Wednesday, 31 March 2010

All Aboard

I hope you don't get seasick, because we're going to spend the next 25 years, in blogging terms (I have that many pictures), aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. Sarah strongly recommended we visit, she was still bubbling from her last time, so we duly went. She was right. It was good.

First off, a disclaimer. I'm not nautical. I grew up in Oklahoma, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. That's one handicap, the other of course is that I'm foreign, and so probably don't properly appreciate all things royal and such. Nevertheless, the yacht is a cool place to visit and since I have a squillion photos, visit we shall. I'll try to remember one or two pieces of information to go with the pictures... If you really want the details, look here.

It's a pretty big boat, but owing to the fact that it is big, I guess it is properly called a ship. It has 3 masts - they all looked alike to me. The main function of the middle mast is to separate the crew from the guests. Also, there are pennies underneath the masts: pennies for the angels, the recording said.

These are the life boats, properly termed boats. Bill noticed right off they are posh: they are enclosed, unlike any other life boats I've ever seen.

This room is of course at the front of the ship, but don't ask me what it's called. Something to do with navigation, no doubt.

I remember this is called the fo'c'sle, which was at one time called the forecastle (I just looked that up).

There was a photo of all the crew out there at the front of the ship sun bathing and another where they were exercising. Somehow black and white photos from the 1950s don't portray the sex appeal you would normally associate with those events, but I did remember the name of that part of the ship all the same.

This bell is at the back of the ship, in front of a room I forget what it's called. It has bamboo furniture and a great view, sort of like an enclosed balcony, being in the front at the top level of the ship. It was one of the Queen's favourite rooms, apparently. There are clever little cupboards that hide the games and the drinks bar, which I'll show you when we go indoors tomorrow.

No doubt the bell at one time served a purpose other than to order more drinks, but for now, it appears to be a photo prop for all the visitors.

Before we leave today, please note that the ship is painted a tasteful navy blue, per instructions of the Queen, instead of the usual black. And that

gold stripe down the side? It's real gold - 24 carat. After that, I'm afraid it's all anticlimactic.


Rick Stone said...

That room that "has to do with navigation" is called the Bridge. The ship is driven from there. The ships bell is very important. When transiting in dense fog someone is posted at the bell to keep ringing it so other ships will know you are there. It also is the way the crew is told what time of day it is. Sailors stand watch for four hours at a time. Each thirty minutes a number of bells is rung. When eight bells rings it is the end of the watch and your releif should be there to take over. Sorry, but the ole sailor came out in me. ;->

Shelley said...

The Bridge -- I knew it would be something with a familiar sound. I'd no idea about the bell chiming the time, though. I knew you would straighten me out, Rick. Hope you enjoy the tour...