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HMS Example's Amble up the coast with NURNU

HMS Example’s Amble up the coast with NURNU
28 February 2018
HMS Example recently set off from her berth at HMS Calliope for a sea day up to Amble with a Training Officer (TO) and seven students from Northumbrian University Royal Naval Unit (NURNU) on board.

HMS Example’s Amble up the coast with NURNUThis sea day was unique thus far, as a 'Senior Student Navigation Day', allowing the second year students an in-depth view into the pilotage, route planning, and anchorage process.

The ship sailed at 0900, on completion of a comprehensive route brief by the students. The TO, Lieutenant Lanaghan was the last man off the jetty, allowing us to capture some unique footage of the ship unberthing.

The river transit was used to refresh  the student on chartwork and pilotage, with half down below and half conducting visual pilotage training under the tutelage of the Commanding Officer (CO).

Upon reaching the mouth of the river, the students manned the helm and took up the  officer of the watch duty for the transit to Amble, passing the port of Blyth on the way.

It was a great opportunity for us to re-visit the navigation lessons we have learnt over out time in the URNU

Acting Midshipman Bethan Davies, Northumbrian URNU

HMS Example’s Amble up the coast with NURNUAs we approached our destination, Senior Midshipman Bethan Davies took the con to guide Example into the anchorage, bringing the ship safely to anchor, just north of Coquet Island, in sight of the picturesque Northumbrian village of Amble.

With Example lying under the guns of Warkworth Castle, a cooked lunch was prepared by the students (imaginatively dubbed 'Pasta Surprise'), this also allowed an opportunity to re-jig the watches in preparation for the return transit.

Example then weighed anchor and set sails (figuratively speaking) for home, unfortunately, the wind and the waves also began to pick up as she turned south.

The sea state provided a new challenge for the students. They soon discovered plotting fixes on paper charts becomes immensely more interesting, whilst being thrown around the bridge, and thus tested not only their ability to keep a steady hand and a cool head but also to persevere and work well under pressure.

The ship was also zigzagging between an abundance of fishing buoys in the area, and the spray gave the CO and bridge team a refreshing drenching every so often!

The students fought through, and continued the visual fixing routine down the coast, until the beautiful sight of Tynemouth Priory, standing on the cliff top came into view.

The Tynemouth piers acted like a calming hand on the waves, with the movement almost completely disappearing as Example passed through them into the still waters of the Tyne.

Though much chillier than earlier in the day, it was a pleasant trip up the river and back to HMS Calliope in time for tea (leftover Pasta Surprise being top of the menu).

Acting Mid Bethan Davies said  of the day, "It was a great opportunity for us to re-visit the navigation lessons we have learnt over out time in the URNU. Alongside providing a platform for the more senior students to start taking up leadership roles such as Officer Of the Watch."

Written by Officer Cadet Florence Lennon-Butler

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