Today the USS Kitty Hawk returned to Sydney Harbor. Naturally she tied up at the Garden Island navy base which is a 5 minute walk down the road. We are fortunate that Woolloomooloo Bay has such deep water that the biggest ships in the world can dock just a few steps from our public streets. I took these photographs from Embarkation Park. It is part of why I love Kings Cross so much - that so much that is different and exciting is just a few minutes walk away.
I think aircraft carriers are very beautiful pieces of engineering where the beauty grows out of the pure efficiency of function. Like large bridges or large aircraft the laws of physics take precedence over compromise and the result is by default beautiful.
There is also the kind of impression of beauty that grows out of the human ability to be awed by immense structures whether they be mountains or huge ships. I love being in a big jet when it is taking off just for the sensation of the power of those engines to create speed and then the physics of pressure differentials on the wings lifts that great weight into the sky. I get that same feeling from a great ship like this, its immensity, the power of its engines, and the city-like functioning of its crew, 5,000 souls working together like a purposeful machine. That is just as much beauty as the lines in a hull.
Docked at the wharf great doors open that expose the hangars in the bowels of the ship. I have been inside there on an open day when the ship was in port a few years ago. The feeling in that immense space is of something from another world.
It is good to see so many sailors in the Cross tonight. 4 more ships were in port - cruisers and assault ships. It is a lot of sailors. Kings Cross has been hosting visiting sailors for 150 years. It always has a good feeling when a ship is in. Judging from the smiles on happy sailors it seems the feeling is mutual.