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Jul 03 - Fleet Review

Noon Position: Alongside North Corner Jetty,  Portsmouth Naval Base

Air temperature @ noon today:  20.3 ° C

Sea temperature @ noon today:  18.4 ° C

Wind: Direction S, Force 4

Barometer: 1017.6 hPa


This week is a bumper issue as it will cover both the International Fleet Review and the International Festival of the Seas.

During our short passage from Portland to Portsmouth a number of trials and tests were carried out in order to check that the engines that had been overhauled were performing correctly.  Once the trials were completed the ship loitered in the vicinity of the Isle of Wight until our allotted time for the Pilot to guide us to our anchorage for the International Fleet Review,  arriving at  our anchorage at lunchtime.

Whilst waiting for the Pilot we had a convoy of warships pass ahead of us and turn towards their allotted positions for the review.  With some 150 warships and numerous other vessels,  including tall ships and commercial ships,  the Solent was a very busy stretch of water.  Due to the very high numbers and the sensitive nature of most of the vessels,  a special exclusion zone had been created around us all,  patrolled by small boats to keep passing yachts at a safe distance.

Warships proceeding to the anchorage. Some of the many warships forming a line ahead of us as we steamed towards the anchorage.

At 1300 a practice Fleet Review was carried out,  this being in the exact format for the real event on Tuesday.

Practicing for the Fleet Review A submarine and her crew practice saluting the Queen in preparation of the International Fleet Review.

The weather for the practice run was excellent,  but the forecast for Tuesday did not look promising and so we were all hoping that it would remain good,  so that we could at least all remain dry!

Tuesday morning saw an increase in the wind, rising to Force 6 at 1200, although the sun continued to shine.  At 1300 the ship's complement gathered on the Aft Deck,  with the Deck Crew dressed in red boiler suits,  the Catering Department in their whites and the Officers in their Blues.  However the expected rain and thunder held off long enough for the Fleet Review to be held in fine sunshine.  The Queen was onboard HMS Endurance,  the Royal Navy Antarctic vessel,  with the Trinity House  Vessel Patricia leading the way.

Ships company on the Aft Deck The ship's company on the Aft Deck,  with Captain Burgan on the left.

HMS Endurance HMS Endurance,  with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II taking the Fleet Review.

The following message was received at the end of the International Fleet Review,  from the First Sea Lord onboard HMS Invincible:

PRIORITY
281830Z JUN 05
FROM HMS INVINCIBLE

PERSONAL FROM FIRST SEA LORD

I AM COMMANDED BY THE LORD HIGH ADMIRAL, HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN, TO PASS ON
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE TO THE ROYAL NAVY AND TO THE FLAG AND COMMANDING
OFFICERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH SHIPS ASSEMBLED AT SPITHEAD TODAY FOR THE
INTERNATIONAL FLEET REVIEW.

I AM ALSO COMMANDED BY HER MAJESTY TO ENSURE THAT HER APPRECIATION TO ALL
THE OTHER SHIPS FROM MANY NATIONS INVOLVED IN THE FLEET REVIEW IS MADE
KNOWN.

IT GAVE ME GREAT PLEASURE TO REVIEW THE INTERNATIONAL FLEET ASSEMBLED TODAY
AT SPITHEAD TO COMMEMORATE THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF ADMIRAL
LORD NELSON AND TO WITNESS THE MARITIME FLYPAST.

I WAS MOST IMPRESSED BY THE ARRAY OF VESSELS AND AIRCRAFT FROM THE UNITED
KINGDOM, THE COMMONWEALTH AND THE MANY NATIONS WHICH TOOK PART.  THIS REVIEW
REFLECTS THE TRUE SPIRIT OF COOPERATION WHICH EXISTS BETWEEN MARITIME
NATIONS AND IS A FITTING SYMBOL OF THE ENDURING LEGACY OF THE SPIRIT OF
NELSON.

TO THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THIS MEMORABLE EVENT, AND TO ALL
WHO CONTINUE TO AND SUPPORT THE MANY DEMANDING OPERATIONS AROUND THE WORLD,
THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH AND I SEND OUR BEST WISHES AND THANKS.

SPLICE THE MAINBRACE.

END


The day finished off with a spectacular fireworks display,  and whilst we were at the far end of the anchorage we still managed to enjoy the show.

Wednesday afternoon saw us on the move again,  this time heading into Portsmouth for the International Festival of the Seas and  tied up at the North Corner Jetty (East).  Staff from Cambridge arrived and work began  setting up the displays in the labs in readiness for the public who would spend the next four days visiting the ship and getting an idea of just what the British Antarctic Survey do.

Over the festival period some 7000 people came onboard and had a look through the Underway Instrumentation Control (UIC) Room,  the Main Lab,  Wet Lab and the Aft Deck.  Our oldest visitor was a lovely lady of 98,  who even enjoyed a cup of coffee on the Aft Deck with the Third Officer.

The Spinnaker, Portsmouth  The Spinnaker Tower,  Portsmouth.  This structure is 170m high and,  when it opens,  will be the tallest publicly accessible building outside of London,  with the observation deck being 110m above ground.

Tallships at Portsmouth Tallships at Portsmouth.


The James Clark Ross has now started its annual refit period.  The ship will be dry-docking within the next ten days and more information will be posted in the next update,  likely to be after the 18th July.

mepg