Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Lionheart - Kate Bush

The Captain's Farewell Cocktail Party and Dinner had been moved back one night due to the increasing sea state, so safe in the calmer waters of the English Channel the revelers gathered.
Ukrainian Captain Alex Tkachuk welcomes his guests,
after which I had chance to say my final farewell
to my new found shipmate and ex
Chief Gunnery Instructor Royal Navy Kevin (Flash) Gordon.
Only 9 of the 450+ passengers were invited to dine at
The Captain's Table
of which I was one.
Intrigued about the 'selection process' it turned out that the Captain
selects 'interesting only' with a Marine background also helping
(their words not mine). It was a great privilege to be there
Oh England my Lionheart 
 Peter Pan steals the kids in Kensington Park
  You read me Shakespeare on the Rolling Thames
  That old river pool where that never, ever ends
  Our thumping hearts hold the Ravens in
  Keep the tower from tumbling
Well, that's that over and done with, arriving at Spit Head at 07:00.
Ryde, Isle of Wight
M/V Voyager arrived at Spit Head, the confluence of the Solent and Portsmouth Harbour, at 08:00 this morning and with the Pilot embarked started the passage to our berth at Flathouse Quay some 4 miles to the north.
Low Water Spring Tide and the first reminiscence was the 'mud' off of Ryde Pier. As a 15 years old Boy Seaman we left HMS St Vincent in a Sailing Whaler under the commend of a Leading Seaman and soon anchoring at this location. Just a short paddle to shore we were soon enjoying the delights of the Isle of Wight but returned to find the boat over on its keel and the sea nowhere to be seen. With no radio communication we were soon reported missing with a search aircraft and Lifeboat being launched. Perhaps no need to mention the bollocking that followed.
Having been my Home Port for most of the 60's, some of the 70's and many, many visits thereafter there was much nostalgia during this short run.
which for reasons not to be reveled always puts me in mind of
and the old HMS DOLPHIN
home of the 1st Submarine Squadron
in which I served for 5 years.
The 100 foot Submarine Escape Training Tower.
Every Submariner was required to undertake 3 x 30 foot escapes, 1 x 50 foot, 1 x 100 foot in 'escape suit' and 1 x 100 foot 'free accent' (one breath of air).
aka Seagoing Jesus Boot (sandal)
a fabulous part of the Portsmouth Maritime Museum
a 'not to be missed experience'.
French Navy Hydrographic Research Vessel FS LAPLACE
c4 of the new generation 'Stealth Destroyers' of the
'Daring Class' were alongside.
The Destroyer HMS BRISTOL now used as a 
Seamanship Training School.
then back into the same berth we left on 04/12/2012


  1. Welcome home my friend, I have not missed a day of your wondrous adventure. You have shown me a world I will not see for myself, and I thank you for that.
    All the very best, Gordon.

  2. Hi Gordon. Thanks for that and who knows next time (a week on Monday?) I might need a bag-carrier?