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THIS is an unmistakeable sight set against sparkling eastern
Mediterranean skies.
The Red Arrows look quite impressive too.
As HMS Illustrious visited Cyprus to pick up supplies on
the homeward leg of her Orion 08 deployment (see pages 8
and 9), she was treated to an impromptu display by the RAF’s
legendary Hawk display team.
The Arrows head to Cyprus each year to practise for
the impending display season (the eastern Med,
unsurprisingly, offers better weather than Blighty) –
training which happily coincided with Illustrious’
The RAF chaps weren’t doing all the work,
however. Down in Lusty’s operations room the
air warfare team took advantage of the Red
Arrows’ practice session to track all nine jets
as they roared towards, then over, and finally
past the carrier.
Picture: PO(Phot) Christine Wood, HMS Illustrious
SSee us aye, Miamiee us aye, Miami
CYPRIOTS do not have a monopoly on Catch of the day went to Lt Cdr Martin Collis
magnifi cent spring weather, as the good folk of for his 30lb Cobia which took 20 minutes to land.
HMS Richmond discovered when they visited None of his shipmates came close with their
Miami. hauls; second place was grabbed by POMEM
The Type 23 frigate spent four days in the George Dent and his 6lb king mackerel.
Florida metropolis taking on stores before she All the catches ended up on a plate at the
made the short trip to the Bahamas for sonar end of the day, although the Brits generously
trials. donated the cobia to the Hurricane’s crew out of
Thirty days’ supplies for 195 men and women gratitude for the fun day; they promptly sold it to
needed to be crammed aboard the Portsmouth- a local Chinese restaurant for $100 (£50).
based warship for the extensive tests. And last, but by no means least, 15 of the ship’s
Actually, storing ship only took five hours golfers played the Miami Shores Country Club. In
thanks to a Herculean effort by the ship’s perfect golfi ng conditions of sunshine and light
company. Inter alia, they carried 100kg of bacon, winds the course still provided a signifi cant test
300kg of chicken, 2,600kg of potatoes and 1,728 of golf with very fast greens proving the downfall
sausages on board. of many.
Some of that food probably disappeared Perfect conditions in Miami were long overdue
at an official reception the frigate held for after a particularly rough Atlantic crossing from
Miami dignitaries, including police and Coast Brest (where Richmond had been taking part in
Guard chiefs, and Keith Allen (the British Consul an anti-submarine exercise with the French).
General in the city, not the actor/father of singer At times the frigate was buffeted by winds of
Lily Allen). up to 40kts; add to that the swell on the stern
There was also some deserved R&R for the quarter, which caused the ship to roll heavily (a
sailors, with three expeditions organised for the maximum angle of roll of 25˚ was recorded).
adventurously-minded. Bad weather does not, of course, stop the RN
Two dozen of the ship’s company headed going about its business: on passage, Richmond
to the beach to try their hand at surfi ng – three conducted noise tests, listening to her sonars to
quarters of the sailors had never picked up a see how much noise the frigate was generating.
board. Such tests were vital as the ship has now fi red
After three hours of lessons (and the odd up its ultimate piece of submarine hunting kit,
dunking), all could at least stand up on their Sonar 2087.
boards in the ocean, some longer than others. The sonar is still in its experimental stage
The more experienced boardriders (including (see pages 25-28 for the challenges sister ship
CO Cdr Mark Southorn) moved down the beach Somerset has faced), so to get the most out of
to catch the larger waves. it in a controlled environment, the RN has sent
Other sailors preferred a more sedate manner Richmond to AUTEC, the American-run range in
of riding the sea. Twenty-three Richmonders the Bahamas.
headed out into the Atlantic in the Hurricane and Its size, unique topography and the scores
lowered fi sh pots – then waited for their prey to of sensors dotted around make it the best
bite. underwater warfare range in the world.
● Just in case you were wondering where this bunch was from... Richmond’s sailors head for Miami
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