I have always feared the sea, so this was a big step up for me, but the thing that settled my nerves were my fellow officer cadets, who were ever so jolly and supportive. We stayed in forth block house for 4 nights due to our warship, HMS Pursuer, having other business to take care of. In those 4 nights everyone bonded, we all became closer. Deployment is all about learning vital skills but also creating long lasting bonds with your fellow crew members.
On the 5th of April 2019 we were finally able to board the ship. I was finally going to be a sailor! We sailed from Portsmouth to Jersey then to Guernsey and finally to Cean and Honfluer. We came into port ever so often for a couple of pints and off we were again. During our time at sea, we were all given roles. I was the Engineer on board, this made me very chuffed. I felt like a proper engineer. Being on ship felt like we were a big family, a military family. The kind of family I have always wanted. I would wake up every day with a big bright smile on my face as I just loved being there. Of course I made mistakes, but the beauty of having a military family is that they help you improve by encouraging you to do better every day. I learned a lot of things; how to be an officer of the watch, how to give commands, how to do shipping reports, how to take bearings and most importantly how to make a good ‘wet’ for the captain.
Deployment has been an eye opener for me, the door into the life of naval personnel. I made many friends and many connections and most importantly I very much enjoyed myself. The family of HMS Purser have taught me a great deal about naval life, they have inspired me.
OCdt Anil Thapa