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Here we go . . . moving close to the USS Nimitz off Phuket today

LIVE USS Nimitz Tour: Photo Special

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
PHUKET: We are bringing you LIVE coverage today of a media tour of the USS Nimitz, the aircraft carrier now anchored off Phuket's deep sea port.

Phuketwan's team is among the media who are being ferried today to the nuclear-powered vessel, home to more than 3000 sailors and with the ability to create holes in all the right places in the event of war.

It's been a Massive May so far, with a massive power blackout on Phuket, a massive storm off Krabi . . . and now the arrival of the massive American floating city, the Nimitz.

Look for additional photos and interviews as we tour the ship, talking to crew as we go. We'll be updating the album and text every few minutes.

9.25am the Phuket deep sea port actually looks quite impressive this morning, with a cruise ship at the dock and tourists emerging asking ''Is this Bali?''

Actually, for once the Phuket taxis seem quite orderly and there's no sign of a blockade. We're on our way out to the Nimitz any minute now . . .

9.35am Wow, what a sight it is. There are about 50 people in the party from Phuket, and the Nimitz just seems to grow bigger, the closer we get. Slowly, the aircraft on the deck come into sight. It's hard to convey how . . . massive . . . this vessel really is.

9.46am We are on the open deck right now, looking around at a war machine at peace. The Phuket sun is shining, life couldn't be better with Phuket so close and inviting . . . our briefing with the commander is coming right up.

9.48am Commander Rear Admiral Michael S. White tells us they've been busy off the South Korea coast for the past two-and-a-half months. He doesn't say so, but the news has told us they've been playing war games . . . with North Korea, in a fashion.

He says they're ''taking a break after patrol.'' Of the 5000 crew, 400 are women. So many of the old ideas about sailors and their attitudes and approaches are changing. Looking around, the crew seem very young.

10.01am Up on deck, Flight Director Aircraft Director Emanuel tells us, there are 56 aircraft with another 12 being housed below. The planes look immaculately maintained. Everything about the Nimitz seems sparkling clean.

10.15am We're getting the chance now to chat to some crew and get their perspective on live on the Nimitz.

10.26 Now we are on the bridge, where the captain keeps an eye on the radar and makes sure the speed and course is appropriate. Amazing to think that one man has control of an aircraft carrying several hundred passengers. A ship this size, with 5000 people on board . . . that's some responsibility.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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I have been on two of these carriers here now. I was going to skip this one but this report makes me want to reconsider.
"Hey, I have an idea, lets build a nuclear power plant and put an airport on top."
"Impossible!!"
"Did I mention it also has to float?"

Posted by NomadJoe on May 28, 2013 10:33

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At last the solution to the tuk tuk problem arrives, helicopters.

Posted by slickmelb on May 28, 2013 19:20

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How would one go about getting a tour of one of these almighty vessels!?

Posted by Matt on May 28, 2013 19:22

Editor Comment:

It may be too late this time around. We told regular readers about the tours through the Phuket Navy League. There will probably be another opportunity. Join now, tour later.

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I would dearly love to visit this vessel. How does one apply for permission?

Posted by geoff on May 28, 2013 20:22

Editor Comment:

It may be too late this time around. We told regular readers about the tours through the Phuket Navy League. There will probably be another opportunity. Join now, tour later.

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Does Phuket really want nuclear powered vessels off its coast? Nuclear disasters do and will happen.

Posted by Damien on May 29, 2013 10:33

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For those who are enquiring about tours of the ship it may be worth going to Famous bar in Jungceylon tonite where the Phuket Navy league are hosting a reception for the crew. Note: this is not a breach of their security as the information is in the public domain.

Posted by Mister Ree on May 29, 2013 12:00


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