Monday, 6 December 2010

Great for nozzle enthusiasts!

We visit the Alexander Grantham Fire boat Museum. Hmm. There it is.

Seen it. Can we go for ice cream now?

Apparently not. Shark says this boat is very interesting. We want to go inside.
Do we? I ask.
Yes, we certainly do, nods Shark. The Alexander Grantham is an emergency rescue boat built in 1953.

I don't say anything. It took an hour to travel here, but frankly I only came for the ride and the ice cream.

Nevertheless, inside we all go, where we can look at a big red boat.

We have to watch videos about how fire boats work. They're just like fire engines, but fire boats pump water onto ships that have burst into flames. It is quite dramatic, and may involve explosions and dead bodies...

I do not know because I went off to snap facile pictures of wooden moustaches and pointy helmets.

Shark says Stop messing about, because this is very interesting information. She takes notes on how the Fire boat Alexander could pump 630 gallons of water per hour and 150,000 gallons of foam every 30 minutes. And that was state of the art for 1953.

Meanwhile I became distracted by nozzles.

Isn't that a fantastic word? Nozzles.

There's a whole display case of them!

They are lovely. Do not say they are phallic. They are not at all. They are shiny, and cast in interesting shapes. Look, this one is a rotating three head design.

Anyway, the alternative is to be tested by computer on how useful you are at rescuing people at sea.

Quite a lot of effort has been put into the exhibition of the Alexander Grantham. The fire service of Hong Kong is obviously proud of it. They fondly gave it a GPS system a few years ago, but then decided it was just too crumbly and expensive to maintain, what with its permanent need for lashings of red paint. I sympathise.

I must admit, even though I find fireboats dating from 1953 strangely uninspiring, I would like to play with the nozzle on deck. Come on, look at that beauty. Who wouldn't?

I fool about with that until Shark says now she's irritated with my childish behaviour. There is a lot to learn here about engine capacity, speed, and how, over 43 years of service, the fireboat was called out hundreds of times, including in 1972 to the fire of the RMS Queen Elizabeth. (Otherwise called the Seawise University.) So be quiet.

Then quietly, I go off and find more nozzles. A cupboard full!

Ha! I entice Squirrel to play with me.

Shark says That's enough and we're going home. But wait while Tiger draws some pictures. Fire boats are very serious.

And, says Shark, who now looks a bit like a superior version of Hillary Clinton, On the way out, you can be grateful that you haven't yet needed the successor to the Fireboat Alexander. The Fireboat Elite. You can see it in Hong Kong harbour everyday. And don't forget to say thank you on your way out.

Yes, now I may have ice cream.