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HMS Daring

27th April 2009

HMS DARING - Now We’re Flying… And I’m Leaving

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Whilst news of my final blog may not fill too many people with sadness, for me it has a particular melancholy feel to it.  I was informed about 2 weeks ago that I was to leave DARING at the beginning of May, to take up a new appointment as Commander of UK’s Amphibious Task Group.  A fantastic job, but brings to an end my intimate relationship with DARING with a great deal of unfinished business.  

30th March 2009


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Last time, we were licking our wounds after our formal training period with the Flag Officer Sea Training Staff.  Three weeks further on, we are concentrating on developing our warfare ability in the early stages of the long road to operational service.

9th March 2009


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We have spent the last 2 weeks being put through our paces by the staff of the Flag Officer Sea Training.  We were alongside for one week and then spent 5 days at sea putting the theory into practice.  Called ‘Preliminary Sea Training’, the period is designed to check out our routines, our ability to deal with peacetime incidents and an opportunity to be exposed to new skills that will stand us in good stead as we start to develop T45 warfighting ability. 

23rd February 2009

T45 Back at Sea and Proving Her Warfighting Credentials

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After a week alongside spent catching up with maintenance as well as some defect rectification we are back at sea.  The week in Portsmouth allowed us to settle into our new base port, to face-to-face with the support agencies that answer our requests for help and, even, for some, some leave. We sailed in good shape with all machinery in proper working order.  We proved it of course, by sprinting across to Portland, testing everything to its full extent …..not quite the gently running in period that we might do with our cars.  We do indeed stop in 5 ship lengths from full ahead to full astern!

28th January 2009

Portsmouth Bound

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We are now cutting across the English Channel after a 2-hour stop off DARING’s affiliated Island of Guernsey.   With press onboard, the weeks of planning for our first entry are starting to become reality.  Once again, there have been some challenges, not least the weather.  The Irish Sea was at its worst on Saturday night and many of the Ship’s Company were introduced to the dubious pleasure of sea-sickness.  All well by Sunday lunchtime, when we took a couple of hours off to do a Concept 2 rowing competition.  Two machines were set up on the Flight Deck and while the engineers did some full power trials and the Ship threw up a huge wake, a few brave souls rowed their hearts out.  We have also completed a series of aviation related exercises, in preparation for the arrival of a MERLIN helicopter while at anchor on Monday. 

10th January 2009

Will We Make It to Sea?

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Happy New Year!

The Ship’s Company responded well to the challenges of running this new warship over the Christmas leave period.  Everyone is now back onboard and we are sprinting towards that final hurdle, endorsement to go to sea.  Briefings, exercises and a great deal of individual research are underway with a growing anticipation, and a little trepidation, of the moment that we cast off from Glasgow and sail for Portsmouth. 

1st December 2008

In Glasgow….with Anticipation

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 As a mid 40, moderately low tech captain of a very high tech ship, the concept of a blog is fairly new to me.  Nevertheless, with 2 teenage daughters to encourage me, I thought it might be of interest if I provided a few thoughts on one of the most exciting projects in Defence at the moment.


10th November 2008

Five Weeks to Go

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It does not seem very long since Daring came back from her final contractor sea trials. Since getting back alongside, the ship builder has been busy preparing Daring for her handover to The Royal Navy. Less than five weeks from now Daring will be flying the White Ensign and the ships company will be living on board.

24th July 2008

Another Month Goes By

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Where does time go? It doesn’t seem a few days since we were at sea and we are starting to prepare for the next set of sea trials. Daring sets sail again at the end of August for her last set of sea trails before the Navy take ownership of her in December.

19th May 2008

What Are We Up to in May 2008?

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I’m just back from a week’s leave (a well earned break), and wow how things have changed in such a short period!


The new Captain has joined so I wonder how things will be now?  More visitors have come to see the ship,  have a look round, and help with training. Its back to office life again for the next 3 months now the ship is alongside.


We don’t venture to sea again until mid August, but with summer leave to take beforehand, it’ll be upon us soon before we know it. 


FOST (they are the people who test us) are here this week for a good look round.  Their faces are a picture as they try to absorb in 3 days what we’ve been learning about for the last 18 months. Best they crack on!