Sunday, 17 August 2014

Week Thirty-six: Nauti, Nauti Girl

This week will be rather naval in nature. But being on a big metal floaty thing will do that. Big floaty things don't have great connectivity (rather small bandwidth on a good day), so the upload left much to be desired. But the experiences were fantastic and the photos were too many to choose just a few. Still left some out (like the ones of me in uniform - didn't take them myself, you see, and no one needs to see it), but some of the really neat ones from France and a special WWII naval ceremony are below. 

Day 1 (246): 11th of August
Not going to have the strongest opening this week (again). Only really got photos from the bus as we drove (in the worst beach traffic imaginable) up to Gaeta. So needless to say they all came out neither good nor terribly interesting. But that is life I suppose. We never got up to much of a speed, but when we were properly stopped, it was not near anything all that demanding of being photographed. Just a vineyard or two.

And maybe an olive tree.

Even Gaeta itself was all hazy and gross so I didn't bother with a majestic shot of the Mighty Mount Whitney (that was only slightly said with a smirk). Just the generic "coming up on Gaeta" shot.

Day 2 (247): 12th of August
Woke to hear that Robin Williams had died. I well know that many comedians struggle with depression, but it is still sad to see the passing of someone who had such an impact on my youth. As a compulsive people-pleaser, I have a natural love for those who bring joy to others, even if at their own expense, or perhaps more accurately to make things not seem so bad. Rather a glum note, and rather glum photos, as I was busy and only had time for a couple in the old stateroom. Like the odd phone base still on the wall (we have a newer one right beside it). Gosh it's a bit blurry, eh?

And the big art piece identifying the room and frame and all that jazz. 

Day 3 (248): 13th of August
Woke to hear Lauren Bacall had died. She taught Bogey how to whistle. She was a force of awesome. What a lady. Seems a bit appropriate that for our time in Theoule Sur Mer (on the French Riviera), we popped over (via mad expensive taxi) to Cannes. Yes, that Cannes. Such an amazing place. Someone really ought to think about putting on a film festival of some sort. Great food. Had duck with apricot rosemary sauce... mmmmm. Also, so many amazing brilliant cars. This is not Cannes. It is just the whole bay. In the rain. 

Looks rather better in the sun.

Like riding away from the mighty ship, the weather makes things seem nicer. 

This is Cannes. So many amazing boats. 

And this one that is less amazing posh-wise, but still looks great in slightly altered colour. 

Day 4 (249): 14th of August
Second day in Theoule Sur Mer. While on the shuttle that took us to the beach I was totally distracted by this amazing British boat in the harbour. It needed the frame. Such a beauty.

Long ass day. My meetings got pushed back several hours in the day, so the liberty plan of being lazy in the afternoon on the beach became being lazy in a beachside bar. 

Then it became being piggy over some veal piccata and creme brulee that made me want to cry. I don't do food porn photos, so the scene is the name of the game. 

As is this part of the scene. 

Day 5 (250): 15th of August
Basically today was all about ceremony. after a day of rather rocky travel about the sea off the French Riviera, we were a part of a parade of ships and then a pass in review (look it up; I'm not explaining it) before the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle. During the mad wind and choppy seas, I went out and got a few nice shots. Like the coast near Toulon. 

And here are the ships in formation. 

And again. The wider shot. 

Such a gorgeous day at sea. A tough job have I sometimes...

Later, we got to put on our glad rags to go man the rails during the pass in review. Despite the pain it caused my back and the mess the wind made of my hair (it happens), the experience was incredible. Took so many photos today it was nearly impossible to only choose a few. The French carrier looked quite posh all manned and covered in important people. Had to sneak this shot with the iPhone because we were supposed to still be at parade rest. 

We even busted out the battle ensign (not to be confused with busting on embattled Ensigns - Navy people will get it). So majestic and things. 

Day 6 (251): 16th of August
Back to Theoule. On a Saturday. Felt like a cross between late on a Friday and a Tuesday, what with the "some work but not really but yes a bit" manner of the day. But we got out and had more time in France. Not that we wanted to go much of anywhere. Just found a nice beach and brought books and grub. Nice view.

Nice water. See how we try to make a little bitty wave look like a proper big wave?

And some rather artistic beverage containers (my overpriced adult bevvie is off camera).

Day 7 (252): 17th of August
Last day. Thank the great Water Gods. 
This is a placeholder in the event of an inability to get the Sunday shots up (a good chance of that happening). It is a passageway (or hall if you prefer) within the Mount Whitney. My room is just up a few frames and on the left (or aft and to the starboard...)

Another placeholder. Another passage/hall. This time looking forward. My office is just up a few frames and on the left (or forward and to port... you get the drill).

Not the easiest week for upload purposes (and not great for the sleeping). But the shots came out alright, and the Big Grey boat trip was not as bad as it might have been (if it was in the end a trifle tedious at times). Lessons learned and all that. 

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