Summer deployment phase two began in Portsmouth, where the five Glasgow URNU cadets were
joined by two from Bristol URNU to meet HMS Pursuer. We spent two nights at HMS Nelson
whilst the ship was readied for sea. During which we explored Portsmouth with trips to the submarine museum, the imperial war museum and the historic dockyard.
Over the next ten days, new cadets worked towards completing their first task book. Everything
was learned from scratch: from using ropes, berthing, navigation at sea, down to cooking,
cleaning and keeping the ship presentable. More experienced hands either worked towards their
Midshipman promotion, with more in-depth navigation and seamanship, or kept the rest of us busy
and motivated throughout the day. But above all, the importance of sea-sickness tablets was
highlighted to us on day one as all of us suffered from nausea during only a two-hour journey to the Isle of Wight. From there we sailed to Weymouth, then back along the English coast and up the Thames towards London where we spent two days at HMS President hosting the Lord Lieutenants of London, alongside Cambridge URNU’s ship HMS Trumpeter.
There were many memorable times, including when the ship broke down at sea with the Captains boss’s boss on board, and one cadet missing his graduation to be on deployment. We all took something different away from our two weeks with Pursuer and her company, but if we were to draw some top tips from the experience, they would be these:
1. When two P2000’s are alongside next to each other, pay attention and make sure you get on the
2. When you get up in the morning, make sure you turn off the intruder alarm on the bridge.
Although it does make an excellent alarm clock.
3. Give careful thought to who you assign as catering officer. Check the basics, for example; do they
think Bovril and gravy are interchangeable? Will they serve you half-raw chicken kievs? If so, it could
be an uncomfortable two weeks.