Repton’s CCF and Royal Navy cadets had a great educational experience as part of their Field Day at HMS Raleigh at the beginning of October.
Sunday morning was a wet and windy affair and after being kitted out with heavy duty Musto wet weather gear and a safety brief, the cadets were soon out enjoying themselves on the river ‘buzzing’ around in various high-powered ribs and champ craft.
The cadets continued to hone their powerboating skills, some of which were acquired as part of their Wednesday CCF RN sessions at Swarkestone, and before long they were holding off buoys, coming alongside and some could be seen zooming off in all directions, making high-speed ‘S’ and ‘U-turns’, passing under the Tamar bridge and then heading back down to Jupiter Point around the moored up veteran minesweeper of the Falklands and Gulf Wars, HMS Brecon.
After a short break for lunch, which included a short session on tidal awareness, they were back on the river for a pilotage and passage exercise, returning to Raleigh for dinner at 1700hrs after which the cadets organised an ad-hoc game of football to round off the day.
Monday morning saw an improvement in the weather, and in the bright sunshine the cadets continued to build on Sunday’s skills with an intense morning’s session that included turning in confined spaces and man over board exercises.
The Field Weekend concluded with the cadets mooring their ribs alongside HMS Brecon for an inspiring tour of the ship, including its function and to see how the crew lived and performed their duties in such confined spaces.
The cadets impressed with their response to the discipline and drill of the RN, having had plenty of opportunity to see it executed professionally the day before. It was a pleasure to observe them taking the initiative to be out on parade standing at ease on Monday am at 0615hrs ready for inspection at 0630hrs before marching off to breakfast; they didn’t move an inch!