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What a Ship! First Impressions of a T45 at Sea

We have had a frenetic start to our time at sea after sailing last Friday.  We were exposed to the tender ministrations of the Flag Officer Sea Training Staff (again!), to ensure that we settled down into our sea-going regimes.  It was not a gentle start.  Two man overboard exercises, machinery breakdown drills, fires and floods, even before we made it out of the Clyde.  While all this was going on, we had the excitement of a Hurricane Force 12 storm.  We were hidden behind the Isle of Arran so we didn’t get the full force, but 70 knot winds are testing at the best of times.  The Staff left on Sunday and we have spent the last 3 days taking on some ammunition and then having our underwater noise signature checked.  Both evolutions took place at the Northern reaches of the Clyde estuary, with snow capped mountains and, pleasantly calm seas.

There have been some moments of significance for many of us.  Notably, one of my young sailors has qualified to drive a 8000 tonne, £700m warship before she can drive a car and another, born in South Africa, enjoyed the experience of snow for the first time, even if she was on guard with an SA80 rifle at the time!

We will be winding our way South over the next few days, popping into a few locations on the way before arriving at Portsmouth.  In case you think it is just a cruise (I am sure you don’t!), we are also doing propulsion trials, preparation for the first embarkation of a helicopter, firing our GPMGs, practicing our saluting gun drills for Portsmouth and, no doubt, lots more. 

The Ship is responding well and proving herself to be the thoroughbred that she will certainly be.  Of course, she is only doing that because of the 190 sailors who are working hard, but seem to manage a smile on their faces most days, whatever fantastic task is thrown in their way.  This period at sea has once more reinforced the unshakable Naval truth that ‘there is no better person to have with you in a crisis than a matelot’.

Here’s hoping for some calm seas for the next few days!

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Photo of Paul Bennett Paul Bennett

(Currently: Moving Onboard HMS DARING)

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  1. JohnnyBramham said:

    Hi, Paul; as a noob to this blog I’d like to congratulate you on your appointment as Skipper of the Daring, and hope that the commish you’re about to undertake will turn out to be a happy and productive one.
    I hope you’ll keep us posted on progress as events unfold, and perhaps give us an insight on how technology and old-fashioned fighting spirit work together in this modern Navy of ours!
    All the best,
    Johnny (Brum) Bramham, former LMEM.