||After a short recess in New Zealand after our UK tour we soon left Wellington again for foreign climes, this time for what was originally a two month assignment based in Nassau, Commonwealth of the Bahamas. As you can tell, it didn't take me long to start entering into the spirit of Carribean life by adopting one of the local beaches, but I was a good fox and made sure that I remembered sunscreen for my sensitive bits...|
|One of the major resorts in the Bahamas is Atlantis, a hotel and casino complex located on Paradise Island just a stone's throw from downtown Nassau. Terry and I visited a few times, here I am on "King Neptune's Throne".|
|Once day I decided to give Terry a hand at the office... Everyone thought I was cute!|
|With the Bahamas being so close to the USA (about an hour's flying time from Nassau to Miami), Terry took the opportunity to fufill a childhood ambition and travel to Kennedy Space Centre near Orlando, home of American manned spaceflight. Here I am outside the Visitor's Centre.|
|It's "Ground Control to Major Tom..." from an actual Apollo-era launch console.|
|I've heard about how American vehicles are different to the ones at home and in England, but this one takes a bit of getting used to. It must be the steering!|
|Terry took up the option of an additional "Behind the Scenes" tour of the Kennedy Space Centre, which included a close look at the Vertical Assembly Building (VAB) where the Space Shuttle (and in the past, Apollo moon rockets) are assembled before launch. This building is HUGE - you can see it from almost 10km away!|
|Here we are at an observation point midway between the two Shuttle launch pads - and behind us, at Launch Complex 39A, is the Space Shuttle "Endeavour" being prepared for launch. This spot is less than a mile from the launch pad! (It's actually unsafe to be at during a launch due to the toxic rocket motor gases released, but it's perfectly safe the rest of the time.)|
|Not far from the working launch pad complexes and assembly buildings is a museum dedicated to the Apollo lunar flights of the 1960s and 1970s, which contains among other things an actual
Saturn V rocket of the type that sent Apollo 11 to the Moon.
Here I am posed on one of the crawler tracks of the transporter vehicle that carried the Saturn rockets (and the Shuttle today) from the VAB to the launch pads.
And here I am in front of the Apollo Command Module where the astronauts rode to the moon. This is the small end of the whole Saturn V rocket - the "business end" of the first stage is a LOT bigger as you can see in the picture to the right!
|On one of our trips back to New Zealand from the Bahamas, Terry visited his friend John Plunkett in Portland, Oregon in the United States. While doing some sightseeing, we came across a series of cows lurking around the downtown shopping area. This one looks most unusual... if blue cows are normal in the US it explains why American cheese tastes the way it does!|
Back in the Bahamas... and one weekend we took a a trip to the Exuma Cays, an hours ride at 40 knots on a high-speed "Miami Vice" powerboat from Nassau. This was a most excellent day's outing, visiting a deserted island inhabited by iguanas before setting off to another island for a few hours fun in the sun!
Nice food, free drinks, sunshine, the chance to feed stingrays and sharks in the crystal clear waters - well worth it!
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Copyright 2002 Terry Knight.
Last Updated December 2002
For more information contact: Terry Knight