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NAVY NEWS, JANUARY 2009 3
The rough guide to Portland
DESPITE this wonderfully
right), spent three days working up the three-mile ‘trot’ to the top of the lessons. (¡Ay, caramba! – Ed.)
serene scene, one word
her board and search techniques 1,340ft peak. First to the top was the The latter probably weren’t much
sums up the fi rst month
(fittingly conducted off Portland) marine engineer officer, Lt Cdr Kevin use in Soudha Bay, Crete (the local
before heading south andandn White, who rWhihi eached Devil’s tongue is Greek, you see) where
of HMS Portland’s tour of then east. TToower in 28m 33s.oww another overnight fuel stop was the
duty: roughers.
Biscay offered the ship’p’ss Then it was straight back T order of the day.
Bay of Biscay. Rough.
company, in good RNRNN down again as Portland was dowow Still, clubz had one third of the
Med. Very rough.
euphemism, a chance to o o only ‘overon nighting’ in Gib – ship’s company running around on
Red Sea. Redders. Phew.
“earn their sea legs and this was a pitstop for fuel.t the jetty next to Portland (not for
But it’s a long way from Devonport
experience some of what Next stop was Soudha masochistic reasons but for the
to the foot of the Red Sea – a good
Mother Nature has to Bay in Crete for an equally annual fitness test; most passed).
couple of thousand miles and that’s
offer” in the words of swift pitstop. That was promptly followed by
a lot of ocean.
Lt Cdr Mark Hocking, Getting to Crete proved a five-a-side tournament with the
It began quite calmly, however, in
Portland’s weapon to be as much ‘fun’ as 30-man mess under LS ‘Scouse’
the peaceful waters of the English
engineer officer. getting to Gib. The frigate Garvey triumphing in the final
Channel.
It was rough. sailed into a storm (Seas courtesy of a controversial 1-0
Except that they weren’t actually
So a bit of R&R wasass State 8, winds of 50kts).Stata victory over the wardroom.
that peaceful. Pirates (the RN’s
definitely the order of the day Not that it deterred all the And somehow, many Portland
baddies du jour) had seized the
at the “famous crossroads of the usual training and exercising for the sailors managed to find their way
trawler Terschelling and were
seas” (Gibraltar). sailors’ impending maritime security into Chania for a night out despite
holding the crew to ransom.
And what better way to relax than mission, nor the growing number of the brief visit.
Good job there was a British
catching the sights from top of the ‘hobby groups’ flourishing aboard. Soudha was the last stop before
warship nearby, then. And a Merlin
Rock... after you’ve run up it, of Some you might expect: fizz (or it Portland entered her operational
helicopter. And a Royal Marines
course. might be ‘phys’, we’ve never seen it theatre east of Suez.
boarding party.
A sizeable chunk of the ship’s written down) – physical exercise. The ship navigated the 100-mile
Portland, commanded by the
company were up at the crack And some you wouldn’t: (162km) canal in 14 hours and finally
jovial Cdr Tim Henry (see bottom
of dawn for the guitar group and enjoyed some scorching weather in
Spanish the Red Sea (high 20s).
Portland is now working with
Coalition navies in support of the
global naval campaign against
piracy/terrorism/drug
smuggling/people
trafficking.
es: la(phot) alex cave, frpu east
pictur
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