Over the October half term, Medway Victory Sea Cadets, which comprises of year 7, 8 and 9 pupils from the Victory Academy and Holcombe Grammar School, stayed at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, Cornwall HMS Raleigh is the Royal Navy’s New entry training establishment.
We travelled down to HMS Raleigh, leaving at 0445hrs on Friday 18th October, arriving in time for Lunch, and some sports activities in the afternoon, then marched to Dinner. We had to be in uniform, and march to and back from all meals! The “Mess” where we had our meals was about 750m away, up a hill. We also had an 0600 wake up tannoy call each morning, and both morning and evening cleaning stations/rounds (inspections). I’ll leave all that out of the remaining account. Cadets were able to put in requests for the music to be blasted out at 0600hrs, and there were some surprising choices.
Saturday we went to Mount Edgcumbe Country park, and did a question/answer orienteering course, finding out loads about the country park, and local history including about the air raids in the area in World War II intended to close down the port and shipyard. We did Physical Training and played sports in the evening. We also had a presentation on the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which all Sea Cadets are expected to complete (Bronze) in Year 9.
Sunday, we went Coasteering – jumping into the sea and swimming around Rame Head, including swimming into caves, and jumping off of ever higher perches into the swell – it was really cold, and rough, but exciting. Sunday evening we were joined by other Sea Cadets from all over the country who were there to attend various national courses. Everyone worked on their boots, getting them to a high shine, and pressed the rest of their uniforms ready for the Inspection, and course photo Monday morning
Monday (which was the start of the official course) there were uniform inspections, briefings, course photo, and then Cadets got to do the Assault course – the worst bit was having to march all the way back from the assault course soaking wet, with boots full of muddy water! In the afternoon we visited the Phase 1 New Entry Training facilities to see how they are trained after joining the RN as a rating, then had a guided tour of the Submarine School, where we got up close to TLAM (Tomahawk Cruise) missiles. In the evening we had a fun swim at the pool on the base.
Tuesday we had a tour of the Plymouth harbour, with all the RN ships explained, and had the opportunity to steer the ship. In the afternoon we went 10 pin bowling in Plymouth, then played rounders in the evening
Wednesday, we did Damage Control in the morning, and Fire Fighting in the afternoon. For DC, we had to fill holes in the sides of of a compartment to stop water pouring in. In FF we all got to put out fires using AFFF (Foam) fire extinguishers, and fire hoses. In the evening, our Cadet PTIs ran the PT and sport session in a gym in the sports complex on site. It was great practice for the PTIs, and provided an in interesting activity for our cadets and the cadets on other courses. As a special treat, cadets were allowed their phones for an hour Wednesday evening to call parents…….
Thursday we did the sea survival course, having to jump into the pool with a self-inflating life jacket, then climb into a real life raft. In the afternoon, we went indoor rock climbing at a “Clip n Climb”, which was hard but really exciting. Thursday evening we played lots of traditional games – including “Who am I?” and “Charades”
Friday morning we were woken early (0545hrs) as we had to be all packed and kit loaded onto minibuses by 0630, ready for the final march to breakfast ( In civvies this time!)
It was a full on course, with many exciting new experiences for the Cadets, but lots of fun too.