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Welcome to Jack Speak

This blog offers an unlimited view of the Royal Navy, because it’s written by the people who truly understand what it means to be a part of this exceptional service – the Royal Navy personnel themselves.

We are delighted to be the only one of the Armed Forces to have created a blog and hope you’ll enjoy sharing our Life Without Limits.

14th October 2008

Introducing Sid Lawrence - Team Manager for the GB Skeleton Team at the Winter Olympics

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Sid Lawrence - Team Manager, GB Skeleton TeamFrom novice to GB Squad, I have just been selected to be the team manager for the GB Skeleton Team for the 2010 Winter Olympics.  I have become a Jackspeak Blogger so that I can share with you my journey to the Olympics and beyond.  If Peter Reed can win Olympic Gold for GB and for the Royal Navy - then so can my team…

3rd October 2008

My First Impressions of Afghanistan

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­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­First impressions of Afghanistan: hot…. unsurprising I suppose….

28th September 2008

Deploying to Afghanistan

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I flew to Helmand province, Afghanistan on the 17th of September, so the first few weeks back from leave were really a case of finishing off any essential UK work, ensuring everything was in place for when I arrived in Camp Bastion, but most importantly cutting around the UK in every spare minute to say goodbye to family and close friends that I won’t be seeing until well into 2009.  As everyone is deploying within a couple of weeks of each other, most people were doing the same. 

We had a couple of painfully good nights in the mess to mark the end of such liberties, and then we deployed.

15th September 2008

Having Fun in the USA

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Me & Ed in San Diego with a whopping US LPH in the BackgroundI headed off to California with 2 guys from the Mess at Chivenor.  Landing at San Diego we picked up a soft-top Mustang and head off to the Hard Rock Hotel in the centre of town.   What a place to stay.

Sadly the quality of the accommodation did not remain constant as we headed north, up the Pacific Coast Highway, towards San Francisco.  We managed to stay in an utter dive in Santa Monica…

8th September 2008

Darings Final Trials

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The last month has seen a lot of preparation for Daring’s final sea trials. The ship builder have been busy preparing the ship for sea and the crew have been training and exercising again in case of any fire or flood we may have. The ship has been fuelled with just over 1000 tonnes of diesel; this would be enough to fill an average car around 20,000 times!!!
Daring set sail down the river Clyde on August 26th to start her final set of contractor sea trials before her handover to the Royal Navy, the next time she goes to sea it will be under the white ensign.

3rd September 2008

Learn Correct Indoor Rowing Technique from Peter Reed

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Following his success as an Olympic gold medal winner with the Coxless Four Rowing Team, Lt Peter Reed  will be featured in an article on indoor rowing in the November issue of the magazine “Men’s Fitness”  (available in shops from 24th September).    Peter will demonstrate correct rowing technique when using an indoor rowing machine.  What better opportunity to improve your own training technique! Find the article in the ‘Perfect Form’ section.  Tell us what you think of the article… are you an Olympic rower in the making ?

29th August 2008

Olympic Sailing Report

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Having finally arrived home from China I am now able to look back on the last 3 weeks and update you all on how it went, reflecting on my experiences at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

 Qingdao - Olympic sailing venueThe venue was incredible, much had been written about the wind conditions and the algae, one of which had been removed and the other, well it was the same for everyone so little point in complaining about the light winds. The Olympic village is a 5-star hotel facility on site at the marina in Qingdao (pronounced ching dow). The countries were all allocated separate areas for their team’s dinghies and boats adjacent to the support containers (a mobile workshop and an air-conditioned rest and changing area). Security was extremely tight and very similar to airport checks for personnel and baggage every time anyone entered, passes had to be worn at all times and I even had a daily colour (red, white or blue) to wear. It all felt rather familiar to the good old RN!

27th August 2008

Peter in Beijing - Celebrating Olympic Gold in Style

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I hope you enjoyed the race! I’ve spoken to lots of people since then that have told me they were on the edge of their seats and screaming at the television, so I hope you’ve recovered from the shock and thanks for the help!

The 11 days since the race have rushed by in a whirlwind. Immediately we stepped off the medal podium the madness started and it’s barely stopped since. That night we were taken into a press conference at the Olympic Village that started at 11pm and finished about 3am. I received personal congratulations from the 1st Sea Lord, and then of course there was the interview with Gaby Logan where slow-mo footage of Hodgey telling me he loved me was played to ‘Je t’aime’ – I haven’t been allowed to forget that since.

I managed to catch some athletics at the Bird’s Nest (what a stadium!), some wrestling (where I felt small) and the modern pentathlon (where I saw our girl Heather Fell get a silver).

10th August 2008

3 Weeks Leave - Bring It on ….

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August 2008

All of 3 Commando Brigade got 3 weeks leave, which is awesome as pretty much everyone has had their fill of training for Afghanistan.  It’s important to get a balance to keep yourself sane!

So in the interests of that sanity I’m off to America for almost the whole leave period.

7th August 2008

Peter in Beijing - Olympic Games

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I think that throughout history, every athlete at every Olympic Games will have wanted to crawl under a rock and hide until it’s all over at some point in their preparation. It is difficult not to when you know how big and important one race is. Whether it is 9.7 seconds or 2.5 hours long, you know that other people who are the best in their country, at the peak of their form, are trying to take what you want most in the world; the one thing that you have been working so hard for, for more than 4 years.  PeteReedCaversham