From the moment we got through the gates at Faslane, to the moment we left at the end of our weekend ship acquaint, I felt like I was finally getting to be a real sailor, on a real base, on a real ship.
And really we were. Our little group was treated like sailors returned from months at sea. We had cool accommodation, an amazing meal in the wardroom and then we were invited to experience the fun of the Senior Rates bar.
Amidst the banter, alcohol and games of pool that ensued we were pretty much feeling ready to tell our own stories on how we'd single handed-ly saved Britain in our own warship.
But once the alcohol had worn off and we got to go on ship, it was pretty obvious we'd never been to sea before. But luckily, we had the ships company, unit seniors and training officers to the rescue, they gave us a walk around the bridge, explained how to plot and navigate Rhu Narrows, how to throw ropes, how to check that the ship wasn't flooded and how to fit 20people around a dinner table that felt like it was built for 5.
Laughing and joking we formed into a happy crew ready to face the challenges of the seven seas and fight pirates. But then too soon, it was home time.
Nevertheless, it was a great way to get to know the ship, and to get to know the rest of the people we'd soon be packing up to go to sea with, and definitely a fun and memorable experience!