Christmas at Sea

Discussion in 'History' started by Bad CO, Dec 14, 2010.

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    We've just received an email about an online gallery of vintage images of Christmas at Sea – contributed from naval personnel past and present that has been put together by Wood's 100 Navy Rum.
  2. Sadly none of HMS Minerva At sea Beira Patrol 1968.
    There were quite a few other pussers greys at sea 25th December 68
    Where were you?
  3. I was lucky,22 years and not one at sea for christmas,did a few duties though!
  4. Only one, had to buy a prezzy for a pound. Bought a pint mug. Got a wind up spider that we set off running across the chart table in black lighting (It was always black lighting.) much to the annoyance of the OOW. :D
  5. I was with you you silly old sailor :D
  6. That fellow bottom left looking pensive is one REM/LREM 'Scouse/Roy C*****l' who I was to inherit 12 months later.

    A cracking guy with many claims to fame; including the set-growing booby prize on one patrol - After n weeks at sea all he had to show the judges were the two silky whisps curling out from a mole on his chin, bless him.

    SSN 03 - Happy days......
  7. Thought the Hermes was tied up alongside, can you remember the name of the other Leander on Beira Patrol which was at sea that day? :roll:
  8. Never spent a Christmas at sea and only one abroad when we went in to Mombasa for Chrimbo.

    Had a quality hotel with a private beach, not sure what the other (mainly Brit) guests thought of sharing their quiet Christmas in the sun with 120 submariners. It wasn't quiet for long as it had a 24 hour bar by the pool :D
  9. Only 1 Xmas away in the Falklands onboard HMS Scylla. We were anchored off in Port Stanley. I was dinning Hall party at the time, so worked Xmas day and had the day off for Boxing Day. So went ashore and got grippo'd by a local family who took me home for Xmas dinner, which was strangely enough Lamb. in the evening ended up at a bar run by the civvie engineers who were re-building everything after the invasion. I also had to do Xmas duties twice and also had to go back to a watching job twice on Xmas day afternoon.


    :) :santa:
  10. Trelawney, master of the Green Rubs, had the fortune to be at sea for Christmas and New Year on Minerva. :cry:
    However the second time away for Xmas and New Year was on the Plymouth
    Tied up alongside a Girls Campus in Florida.......All my Christmasses at once. :oops:
    Black Cats encouraged and welcomed. :wink:
  11. BZ to my grandfather for the 1917 photo, I quite enjoyed telling my uncle his Dad had won the competition.
  12. Christmas at Sea (.....back then.)

    The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
    The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
    The wind was a nor'-wester, blowing squally off the sea;
    And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

    They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
    But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
    We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
    And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.

    All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
    All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
    All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
    For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

    We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
    But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard.
    So's we saw the cliff and houses and the breakers running high,
    And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

    The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
    The good red fires were burning bright in every longshore home;
    The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
    And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

    The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
    For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
    This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,
    And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.

    O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
    My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
    And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
    Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.

    And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
    Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
    And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
    To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessèd Christmas Day.

    They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
    "All hands to loose topgallant sails," I heard the captain call.
    "By the Lord, she'll never stand it," our first mate, Jackson, cried.
    . . . ."It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson," he replied.

    She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
    And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood;
    As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
    We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

    And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
    As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
    But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
    Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

    by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)


    Christmas at Sea (

    From the Album 'If On A Winter's Night' 2009 by Sting

    Sting's quote, about his song:

    "I was attracted to Robert Louis Stevenson's poem 'Christmas at Sea' because it describes so well the powerful gravitational pull of home that Christmas exerts on the traveler.
    When Mary Macmaster started to sing the Gaelic song 'Thograinn Thograinn,' a women's working-song from the Isle of Skye, I thought the melody would make a perfect counterpoint for the longing of Stevenson's sailor, who finds himself on a foundering ship below the cliffside town where he was born, on this "of all days in the year... Blessed Christmas morn".


    So please pause for a moment to think of all those at sea over Christmastime, but especially Jack, Jenny and Royal, and may that green/grey/azure crinkly stuff be kind to each and every one of them.

    Wishing seafarers everywhere peace, goodwill and a safe return to their native land, should they so desire.

  13. 2 months old being passed around my aunties' laps.
  14. tiddlyoggy

    tiddlyoggy War Hero Book Reviewer

    "Enjoying" only my second Christmas away from home in nigh on 25 years in the mob.
  15. 1xmass away 78 belfast 6 miles from home and not able to go
    but boy did i make up for it on old years night
  16. Yes I was in it, not the Hermes, we were only escort to her until she departed for Acapulco then we got FRO'd back to Mombasa and the patrol.
    Aurora. You were fuddled as you were wrapped in your joy of shooting up that French tanker. :wink:
  17. Only 1 Christmas deployed in 20 years: WIGS, alongside in Barbados, Christmas dinner was a barbeque on the beach. Sailed couple of days after so we could have New Year in St Lucia.

    What a nightmare that trip was eh?!!!
  18. Not at sea but anchored in Stanley harbour two years running on Protector, both good piss ups. Mauritius for Christmas on Tartar and I 'won' killick of the patrol!
  19. Always managed to avoid Xmas at sea (lucky sod) but I'd imagine I'll get one under the sea in the coming years

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