Day 5 |
Sep 06, 2012

Dartmouth, England 

By Gordon Corrigan, Military Historian

Co-ordinates: N 50. 21. 07, W 3. 34. 29
Weather: Sunny
Air Temperature: 18.0ºC
Pressure: 1025 hPa
Wind: 3 kmph

After a remarkably smooth overnight voyage from the Isles of Scilly, the Silver Explorer entered the River Dart just after 0700 hrs (7 am) and docked off the town of Dartmouth just before 0800.

After breakfast we disembarked by Zodiac for a tour of Britannia Royal Naval College, the institution that, for a century and a half, has been responsible for the training of officers for the Royal Navy. After a short briefing on the history of the college, we were taken on a tour of the grounds followed by the interior of the magnificent Victorian building where we were surrounded by the essence of the traditions of the Royal Navy. Particularly impressive were the chapel, including the kneelers used by the royal family, the Senior Gun Room (officers’ mess dining room) with its ceiling decorated by the royal coat of arms and the motif of British kings and queens, and with oak panels along the walls commemorating a thousand years of British naval supremacy and victories gained, mostly over England’s traditional enemies, France and Spain. The tour ended with champagne and canapés served in one of the ante rooms, with a magnificent view over the town, after which guests could return to the Silver Explorer for lunch, or remain in town.

At 1730 hrs the last Zodiac brought guests back to the ship and at 1800 hrs we enjoyed a ‘sail away’ cocktail party on deck while we set sail for La Coruna. The day concluded with a Recap & Briefing out on deck followed by a dinner at which the chefs once again exceeded their own almost impossibly high standards.