Dean's Blog

Visit to the Royal Navy

Ralph BarberAt the invitation of Ralph Barber, the Royal Navy Chaplain, who is now based in Bahrain, I had a very interesting visit to two Royal Navy ships in Bahrain port – HMS Shoreham, a mine hunter in Mina Salman and the RFA Cardigan Bay, at present under repair in ASRY, which comes under the command of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. I realized that I hadn’t visited a British naval ship since my father retired from the Royal Navy, now many years ago, so it was fascinating to see the change of function and design of ships since then. I thought that RFA’s were fleet tankers , but theCardigan Bay Cardigan Bay is a large and spacious troop carrier for 400 Royal Marines and with the potential to have tanks, landrovers, and landing craft in the hold and a couple of helicopters too.   It also has a hospital unit with a resident doctor on board with several beds. The Royal Navy has mine hunters rather than mine sweepers, a more proactive response to mines, and there are four that are permanently based in the Gulf to protect the Strait of Hormuz for shipping. SunsetOn our return there was a spectacular sunset over Manama- I can assure you I was a passenger at the time.