SSN 819 Brixham to Swansea

Mon 7 – Mon 14 August

Entry seven

Woke up early at 6.30.  I was tired after sailing into Swansea the night before on our eight till midnight watch.  I was mess man for the day.  After feeding my other watch numbers, I was on helm for sailing into Swansea Docks.  It was pretty stressful, but luckily I got us to our berth safe and sound.  Twenty minutes later, back in the mess for lunch.  I was very tired but managed to get through the lunch run easily enough.  Then followed the highlight of the trip, literally, with the social climb when we climbed to the very top of the mast.

Adam,  Blue Watch

Today we all climbed the fore mast and some of us went to the top! When we got to the top we could see the view of Swansea and where we were based for the time being, after climbing we had tea then had an evening meeting about the egg drop we were going to do. After the briefing all of Red Watch Boys (even Gavin our watch leader) had their hair and makeup done, then we presented the ‘Pad-plug egg’ where we protected our egg in Pads, tea bags, tissues, pringle tubs, bubble wrap and a box. When all the eggs were presented one person from each watch climbed the fore mast onto the first platform, Blue Watch came third, White Watch came second and Red Watch came first which meant we were in the lead of the points after getting the distance and protection of the egg. To see if our egg wasn’t tampered with we could crack it on our watch leader’s head, so me and Becky cracked on Gavin’s head. When the egg drop was finished we moved on to the SODS (Stavros Operatic and Dramatic Society) Opera performance where White Watch preformed there drinking chant (it was only squash with tabasco in it) Blue watch preformed they made their own song up about the week and Red watch got all the boys, even Gavin, to sing Let it go from Frozen. Then the final performance was the two volunteer crew they performed their own song which they sang. When we finished SODS opera, we found out the score, in third was Blue Watch, then White was second and Red was first!!! After winning we had a few watch photos of everyone.

Elspeth Layton French – Red Watch

Entry six

This morning during the night watch I threw up on the captain, thankfully he didn’t know it was me.  We went onto an island called Lundy and bought the whole contents of the one shop on the island.  After, we returned to the ship by RIB.  Kim drives really really quickly!  We left Lundy and I steered the ship from the anchorage.  We then climbed up and stowed the sail at sunset.  It was really nice up there.

White Watch

Entry five

We were anchored at Mount’s Bay which had a lovely little town called Newlyn.  There was a run-down castle called St Michael’s Mount which was perched on a hill on an island.  We set off from Mount’s Bay at around 10am for the long 100 mile passage.  We went south from Mount’s Bay and then west till we reached Land’s End which was very nice; a small lighthouse on the edge of some rocks.  We then headed north however our visibility became poor from fog and we had a slight drizzle of rain.

The waves were quite rough and a few people became sick, myself included which wasn’t a nice feeling but everyone was there to help.  We set four square sails: the fore upper and lower topsails and the forecourse.  We also put up the main lower topsail.

Each watch had a night watch, my watch had 4-8 am; we would lookout for buoys and other vessels.  We would also be the helmsman and steer the ship.  We headed for Lundy Island which is only a small Island with a few houses and shops.  We arrived at 8am on Saturday.

Luke,  Red Watch

Entry four

Last night we spent the night moored in picturesque Salcombe, it was much calmer and we slept better.  Breakfast is always early (0810).  We were woken by Tamsin (the Chief Officer) really early because we were first sitting (0720).  We had cereal and someone even had two bowls of cereal.  We also drank lots and lots of coffee.  We only set the simple sails (fore and afters) today, but I really wanted to climb up the mast.  The Captain told us we might be sailing through the night so we all went to bed in the afternoon.

White Watch

Set sails, left Salcombe.  Blue watch bought us in and out of Salcombe.  We woke up early as normal.  Breakfast was bacon, egg and beans.  Then it was time for happy hour.  Some of the boys cleaned a toilet in 5 seconds!  “Wow”

Our first watch was from 9 – 12.  Lunch was pasty and beans.  In the afternoon we had “The Boat Race”.  We had to pull, NOT jerk, little boats tied to string.  Of course white watch won, because they win everything.  We spent part of the evening spitting bars and speaking to Tom’s ‘Lucy’.  Our second watch was 6-8. Finally we got into Penzance.

Blue Watch

Entry three

On Wednesday I was a messman, meaning I had to get up before the rest of my watch at 6:30 to help prepare for breakfast.  After we had served both sittings and washed everything up, I went to help my watch in “Happy Hour”, cleaning the chartroom and lobbies.  My watch had some free time before we set sail at 11ish.  For Red Watch this meant bracing, moving the yards around so the sails can properly fill with wind.  How we brace the sails (port, square or starboard) depends on the direction of the wind.  Bracing the sails involves several teams, first being easers, who will make sure the rope runs through well on one side, and the other team of haulers, working on the other side of the vessel, hauling the yards around in teams of 5 or 6 to a line.  Often we use the chant “two-six heave” to keep in time with each other.  After bracing we have to clear away all the “spaghetti”, loose ropes that have been left on deck.

After bracing I went back to the mess to organise lunch, another busy meal in the galley.  After that I had free time, as my watch had the 4 till 6 watch on the bridge, steering the ship and looking out for obstructions.  I was back at the mess for 5 to help with dinner, laying the tables, serving and washing up.

We arrived at our mooring about 9.  This meant more bracing for me, but some whee time up the masts stowing the sails.  Going aloft is one of my favourite activities on board, as it is not an experience that you often get, hanging around amongst the ropes and sails, often with a wonderful view.  After mooring we all slowly went to bed, mostly exhausted from working hard and all the activity on board.

Ellen, Red Watch

Entry two
I got up at 06:30 because I had mess duty. We prepared the table for and served breakfasts in two sittings then cleaned up and had a break before setting sail to anchor near Torquay where we learnt how to release the sails before I had to come back to prepare the mess room and serve dinner. We then did a competitive group activity to learn the different parts of the ship before getting ready for bed.
Elspeth (and Rebecca, Red Watch)

Today I woke up at 7:30 before going up to breakfast at 8:10. After breakfast we had some time to relax before a big day ahead of us. We had to put on our safety harnesses for our first bracing stations of the trip. We then went to the Mess to get a drink and biscuits before setting out from Brixham for luckily not a long voyage as we anchored shortly.We anchored offshore from Torquay with an outstanding view to enjoy.
India (Blue Watch)

Entry one

On the first day of our voyage I was extremely worried about my body temperature because it was boiling in our rooms. However it was freezing outside and we got given a whole wardrobe to ourselves. We were taught how to use the toilets and learnt how to steer the boat and pull on and coil ropes. Everyone in White Watch is very nice. In the evening we had an A to Z quiz for words about the boat and about sailing. I am excited to go sailing tomorrow.
Michael (White Watch)