Last night we were less than 100 miles from the Falkland Islands. It was appropriate that in the major lecture yesterday that the former First Sea Lord should deliver it.
When I took my seat in the theatre the lady alongside pointed at Lord West, waiting at the side of the stage, and said to me “Thats my husband”. Presumably she was ensuring that I didn’t make any derogatory remarks! What me?!
I quickly ascertained that she grew up in Portsmouth (and knew people there we know including Jeremy Lear!) and that her father was a Solicitor in Portsmouth.
Lord West’s presentation was his perspective on the Falklands War. It was beautifully crafted, packed with anecdotes and just the right balance between humour and sensitivity for those who were killed or injured in the conflict which he described as a “bloody war”. He commanded the frigate HMS Ardent which was sunk by the Argentinians with a number of his men being killed.
Lord West is not the only inspirational speaker aboard. Richard Cowley delvered a lecture a few days ago on the famous 1939 Battle of the River Plate and today, as we approach Cape Horn, he talked about the 3 ways of crossing from the Atlantic to the Pacific – round the Horn or through the Beagle Channel or the Magellan Strait.
The Captain has announced that we will circle Cape Horn anti clockwise (many do not realise that Cape Horn is an island) so we will party on the balcony of our friends the Wilsons from north of Aberdeen who are on the port side of the ship. My report on Cape Horn to follow!!