S.Atlantic : HMS LEEDS CASTLE: Sea Day Demonstrates the Right Stuff
Submitted by SARTMA.com (Juanita Brock) 15.08.2004 (Article Archived on 12.09.2004)
Some might not want to leave their beds on Friday the 13th but for me, just tempt with a sea day and Iím off.
Photo (c) J. Brock (FINN) - Squadron Leader Jason Morley being winched to the stern of HMS LEEDS CASTLE.
HMS LEEDS CASTLE: SEA DAY DEMONSTRATES THE RIGHT STUFF
By J. Brock (FINN)
Squadron Leader Jason Morley being winched to the stern of HMS LEEDS CASTLE.
Some might not want to leave their beds on Friday the 13th but for me, just tempt with a sea day and Iím off. Telepathically luring me to come hither, an invite to spend a day on HMS LEEDS CASTLE defies superstition and, with the help of Maj. Mark Brennon, who provided transport to Mare Harbour, I boarded The Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel at 0900 and was greeted in the wardroom by Lieutenant Commander Iain Lowery RN, who briefed me and other guests about the ship and about the events planned for us. After that and the safety brief we went to the bridge and watched while crewmembers untied the ship from its moorings. HMS CARDIFF and RFA GOLD ROVER joined HMS LEEDS CASTLE as she left Mare Harbour for the open sea.
The Photos show: Leaving Mare Harbour, LCDR Lowery, HMS CARDIFF
We began manoeuvres with the other ships by getting into convoy with RFA GOLD ROVER in front and HMS CARDIFF behind. Each ship took it in turn to take over command of the task group as we entered the open ocean at the mouth of the harbour. The XO explained that the OOW Manoeuvres and RAS Approaches were like the ships dancing on the sea. As the vessels changed position and approached each other, one could discern a pattern woven into each step. To keep things going smoothly, the Navigation Officers and Helmsmen concentrated on the task at hand, giving and receiving orders and executing them with precision. Taking her navigational turn on HMS LEEDS CASTLE, just one month out of training, was Sub Lieutenant Frances Guy. She instructed the helmsman to manoeuvre HMS LEEDS CASTLE on course while HMS CARDIFF cut directly in front of the vessel.
The morningís events complete, an Indian lunch was enjoyed in the wardroom. This was a good chance to meet the Officers who make HMS LEEDS CASTLE run like clockwork. It was also a chance to meet and chat with Major Jill Hamlin, from MPA Media Ops., who contributes copy and photos to FINN and SARTMA.
The Photos Show: Sub Lt. Frances Guy, Ready, Aim, FIRE!, F-3 Tornado Aircraft
Gunnery exercises followed Lunch, with a simulated task of sinking an imaginary enemy ship. Following on was the winching down of Squadron Leader Jason Morley from a Sea King Search and Rescue Helicopter from 78 Squadron and two fly pasts, one by a C-130 and the other by an F-£ Tornado Aircraft. All of this activity was topped off with a tour of the ship, including the Command Centre, where ship-wide fire fighting and safety procedures were explained and the galley where approximately 132 meals a day are prepared.
As afternoon tea was taken, we returned to Mare Harbour. FINN and SARTMA would like to thank the Captain and Crew of HMS LEEDS CASTLE for an excellent day out. Enjoy the photos!