olympic Games and the scenes of numerous
sailing vessels in Portland Harbour (and Weymouth Bay)
which are those that were confined to the shore yesterday. It will be noted that the clouds were now getting even more threatening so time to beat a quick retreat.

At home I found, right out of the blue, an e-mail from a long lost shipmate, Paul (Andy) Knapp with whom I started birdwatching in 1973. Attached were a couple of images of his past as a Royal Navy Air Crewman, so over to Paul.
Hi ya,
        I've attached two photos of subs, the one with the two Wessex HAS Mk1's is off the Western Approaches, don't ask me the name, but the side no: may give you a clue. I am in the nearest helo, having just picked up the track chart. The photo of USN Haddo was taken in the Med. A crew member was suffering from severe stomach pains, suspected appendicitis. There was quite a swell running, and the "sail" was moving around too much for a transfer from that position, so the "Skipper" blew the forward tanks and raised the bow out of the water so that the main hatch could be opened. A ""dodgy thing to do" on a sub at sea. Anyway the "Yanks" were under strict instructions, that as soon as I hooked on the stretcher, they were to get down below and close the hatch "TOUT SUITE", which they did, leaving me and the casualty on our own, top side. Before the winchman could raise the winch with me and the stretcher, a 'bloomin great swell broke over the casing, and there being no hand holds we were soon up to our necks in the "oggin". Luckily the winchman had his "eye on the ball" and we were soon inboard!
Operating with "nukes" was in its infancy then, well for us anyway, whilst doing a Casex (an 'anti-submarine exercise'), I kept telling the Observer (Navigator) that the sub had "gone to ground" under the carrier. There was no way he would believe me, but on the "wash-up" afterwards the Skipper admitted he had placed himself under the carrier, and only one helo had remained in contact!
This is in fact HMS Otter (S15) an Oberon-class Submarine of the Royal Navy. She was laid down on 14 January 1960, launched on 15 May 1961 from Scotts Shipbuilding, Greenock, Scotland, commissioned on 20 August 1962 and paid off on 31 July 1991. I have my own little experience of her as duty Master aboard the Tug Sheepdog one weekend at Portland many years ago. Otter was an unexpected arrival and we were dispatched to assist her entering harbour for just the shortest of visits. As Royal Naval Captains were occasionally prone to a little high jinx, I was informed by the 'old man' that he intended leaving harbour under 'stern power' (backwards) and would I pay closer attention. Of all the thousands of ship movements in and out of Portland Harbour this was the only time I witnessed such a manoeuvre.
Thresher Class Attack Submarine: Laid down, 9 September 1960, at New York Shipbuilding Corp, Camden, NJ; Launched, 18 August 1962; Commissioned, USS Haddo (SSN-604), 16 December 1964; Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 12 June 1991; Laid up at Bremerton Naval Shipyard; Final Disposition, entered the NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA., completed 20 June 1992.