HMS York Stops at Bermuda on Her Way Home

HMS York is coming home from the cold of Bermuda after a penultimate pit-stop on her five-month North and South Atlantic deployment.

Yes, you read that correctly. It was cooler in the tropical island than the destroyer’s home port.

Admittedly it was only half a degree Celsius hotter in Portsmouth (27.5˚C – we checked with the Met Office) than in Bermuda, but it’s not often we can boast that.

The Fastest 42 is now punching her way through the North Atlantic and, after a brief visit to the Azores, will return home to Pompey next week.

And while her penultimate run ashore was in paradise, there was a lot of work to do as well to ensure the Type 42 destroyers looks spic and span when she sails past Round Tower.

Indeed the junior members of the ship’s company were out in force, chipping, rubbing down, painting the hull after batterings from the South Atlantic during the stint around the Falklands and South Georgia.

Bermuda is, understandably, a popular visit for ships deployed to the Caribbean; their stop-offs in the Royal Naval Dockyard on Ireland Island are marked by the ship’s badges famously painted on the walls.

The Yorkies took advantage of the sun to pose for a ship’s photograph. It took six gunners to choreograph the 240-plus men and women into position on the destroyer’s forecastle before AB(WS) Luke White pressed the shutter.

The three-day visit to Bermuda also saw a run-out for the rugby team against the local police, an official reception in the governor’s residence, and some free time for shopping, socialising and sampling “the Bermudan atmosphere that once was a little corner of Britain,” said the ship’s marine engineer officer Lt Cdr George Adams.

Back at sea and making for the Azores, it was time to resume aerial operations. Not with the Lynx, but with feathers – or any other contraption that might make a man/woman stay aloft.

Birdman of Bognor’ competitions were de rigeur in the Fleet a few years back, but there’s not been one for a while. So after some serious business in the morning (practising dealing with a crash on deck), there were plenty of crashes over the side as sailors donned wings and tried, neigh strove, to reach for the stars, with gongs for the longest flight and most elaborate costume.

All good fun, but surprisingly not the highlight of the deployment. No, that came later in the day when, suitably satiated after a barbecue on the flight deck, the ship’s company settled down to enjoy ‘York’s Got Talent’, described as “an entertainment extravaganza” loosely based on a popular TV show…

The most talented Yorkie is ET(ME) Mel Hoare who sang the Motown classic My Girl – without accompaniment, edging PO Mario Biagioni into second place and LS Gallagher in third.
Source: royalnavy, June  30, 2011