Sailors from the Plymouth-based Royal Navy warship HMS Somerset have enjoyed the rare chance opportunity to visit the spectacular sights of Iceland, while on a break during a North Atlantic patrol.
Although the North Atlantic is a regular operating area for Royal Navy warships it is not often that there is a stop in Iceland.
During a visit to refresh the crew and top up supplies, the crew broadened their horizons visiting spectacular waterfalls, glaciers and of course the hot volcanic springs as well as taking on the capital’s rugby team.
Sub Lieutenant Alison Ross, 25, from Aberdeen, an assistant marine engineering officer said: “The chance to visit somewhere like this is why I joined the Royal Navy.”
Proving that the facials and hot springs of the famous Blue Lagoon were not just for the women onboard, Leading Engineering Technician Anthony Smith, 29, from Telford said:: “I particularly enjoyed bathing in the Blue Lagoons with its geothermal spa and watching the hot springs erupt.” He was not alone as many male sailors indulged in a face pack or two.
The relaxation was interrupted by a pair of punishing rugby games against the capital’s Reykjavik Raiders, where although they won the rugby sevens mini tournament, also beating a French team in the process, the home team won the full game with their Viking spirit showing though.
After recharging the batteries it was back to sea to test fire the ship’s main gun against a target just off Scotland and practising the boarding skills that enabled HMS Somerset to undertake the biggest drugs haul in UK history earlier in the year when three tonnes of cocaine with a value of half a billion pounds were seized.
The wide variety of relaxing activities and hard work are part of the typical of life onboard HMS Somerset and at sea where the Royal Navy is on patrol every day, whatever the weather, protecting our nation’s interests.