HMS Queen Elizabeth seas City CCF Naval Cadets for the first time
Naval Cadet Adam Tomkinson rounds up his recent trip to the Navy New Recruits Camp
This year’s Navy New Recruits Camp took place at the Whale Island Naval Base in Portsmouth. After a very successful open day, the new recruits changed out of their school uniform and into their navy kit and jumped on a coach down to Portsmouth. Once there, the first activity was acquainting ourselves with our homes for the next two nights. We were split up into five different boats of different sizes, as HMS Bristol, which we would normally have stayed on, was full. Once unpacked and settled in, we then marched over to dinner. Having had a very filling meal, which most of us were in need of, we returned to the small boats and then onto HMS Bristol for our first lesson, which was to be on knots and sailing rules of the road; we were taught about rights of way in the sea, about different types of vessels, and some of the sailing basics. After a period of free time, we returned to our boats.
The next day, we set out for our first trip of the camp. We took three boats out in total, two motor boats and one sailing boat. After passing close to the awesome sight of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the motorboats went east out of the mouth of Portsmouth to look and some wrecks on their sonar and conduct safety briefings and tutorials, for example, a man overboard drill. The sailing yacht, consisting of four cadets, and our PO sailed west over to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where we had a leisurely fish and chip lunch and a look around. With a strong wind behind us, we got back to Portsmouth in just over an hour. We then proceeded to dinner, followed by a session back on HMS Bristol on First aid and CPR.
The third day consisted of much the same as the second, although the groups were swapped round- so the sailors went motor boating and the motor boaters went powerboating! The sailboats, however, did not have enough time to get over Cowes as we had a coach waiting for us to bring us back home. Overall, I think it was a highly successful trip, with a huge amount of very useful information taken in about both nautical and practical life! Many of us enjoyed both aspects of being on the water, and I have the impression that the driving of the boats (especially the motorboats!) was the most enjoyable part of the whole trip! Many thanks to all the Navy CCF Officers and NCOs who made this trip possible.