skip to primary navigation skip to content

HMS Scott Link Letter - December 2009

HMS Scott Link Letter - December 2009

From the Captain

To our friends at the Scott Polar Research Institute,

I would like to take this opportunity to update you to our impending deployment to the Antarctic. The past month has been both enjoyable and demanding as we have prepared for our passage south of latitude 60° into the Antarctic Peninsula. We have conducted a port visit to Montevideo, Uruguay where we commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the River Plate. SCOTT resumed survey operations before spending the Christmas and New Year period in the Falkland Islands. Final checks and preparations are well underway before heading to the Antarctic. Our tasking is diverse and challenging and the Ship's Company are looking forward to undertaking this important strategic task for the Government.

Here is a reminder that there are plenty of ways of keeping you updated while we are away. In addition to letters and telephone calls, there is the ever-present e-mail and our dedicated website. You can access SCOTT's official web pages by going to the Royal Navy website, and selecting Surface Fleet, then Hydrographic Vessels, and finally HMS SCOTT. Here you can view up-to-date articles and photos of the ship and her crew.

As a friend and affiliate of HMS SCOTT your continued support is instrumental in helping us to achieve the hugely important tasks entrusted to us. I would like to introduce you to one of our newly appointed Hydrographical and Meteorological Officers (HM) Lt Lewis Bell RN. Lewis will be onboard for the duration of the Antarctic deployment and your liaison should you have any questions. Please feel free to contact him and he will be happy to help you. I will continue to send regular newsletters throughout our deployment to give you an overview of what we have been doing.

Finally, I hope the redevelopment of the museum continues to progress well and I very much look forward to seeing you again at the official opening on the 1st June.

Yours Sincerely,

G Hesling


November's watch rotation took place in the bustling port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. This was a busy visit, the highlight of which was the island's Remembrance Day ceremony, attended by all White Watch personnel. Following the service White Watch then enjoyed the hospitality of the Royal British Legion who hosted a BBQ. The remaining ship's company in Red and Blue watches also held a remembrance service on board. The visit included a cocktail party where SCOTT hosted local dignitaries; also a little free time for sightseeing and relaxation before sailing again.


On sailing from Tenerife SCOTT was again joined by FOST (Flag Officer Sea Training) staff to put us through our paces in some further damage control training. This proved a success with us achieving an overall satisfactory standard, ensuring our safe passage onwards. The training though did not stop there! We have since held a number of exercises on board, including fires, floods and casualty exercises. A whole ship 'Wet and Wild' damage control training held one (rainy) afternoon proved to be both a valuable learning experience in casualty handling, leak stopping and fire fighting, and also great fun!

Crossing the Line

Saturday 21st November saw HMS SCOTT and her mariners ceremonially crossing the Equator. We had opted to ignore King Neptune's warnings to turn back, and to sail bravely on towards the Equator regardless. As a result Neptune's 'Bears' visited on Friday evening and read out 'summons' for those to stand trial the next day.

Indeed, the following day the unfortunate sailors then had their charges read, were escorted to the ship's pool (yes ... pool!) where they were dunked by the aforementioned bears. All this along with being fed delicious mustard-filled profiteroles while King Neptune himself and his beautiful wife looked on ...

The evening culminated in a foredeck BBQ which was enjoyed by all.