How much of the world does the average RN sailor see?

Discussion in 'Travel & The Great Outdoors' started by BoatyMcBoatFace, Jun 3, 2016.

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  1. Hello all.

    This section seemed the only place to put this.

    I'm just wondering -- I mean everyone says and I know the navy travel the world -- but how much of it will the average sailor on a ship see?

    I know the RN is all over the world (from Bahrain to the Ross ice shelf), Most of it the ocean.

    Would I get to see and explore interesting countries? Or would time alongside be very limited?

    Compared to the RAF and army, which branch travels the most? I am guessing navy, but just suspect the navy doesn't spend much time there. Whereas the army is actually based there for long periods.

    Just wondering what any sailors, of all branches and jobs have seen of the world.

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  2. In the RN for 12 years, seven and a half years at sea, and visited around 45 different countries. Since leaving the RN in 1971, eventually going to art college for 4 years, and an Interior Designer ever since, I have now been to a quarter of the countries on this planet!! Ranging from Iceland (Reykjavik) in the north, to the bottom of South Island New Zealand. ALL the different kinds of peoples I have met were, almost without exception, generous, kind and friendly. The exception? Australia! (Chips on both shoulders).
    The happiest people? Filipinos. The most generous? Arabs, black Africans and Americans!

    There's some nice people out there folks.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. When the Army deploy to a foreign country, with a few exceptions it is normally to a combat zone, so they may be there for some time, but, they do not get to do the touristy stuff, the RN on the otherhand, visits ports around the world, and your ships can be along side from a couple of days to a couple of weeks and it tends to be in countries that welcome us
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Cheers.

    Wouldn't of thought that about the Aussies!

    So in your experience, did you get to explore a lot of it?

    And if you don't mind me asking, what branch were you in?
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  5. Thanks.

    And when they don't deploy for combat operations, it's on exercise. With Germany garrison closing down. Cyprus is the only country British troops are permenantly living in. Wouldn't mind that!
  6. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Its quite a pointless question, some in the RN will literally see the world, others will see hardly any of it, it will depend on what drafts you have and where those ships are sent. Visits can be cancelled at very short notice. In my time I went around the world, I spent 15 months in the West Indies, USA and Mexico, I visited most WI Islands some more than once and went to several places in the states.
    I was later posted to Singapore and visited Hong Kong, Thailand and Australia (brilliant place and people), brought a Boat home from Singers and visited Guam and Panama en route to the UK.
    Add in several UK visits and there you have it.
    You would be unlikely to get those sorts of drafts now a days.
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  7. I know it might seem silly, but I wouldn't say pointless. I mean, I'm only after personal experiences and am hoping to get it from a wide range of branches and different ships they've served on.

    Like I know a logistician or aircraft engineer might get a lot of shore postings. Whereas a seaman specialist is going to spend his career at sea.
  8. On HMS Lincoln I spent 18months in the FES, spending many months in Singapore, several weeks in Borneo, a week in Subic Bay, a couple of weeks in Manila, a month or so in Hong Kong, a couple of weeks in Japan, a couple of weeks in North Island, New Zealand, took station leave in South Island and hitch hiked all the way down, a fortnight in Sydney, station ship in Gan (the Maldives) and eventually flew home. On HMS Leander we did a world tour, on HMS Brave Borderer we visited many European countries, and must admit it was a wonderful life. Be kind and generous wherever you go, and you will receive kindness and generosity back by the bucket load!
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Purple_twiglet

    Purple_twiglet War Hero Moderator

    Countries I visited while in the mob - France, Germany, Ireland, Cyprus, Gibraltar, USA, Canada, Falkland Islands, Ascension Island, Sinapore, Diego Garcia and Afghanistan.
  10. Had runs ashore everywhere from Tromso down to the Falkland Islands. Been around the Med, Indian Ocean, Middle East. Too numerous to list them all and that was as sundodger for most of my career and we don't get as many jollies as the surface dwellers.

    Only ocean I didn't get to was the Pacific and any places that side of the globe.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Gib, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Djabouti, Saudi, Bahrain, Dubia, Jebel Ali, Furjairah, Qatar, Sharjah, Sri Lanka, Panang, Singapore, Hong Kong, Pulau Tioman, Maldives

    Sure I have missed one or two, but these are the places I remember, visited most of them more than once
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Went to a few places, but must admit they all sold crap beer, which had a habit of messing with my memory, not until later in my career did I avoid bars and go and be a sobber tourist. Always had fun and ended up in some really strange places, and met lots of nice people. Most of my traveling was whilst in the surface fleet.
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  13. Iceland, Faeroes, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Irish Republic, Scotland, Wales, Switzerland, Spain, Gibraltar, The Azores, Bermuda, Grand Bahamas, Nassau, USA, Italy, Greece, Turkey, The Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sharjah, Dubai, Seychelles, Maldives, Antigua, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and New Zealander. Most in the Andrew, the rest as an Interior Designer.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. And Malta.
  15. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    It depends on the luck of the draw, but generally those joining the Submarine branch or Fleet Air Arm will tend to visit fewer countries than the branches that more frequently serve on ships. Not always the case, but mostly.

    In my experience branches such as Medical Assistant, Naval Nurse, Writer, Naval Police, PTI and Environmental Health, Training Management & Medical Officers may well serve overseas, but less commonly on a regular basis afloat. Doubtless many would disagree, but that's a generic overview.

    I spent the first three years of my seagoing career going backwards and forwards to the Falklands, stopping at various points along the route. Not much fun in the sun, but not uninteresting, either.

    As the global Naval operational tasking evolves, so too will the frequency and location of foreign visits change. I think it is still true however, that the Royal Navy tends to offer more opportunities for overseas travel than the Army & RAF when viewed overall.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Swing the lamp .. 1955-68 ..

    France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Irish Republic, Russia, Poland, Malta Gibraltar Spain Italy Germany Belgium, Netherlands, Greece, Bermuda, USA, Panama, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, S.Africa, Maldives, Singapore, Malaysia (Malaya and Sabah), Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Arabia, Aden, Ceylon, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu,

    Do the Channel Islands and Scotland count?

    Politics kiboshed visits to Turkey and Argentina

    may have missed the odd one

    some more than once, some more extensively than others

    set foot in Libya, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, Turkey via various trooping flights

    saw from afar or fleetingly Egypt, Tristan da Cunha, Mozanbique, Madagascar, Antigua, Azores, Mexico

    It was good-oh while it lasted. Joined Navy, saw world, from the N Cape to the Straits of Magellan.

    A Tiger and a cheesy-hammy-eggy topside please.

    Edited to add Uruguay!
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. It was a hard life, was it not Seaweed, but somebody had to do it, and luckily it was us!!!!
  18. Does Diego Garcia have a British presence? Or was this just a visit?

    If you don't mind me asking, what branch were you in? I've heard of the RN being in afghan, but mainly aircrew and RM attached personnel.
  19. Isn't Jordan landlocked? Was that while in the Navy?
  20. Thanks everyone for your replies.

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