Merry Christmas!

Another week has rolled on and the HMS Oardacious crew are all finished in their respective roles for the festive period and are all back celebrating Christmas at home with family and friends, something that, with the nature of our jobs and the ever changing submarine program is a treat in itself. Many of our forces personnel will not get this luxury in 2018; across the Tri-service many of our servicemen and woman will not be with their loved ones this Christmas and we would like to spare a thought for these selfless individuals who have the nation’s security at the top of their priorities.

The 2018 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is also underway and many crews are braving the crossing, the conditions and the separation from home on Christmas. We will be in a similar place this time next year and I hope that we will receive a thought or two sent in our direction so I send one from Oardacious to all the crews out there and hope they stay safe.

We want to wish all our supporters and all the family and friends of the HMS Oardacious a very Merry Christmas. Be happy and safe over this festive period, spend time with people you love, eat too much, drink sensibly and enjoy yourself as much as you can because there are many who are not so fortunate.

We would finish this Christmas Blog with a Submariner’s Christmas poem (written by a fellow Submariner):

“Twas the night before Christmas, the boat was steaming,

Some sailors stood watch, while others were dreaming.

I had come down the hatch with presents in hand,

And peeked inside to see this strange band.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,

No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, though boots close at hand,

On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.

They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,

And a sobering thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,

I had found Submariners, at once I saw clearly.

One submariner lay sleeping, silent and alone,

Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the bunk squared away,

This was the submariner of today.

This hero I didn't see on TV,

Defending our country deep under the sea.

I realised the people I would visit this night,

Owed their lives to these submariners, willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,

And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They enjoyed freedom each day of the year,

Because of Submariners, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,

On Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,

I fell to my knees and started to cry.

The Submariner awakened and in a calm voice,

Said "Santa, don't cry. This life is my choice."

"Defending the seas all days of the year,

So others may live and live without fear."

I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,

To live a life guided by honour and code.

It's Christmas Eve and the boat's underway!

But freedom isn't free. It is families who pay.

The Submarine Service gives freedom, "Be free and sleep tight,

No harm will come, not on my watch, not tonight."

The Submariner rolled over and drifted to sleep,

I couldn't control it and continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,

Over this young man, amazed at his will.

I didn't want to leave on that dark winter's night,

This guardian of honour so willing to fight.

The submariner rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,

Commanded, "Carry on Santa, It's Christmas, and All is secure"

Stay safe guys and girls and thank you. Merry Christmas and have a great 2019