Cornucopia of fast food stands, Ferris Wheels, merry-go-rounds, assorted stomach-turning upsidedown rides designed to disorient minds. The ships of several navies are docked close by.

I walk the gangplank of the Canadian Patrol Frigate HMCS Calgary, flat "shipside grey" paint thinly brushed on steel plates set at angles for stealthy sailing. "Watch your head" climbing down stairwells to where graves have been discovered containing skeletons of people of early Eskimo cultures. The eye-sockets of the skulls have artificial eyes in them, giving them a gruesomely lifelike appearance. With the skeletons was found the skull of a diver treated in the same way. It has been suggested that the purpose was to keep in the soul, but against this may be argued that this operation could not have been performed until redundant systems are slaved to computers. "We use MS Word to write letters," the guide tells me. "It only has an American spell-check, so we make mistakes." Two big gas turbine engines are braced on rockers within insulated space.

On deck, the Bofors 57mm rapid fire cannon, Hedgehog missile launchers, Phalanx Close-In Weapon System,
and depth charge launchers are muzzled. The capitan salutes them all with a smile.

 

 

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