When looking at a photograph of the ship, one fact becomes very clear: the foc'sle is way out in front. And this is the position we have maintained throughout the commission.
On the sports field, after being narrowly defeated by the Electricians in the inter-part final in November, we are well on the way to victory in the present competition, having already beaten the Electricians.
On the messdeck, model-making has come to the fore in the list of hobbies and many fine models of ships and aeroplanes decorate the messdeck.
On the foc'sle where all the "real" seamanship goes on, our "man-sized" anchors and cable now excite no comment except from the Navigating Officer who can never work out the distance to allow us to knock off the slip. When we commissioned he allowed us nothing, and it took us 40 yards, now he allows us 40 yards and it takes no time at all.
As the commission comes to an end one can look back and think of the numerous amusing "incidents" that will prompt people in later ships to say "When I was in the foc'sle division in the Londonderry I remember ..."
... when flat sweeper Able Seaman ... dropped his pot of grey paint in the rum barrel just before "tot" time. Still he made up for it when we crossed the line.
... when the Captain of the foc'sle had a fight with the capstan and lost a finger. Was he mad when he came back to look for it and found Leading Seaman ... had dropped it over the side. ...when we had so many wires and ropes and fenders out, going through the entrance at Salina Cruz that cries of "knit one, pearl one," could be heard coming from the bridge.