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Tamar and Spey lap-up unique adventurous training opportunity

Speymar Hawaii AT
16 November 2021
The crews of the Royal Navy’s Pacific task group were treated to their first taste of adventurous training in the rugged terrain, incredible landscape and world-famous beaches of Hawaii.

The RN’s specialist adventurous training team – who deliver bespoke packages to ships and units around the world – made the 7,000-plus-mile journey to the central Pacific to offer the crews of HMS Tamar and Spey challenging sporting activities in a unique setting.

The two patrol ships are using Pearl Harbor as a logistics/maintenance/crew swap hub as they head from their home in Portsmouth to the western Pacific, which is their long-term theatre of operations.

Due to the relatively small number of sailors on the two sister vessels, it was possible to provide adventurous training to all ranks: six days of solid sporting activities each for both crews, including mountain biking, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking and snorkeling across Honolulu and stunning locations such as Waimea Beach, home to some of the biggest waves in the world.

Sailors took full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy activities in a world-renowned outdoor ‘adventure playground’.

Many of the ship’s company were exposed to AT for the first time in their careers, including comms specialist Petty Officer Hayley Shakeshaft.

“I’ve just paddle boarded in Hawaii with turtles, this is the best job in the world,” she said.

I’ve just paddle boarded in Hawaii with turtles, this is the best job in the world

Petty Officer Hayley Shakeshaft

An element of leader and revalidation training was also provided and more AT is planned later in the ships’ Indo-Asia-Pacific deployment, including leader courses in mountain biking and stand-up paddle boarding, which should prove beneficial to both ships during this enduring overseas deployment.

Some of the sporting kit was loaded aboard Spey before the ships left Portsmouth in September – part of a trial by the adventurous training team to make it easier/cheaper to deliver their courses without always needing to turn to local providers.

“The opportunity for Tamar and Spey’s task group personnel to embark on safe, organised adventurous training is an opportunity to cherish,” said Commander Teilo Elliot-Smith, Tamar’s Commanding Officer.

“We have had the perfect combination of an exotic location in Hawaii and incredible outdoor pursuits at land and sea, offering something for everyone.

“Every sailor has had the opportunity to get stuck in and, witnessing their new opportunities taken, self-confidence has grown, and individual skills developed is terrific. It is exactly what we wanted, it is what the RN Adventurous Training Team excels at and I could not be happier. At times like this we really are living the advert.”

Adventurous training is a Category A PFS (Personnel Functional Standards) requirement with the RN’s men and women entitled, where operationally possible, to five days per annum.
Given the global nature of RN operations, the AT team has delivered its physically and mentally-challenging training activities in locations as distant as Oman, Crete and Hawaii this autumn. 


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