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HMS Argyll Diary

LETME Davies
LETME Davies

LET(ME) Davies 28 Mar – 2 Apr 09

LET(ME) “Dickie” Davies is 38, married to Emma and has 2 children, Alex 3 and Oliver 3 months, LET(ME) Davies has been in the RN for 18 yrs and sadly admits to still loving the job! This is his 3rd draft to Argyll, with his first being in 1992 as a MEM(L) 1.

Saturday

Well today marked the end of TAURUS 09 and EX EGEMEN for Argyll and we fell out of Defence Watches at 2pm and back to our normal cruising watches.  However, the fun doesn’t stop as I have the First which is from 8pm to midnight. I am looking forward to Soudha Bay in Crete as I have been there before and really enjoyed myself!

We arrive in Crete tomorrow at 0930 and we are there for 2 days before sailing for Palma, Majorca. I will write again tomorrow to tell you all how it went. Laterz.

Sunday

We arrived in Soudha Bay Crete today at 1030 but not before I had repaired the stbd capstan so it had at least one speed and then I did not stop all day. The full repair took me all day but it was worth it in the end as a job well done. The crew are looking forward to the rest we will get in Crete and all my mates have already headed into town to “enjoy” themselves! It is a lazy Sunday routine tomorrow which means no work and no one needs to get out of bed for the day. I think I may go into the local town of Chania and do some shopping or else just go for a walk. I have been here before and it is an enjoyable run ashore.

I will write again tomorrow when I get back from town. Also did I mention the snow? On all the hillsides here, I don’t think I have ever seen snow here before!

Monday

I have had a quiet day today what with it being a lazy Sunday so I don’t have much to report, after the week of defence watches (12 hours on, 12 hours off) I  decided that a day of rest was in order so that is exactly what I did, rest. Back to sea tomorrow, but I have to be up at 5am to start getting all the propulsion plant from standby to ready for sea. Now, however, we are definitely on our way home.

Tuesday

Well I was up at 5am to do the flash (see yesterday) which mostly went well apart from the port gas turbine playing up, which was quickly sorted out and in the end all was well. Due to the leave party going home we are now into a 1 in 3 watch routine with everyone doing the same watches everyday, me I am doing 4 until 8 twice a day until we get to Palma on Saturday. Hopefully I won’t be too tired by then. The big news of today was our pay award, which was, in the current financial climate very good and was mostly warmly received, but as we all know a matelot is never paid enough! Tomorrow is mostly going to be cleaning for Captains rounds which, to be honest, I never like but you just have to get on with it and get it done and then that’s it for another 6 months. And as we are cleaning our storeroom you never know what you will find hidden away in the back of a cupboard, it might even be useful!

Wednesday

Today’s theme of the day was cleaning for Captains Rounds of the aft end of the Ship which it seemed everyone was getting into while still complaining which after all is a sailors right!  So after the morning spent in our store tidying and finding things which were either lost or forgotten, I finally managed to get into my bed for a bit of a rest after lunch before going back on watch at 4pm until 8pm when I had my tea, which was, as usual quite good. I had the pasta as I am not a great fan of curries and it was curry night.  We seem to be making good progress towards Palma and the crosses on our chart in the control room are marching steadily toward the western end of the Med and then onwards to home. I will report on Captains Rounds tomorrow.

Thursday

Another long day as again I was up at 0330 to go on watch in the control room at 4am. A quiet watch saw us past Sicily and Malta on our passage west. Captains Rounds were in the afternoon and it was fairly obvious that a lot of hard work had gone into them by the Ship’s Company, and the results were very good. The Marine Engineering Dept (mine) won the prize for the best compartment on rounds for the salvage generator space and the prize was very much enjoyed! With the completion of rounds came the draw for Captain for the day which was won by LET(WE) Milo Garstang, I hope he enjoys it, me I don’t think I would know what to do with myself and I think that I might find it all quite uncomfortable. But don’t knock it until you have tried it as they say.

As is usual on board you get used to things being a certain way round, for instance, evening rounds being in the evening and not after breakfast. However, today is Thursday and I have just had steak for my tea. Very nice you may think but, however, and it was very nice, it was on the wrong day! By tradition steak night is on a Saturday not on Thursday and for a simple minded sailor like me it is most odd. Jack has a very literal mind and he does like his routine and these things can be quite disconcerting if you let them. I shall be over it in a couple of days but tomorrow will help as it is Friday so it is fish and chips for lunch.

So ends my last diary entry and I hope dear reader that you have got a small taste for what it is like on one of Her Majesty’s ships for the last week, and I have enjoyed writing them. Thank you for reading. Dicky