Without a doubt HMS Manchester. Great ships company from the captain (the late Tony Wigley) down. Fantastic MAA (Bruce can't remember his surname) Nil punishment returns for the first 18 months.
happiest ship in the fleet.
Truncheon and Opportune both great boats with super crews and some ggod runs ashore
To add to the in/on argument. I nave never heard a matelot ever say I was in Ark Royal, Arrow etc. it is always on. This is because it is not a physical thing, it is that all members of a crew are carried "on" the books of HMS *****. If it is a shore establishment then it can be in "I was in Barracks at the time"
HMS SCYLLA, first commission, out in the far east Australia, Thailand, Singapore Japan Hong Kong just about anywhere that had a port even Bunbury in WA when it had a single wood jetty. Skipper Mike Higgs, (when on to be FO GIB) Brilliant time had by all. home via South Africa, St Helena, and GIB
Best Ship - HMS Bristol (87-89). Joined her during conversion to DTS Flagship under Sir Hugo White, soon followed by Sir Alan West, had about 5 deployments (i.e. jollies) during my time. Great Ship's Company due to her 'in a class of her own' status. Very happy memories...
Best Establishment - Portsmouth West Sailing Centre, Royal Clarence Yard (93-95). Worked as a dinghy/yacht/powerboat bosun, obtaining almost every type of boat ticket available. Self-sufficient, loads of responsibility for an AB, on the water every day, getting fit, going on jollies into the Solent/across the Channel. Basically worked as a service sailing instructor in civvies for 2 years.
Didn't have a bad one, maybe the fact that the Ulster was the largest with a crew of around 170, was on her as a 17 year old for 12 months around the West Indies, don't have a clear memory so I suppose its possible that she was crap. Everything else I served in or on had a crew of less that 65 generally.
I did go onto, I believe the Ark Royal, just the once to pick up the mail, this nasty man shouted at me, something about the dress of the day and haircuts. I explained that our Captain didn't like us in dresses but was OK about the hair as we were doing a lot of sea time. I invited the nasty man back to the boat for a chat with my Captain, but he lost interest and went away
On board RFA Diligence, as part of Naval Party1600.
We were based mainly in Jebel Ali Freeport, just outside Dubaii, during the Iran Iraq war. Fantastic social life,(esp the nurses from Sharja) ex-pats were brilliant, civvy accomodation, lots of sunshine beer and volleyball, not too much work. Great bunch of lads. Only spent about a fortnight at sea for the 5 months I was there, even got a GSM(Gulf) for my time in the "war zone"...war is hell :thumright: