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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

44 years in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Episode 2, the Far East

Continuing on from Part One.

Now where was I? Oh yes........

After my first day, I quickly fell into the rhythm of further study in an engineering environment. Even though I was at a disadvantage by not having been to a technical school (They had those in my day), I thrived at all things technical.

Applied Mechanics: How the physical laws affect moving bodies. (and stationary ones)
Applied Heat: How we can use temperature to do lots of things.
Electrotechnology: How to generate big lumps of electricity
Engineering drawing: Real precision art
Chemistry: How things react. (Including the chemistry tutor)

But these subjects aside, the part I loved was the workshops. There I learnt to use every handtool, and better still the machines. Oh what joy. To start with a billet of steel and end up with an art form.

Must crack on, otherwise I'll be dead before I get to episode three.

After two years of the good life, I was appointed to my first ship. I was to report to RFA Retainer, in Singapore.

Now seeing as the average Brit in those days never went abroad, this was a daunting prospect.

The day came and I pitched up at the airport to board a chartered trooping flight. Very high tech in those days, the aircraft was a Vanguard turboprop. Very slow by our standards, but hey, what the heck. This was the great adventure.

How many of you have ever spent 27 hours on a plane? And that was just the time in the air. My bum really was numb by the end of the journey.

Finally the end was in sight as we started the descent into Singapore.................

End of Part 2

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