"Although soaking up the sun and topping up the tans was just one aim of summer deployment, it allowed all of us to put into practice what we learned from our Thursday drill nights.
Invigorated by such patriotic monuments, and after a comfortable stay at HMS Collingwood, Pursuer’s final summer crew boarded in Eastbourne, replacing the hungover remnants of phase two. After a few days of intense chartwork, we set sail to explore the wonders of the English Channel, from the mighty ferry ports of northern France to the humble yet lively seaside towns of the West Country.
We then travelled to Boulogne, Dieppe, Le Havre and Cherbourg in France. Improving our skills on helm, OOW, plot and chart was hard work so our appointed moral officer and PT officer took us every morning for a PT session to make sure we were in top form for the day.
Our next destination was St Helier in Jersey. After securing the ship many of us visited the lively Polish festival and enjoyed a “few” drinks in a couple of Jersey’s bars and clubs. The next day was our first harbor day, and those who weren’t on duty visited the beaches, cycled round the island and saw more of Jersey from the inside of a club.
It was then time for us all to, once again, traverse the channel to explore the pretty South West coast. Here we enjoyed the return to English beer and understandable conversation as we made our way westward from Weymouth, to Torquay, to Falmouth. Eventually we overshot the West coast entirely as we sailed for Saint Mary’s on the Scilly Isles. Here in our short stay we flexed our minds in a local pub quiz… poorly. But quite successfully managed to drown our sorrows afterwards.
During this night passage to Holyhead, many of the boys on duty watch got the chance to see dolphins jumping alongside the ship, however, all wasn’t to be plain sailing - in the middle of the Irish Sea our portside engine decided to reject the entirety of its oil and so Pursuer, unwilling to see us go so soon, was forced to limp on with one engine through the night The next morning the ship was taken out of the water for maintenance and we all returned home tired after what had been an exciting experience on ship. We said our goodbyes to the ship’s company and finally travelled north to Glasgow."