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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Sunday, 10 November 2013

HMS Tyne

I awoke to a beautiful cloudless blue sky and rather than go to the gym as I usually do on a Sunday morning, I decided to go for a walk. Today is Remembrance Sunday and as I wandered through a housing estate, on my way to Greenwich Park, I came across a small group of people standing around a small war memorial. I was surprised that there was a local service being carried out by this small memorial. Normally the services are at the larger ones. Each village, town and city will be conducting their own memorial services today to remember all those who lost their lives during active service. I stayed to listen and watch the laying of the wreath. Not something I would photograph.

Once in Greenwich Park I made for the observatory where you have a wonderful view of London.

At the bottom of the hill is the Queen's House which was closed today as they were filming - again! The buildings in the distance are centred around Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs and I decided to walk across to see them. This meant crossing the River Thames. As there is no bridge at Greenwich I went through the foot tunnel. Not the most attractive of places but it serves a purpose.



 On the other side of the river I walked around a few of the docks taking lots of photos of course. But at West India dock I noticed there was a Royal Navy ship moored there. So, needless to say, I had to go and have a look.




It was HMS Tyne. The gangplank was down and there didn't seem to be a notice saying you couldn't go up to the ship. So I made my way towards the ship but within seconds an officer and an armed marine came to speak to me. Apparently there had been a Remembrance service on the ship and visitors had been allowed to look around but I was too late. I said how sorry I was to have missed such a wonderful opportunity. The officer asked me to wait a moment whilst he spoke to someone. He returned with another officer who said he would be glad to escort me around the ship. What a result! 

There were armed guards everywhere and so I did not think it appropriate to take photos on board. The tour was too interesting anyway. This vessel patrols the coast of Britain checking on fishing vessels to make sure they are using the correct equipment and only taking the legal quota and size of fish. They also check vessels for illegal immigrants and drugs etc when needed.

 I was taken through the ship to see their living quarters and rest area and then up to the Bridge where I was shown  how they navigate and steer the vessel. It was a technological wonder. No maps now. Although I was told they did carry nautical maps and all the officers were able to navigate using them if necessary. Next we went into the galley and met the chef who had just come back from a weekend's leave. It was his responsibility to feed the men on a budget of £2.65 per man per day. I was amazed at how low the figure was but he assured me it was possible. I had quite a long chat to the chef who explained that his other roles included being the medic on board as well as a trained firefighter.

My tour had come to an end and it was time to thank my young escort for the wonderful informative tour he had given me. My late brother was in the Royal Navy for a number of years but this was the first time I had ever been on a naval vessel so I felt very priveledged to have been granted the opportunity. They were preparing the ship for their next tour of duty which would be starting in the early hours of the morning. I wish all the men on the HMS Tyne a safe and successful trip and many thanks for the kindness shown to me today.
 

14 comments:

  1. Oh! I am envious! Great luck to be in the right place at what turned out to be the right time. My, it's huge.

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  2. How simply wonderful! Instead of the gym, you celebrated Remembrance Day in a very fitting way. What a thrill it would have been to have that tour. I just saw the movie "Captain Phillips" which was on a boat and I'm still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the experience. :-)

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  3. How nice of those officers to give you a private tour!

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  4. You must have some charm. How lucky. It must have been awesome. A private tour.

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  5. Happy Remembrance Day. Our Veteran's Day is tomorrow.... God Bless all of those who fought for us and our freedoms.

    Beautiful day for a walk. Great tour.... Love those BLUE skies...
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  6. Well that was a result, a personal tour of a ship of the line, must have been great.

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  7. What a hoot. Ditzy older woman attempts to enter a secure area and ends up getting an escorted tour.

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  9. What a fantastic opportunity. Lucky you, and thank you for sharing.

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  10. What a wonderful opportunity to visit the ship and that they toured you around so kind.

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  11. You never know what the day has in store...terrific result here. Wonderful shots and an enjoyable read. Glad the sunshine we had in Coventry stretched all the way to London!

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  12. What a wonderful story -- how lovely to get a private tour...and all the information you shared is wonderful.

    This post also really brought back wonderful memories as Greenwich was our favorite part of London to spend time ...(I am seriously envious.. you know how some places just call your name and you feel like maybe you lived there in a past life? That was Greenwich for me!) And we walked through that tunnel a couple of times by the way!)

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  13. What a lovely story with lovely photos too. Super shimmerings!

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  14. You are providing me with some many things to visit the next time I'm in London!

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