notfred wrote:...Couldn't work out what was going on until we came around a headland and found the Destroyer HMS York sitting there with everything powered up...
Methinks the RN destroyer you saw was, if not on some stationary mission in itself, probably working on some issue which its commander decided needed fixing before heading off to some exercise or making a report. Modern warships cost a lot just running stationary, and perhaps he felt the risk to the ship's record and his career could be worse otherwise.
I really look forward to visiting warships at dockside wherever I find them. Normally the ones in port and open to the public have everything turned off and locked down. Unusually, last year the US Navy had one of its LHDs (same carrier as in Battlefield 2, for you game vets) making port calls around the Pacific rim. My family was vacationing nearby in the fanciest resort, and once I saw all the "Welcome USS x" signs and groups of seamen at the bar off we went. The USS Essex along with its squadron of supply ships was docked for several days with its full complement of Marine Sea Cobras and Harriers and CH-57s on deck, electronic systems powered up and masts scanning, deck lifts and cargo bays all active and moving cargo and people. The captain reportedly kept enough crew working aboard to sail quickly anytime, although most of the marines could have been bunking offduty at hotels. That profile would still mean costs in the tens of thousands dollars per day in fuel, supplies, and duty pay, and commanders don't leave that level of expenditures on their books without good reason. It's the accounting which most impressed my wife - daily parking costing more than all her handbags put together.
Of course, the remote of my Toyota worked ever more spottily as we re-parked nearer and nearer along dockside to take pictures. Would mash the button several times, sometimes with the keyfob touching the window, before the doors would lock. Eventually I just resorted to manually toggling the all-locks switch before closing with the doorhandle trick. The failed rear left door actuator and relays had just been replaced with new factory parts, and was operating perfectly well as with the other doors until then. The carrier's attendant destroyer was out to sea, if it had been in the harbor running its systems and radio chatter my remote would have likely become ineffective.