Welcome Home, sailor!
Returning home after a dramatic round-the-world voyage for the crews on board the 12 clippers was indeed a triumph for both professional and amateur crews; albeit tinged with grief as two of their shipmates had perished in unrelated accidents on separate occasions – mid-ocean committal to the deeps must have been so traumatic.
Sir Robin Knox Johnstone’s clipper fleet have sailed round the world over the years and accidents are fortunately rare as both amateurs and professionals participate in such a grand venture. Each craft is reliant on sponsorship and is often associated with UK ports and institutions and welcomed warmly in all the ports of call. An escorting fleet of passenger craft loaded with supporters joined them off Greenwich for the last leg of their journey. Tower Bridge raised her bascules in triumph as they approached St. Katharine’s haven for a well-earned homecoming reception. As a National Serviceman, I experienced a similar remarkable reception at Southampton Docks as the troopship arrived from Singapore to a welcoming military band playing ‘When the Saints come marching in’ – never to be forgotten by those who disembarked after years away from home! Ah me!
Sir Robin, after years of maritime adventures, has taken to land-based ventures for many a year. While serving on the Council of the Friends of the NMM, I enjoyed his wise and considerate chairmanship and realise the weight of responsibility of organising such a venture must have been. I salute one and all.
Penny Matheson presents a PK drawing to RKJ on his retirementfrom the Friends of NMM
An unusual Naval training ship from Japan is visiting the capital. Her crew of cadets lined the taff rails in a traditional manner as she steamed up river to lie alongside historic HMS Belfast. London is a much-favoured port of call for cadets – no doubt much recorded for the folks at home!