CLYDE FLEET TENDER
On Sunday, 6 April eight cadets and two officers arrived in Faslane Navy Base for a week's training on a 79 foot Clyde Fleet tender.
Next morning we had breakfast and headed to stores to pick up our food. They obviously had mixed up our rations with those for an aircraft carrier as we would only have finished them by eating constantly all day everyday (not a problem for Lane Scott) We were then taken to our vessel for the week. Her name was "MEON" and aboard was a crew of five.
Our mentor for the week became a large Scotsman called Archie. He was full of all sorts of sea stories if you could work out what he was saying and he also proved to be a dab hand at cooking sausages by drowning them in fat.
We spent our days cruising the Scottish coast stopping off in varied ports including Rothesay (Bute), Brodick (Arran), Millport (Cumbrae) and Tarbet. The cadets had the great opportunity of doing all the driving and the navigating while the crew simply kept a watchful eye.
Unfortunately we were unable to stay on board the ship but we had very comfortable accommodation in HMS Dalriada in Gourock. The other nights we stayed in a rather plush portakabin in Loch Striven.
We spent many competitive hours playing Pass the Pigs (with Andrew Ross as champion). The stakes were high one night- the prize for the champion Sixth Former being a comfy bed for the night instead of the hard floor.
Other evening activities included football (especially for Jonathan Henry) and listening to Gary Porter's jokes (especially for nobody) - the mini joke was good when he remembered it!
The "Murray Walker" award for tempting fate comments definitely went to Mr Spence. He had just lectured us on respecting the property in HMS Dalriada when he stood on a chair to close some curtains and promptly fell through it shattering the wooden slats. Ross Kane took a photograph of the evidence but it was as poor as his other photographic efforts that included a photo of the UK award winning public toilets on Rothesay.
After much practice with the radar (even though William Rutherford, Ryan Thompson and John Halliday still couldn't get Radio One) and many man overboard drills it was time to plot a course for Faslane and then home.
PS We all survived Mrs Spence's quality cooking carried out in the smallest galley possible.