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Aboard the USS Nimitz

July 10, 2007
The USS Nimitz, one of the largest warships in the world, was anchored off Chennai last week.

The aircraft carrier's visit marked yet another effort to expand the India-United States defence relationship.

Commissioned in 1975 by then US President Gerald Ford, she was named for the American admiral Chester W Nimitz.

When the 104,000 tonne nuclear-power-driven ship was parked in Chennai, politicians, bureaucrats, film stars and artistes were invited on board by the US embassy in New Delhi and consulate in Chennai.

Dancer-choreographer Astad Deboo spent a few hours aboard this ship-city. This is his account of the visit:

We had to report at the Raja Rathnam stadium in the centre of the city at 11 am and were taken down to Chennai harbour by bus to board a large boat taking us to the Nimitz. It took nearly half an hour to reach the ship which was anchored about 50 km away from Chennai. We arrived at 1 pm.

I made sure I was right in front so I could have a panoramic view of the Nimitz. From far it was just a solitary ship in the ocean. But when you came closer it was an overpowering vision. She is 23 stories high!
As told to Vaihayasi P Daniel. Image: The USS Nimitz. Photographs: Astad Deboo.
Earlier slide show: The call of the Ganga

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