In September 2004, myself and 11 other Air Cadets from around the country travelled to RAF Uxbridge to take part in a camp on board the TS Earl of Romney. The main idea of the camp was to teach us about sailing and the various activities that go with it.
On the first day, we all boarded the ship after a long coach ride to Chatham docks. The first day was spent learning about the parts of the ship. Each group of three cadets had duties to do throughout the week such as galley duty (although some people had a hard time keeping their food down!) and helping the captain on the bridge (steering the ship and taking the logbook). Steering the ship was fun and was easier than expected, although we all make mistakes, some more than others!
During the week we stopped at various places along the river Thames such as Stood, Greenwich and Ramsgate but the best place we stopped was HMS President, right next to Tower Bridge . This was great as we were allowed shore leave and most of us spent the day looking around London, shopping and a few of the cadets and staff went to see a show during the night time.
In the middle of the week the RNLI came out on their speedboat/dinghy and were kind enough to give us all a ride. That was fantastic fun as they hurled the boat around, soaking us all. Needless to say we all looked ridiculous in bright yellow oilskins!
Overall this was the best camp I've been on so far as I made some great friends, had a fantastic time and by the time it was all over I wanted to do it all again!
Sadly though the ship has been sold privately and these camps will cease to exist but the people, the activities and the sights made it a memorable experience I hope to never forget.