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July 08, 2006

Mighty Ships

Alright, I am another one of those who like ships. With so many different kinds of ships to be seen I had a field day during our cruise through Helsinki harbour. The one below, for example, is a ship that is not easily detected even inside a harbour basin because it is so well camouflaged. I had to look twice before I eventually spotted it.

Fast Attack Craft

The Gray Monk has told me that this kind of ship is called a Fast Attack Craft. Her raked superstructure deflects radar so that she will have a smaller signature on radar than a normal craft of her size. The idea is to make her appear less threatening and allow her to get in real close to launch missiles or torpedoes. As often before I wonder at how much creativity goes into the design of destructive weapons.

Opposite her in the harbour was moored the German Frigate BREMEN. Her main task is to fight U-boats but she is equally well equipped to fight aircrafts and other ships as well. She doesn't look it but she is 130 m long and her top speed is 30 knots. She carries along a crew of 219 men. I cannot imagine where they all fit in, must be a bit of a squeeze. Pity, we couldn't get on board and have a closer look around.

Frigate BREMEN with the coat of arms of the City of Bremen (a big key) visible on her bow

Another breathtaking sight on our cruise was the group of icebreakers basking in the sunshine at their summer mooring place enjoying the warmth no doubt. They must be pretty busy in winter keeping the passage from Helsinki to Tallin in Estland free of ice. These icebreakers are designed to break up an ice layer of up to five meters! Amazing, isn't it? I'd like to sail on an icebreaker myself one of these days, just once, in winter of course ...

The mighty URHO and her five sisters

The next turn to starboard brought us back into the harbour basin and our cruise to an end. What a way to start the day ...sigh...

Posted by Mausi at July 8, 2006 07:36 PM

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