H.M.S. Euryalus. 'SUMMER CRUISE' 17/6/1948 - 29/7/1948
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Saturday 26th June

Had a 'lie-in' this morning, seeing that we were not required for 'colours'. I didn't arise until 0830 and when I did so found that the fleet oiler was alongside. It is the 'Blue Ranger' registered in London, but like us stationed in Malta. Triumph left this morning, but only for the day to do some flying exercises which cannot be done when stopped as the passage of air over the deck is essential for the necessary 'lift' the aircraft need. It returned at 1830 and anchored in the same position. I cleaned all my gear for tomorrow - our busy day!

Sunday 27th June

Up with the lark this morning, or perhaps it was a seagull. Colours at 0740, then divisions at 0900 and church service at 0930. We are sailing at 1145 to the western tip of Cyprus called 'Cape Arnutte' where we are going to practice bombardment firing - using both the shells we have in the magazine! (I joke, of course - at least I hope I do!) We arrived and anchored at 1800 hrs. the countryside looks very barren which is probably just as well if we are to blast hell out of it tomorrow! We played for the ships' company tonight. Community singing etc., and it down well with the crew although it was a b---- nuisance for us. Weather just the same. Sun, blue skies and windy.

Monday 28th June

Left anchorage early at 0500 when I was still asleep and went close inshore to land the observation party who are to 'spot' the fall of the shells. Brave, aren't they?

The Heavy Cruiser 'Newcastle' (same class as John's 'Glasgow') plus the C in C's despatch vessel 'Surprise' (we call it his private yacht) arrived this morning and were still here when we got back, although they didn't accompany us. We were closed up at action stations in a very hot and stuffy T.S. (Transmitting Station) all forenoon and I must have lost a couple of pounds in sweat. We could see all the details relating to the gunnery firing and could hear the orders and then the bangs, but being unable to see through steel and machinery, we couldn't actually see any of it!

We were back and anchored again about 1630 and our diver has gone down to search for an anchor lost by a destroyer recently. It's location was supposed to have been exactly plotted and a buoy dropped, but despite our being in the right place, nothing was found.

Went to see the film this evening. 'Black Narcissus'. Didn't think much of it!

Tuesday 29th June

Yet another fine day and mountains around here look most impressive silhouetted against the blue of the sky. The divers are down again looking for that anchor. Evidently the bottom is sand and mud and the depth is 28 fathoms (168 ft.) Presumably it has sunk out of sight! What we haven't been told is how it became lost. Was it a case of we let the anchor go but the chain wasn't attached, or did it snag something? If so what, as surely the wreck, rocks or whatever would be clearly visible? The water is so clear around here that it must be similar down below.

We have been warned that we will be very busy when we get to Istanbul and this a.m. we actually had orchestral practice - I'd almost forgotten what my cello looked like.

The mess deck buzz is that unless the anchor is located soon we won't be returning to Limassol because of the time already wasted but will leave from here on Friday.

Wednesday 30th June

Have just returned from colours and I'm sweating drops of blood! It's surprising how hot the sun is at 0800 at this time of the year. It seems to be hotter because as yet there isn't any breeze at all. The diver is still down 'looking'. We have a theory that he's probably sitting on it, reading a book and drinking beer, as he gets extra pay for diving time. He alleges that there isn't anything within 4-5 yards of the buoy. He was still going down until 2300. The destroyer that lost it returns tomorrow and our diver (the destroyer doesn't have one of its own) is to transfer to it with all his gear and carry on (drinking his beer and reading.) Pay day today and everybody is happy but I don't know why for there is nowhere to go ashore here and spend it. The average matelot doesn't like to have money in his pocket so he spends it as quickly as possible.

The crew of the Band whaler went for a practice row this afternoon. The annual Fleet Regatta is to be held late in July so we need the be fit. However, the sea quickly became too choppy for useful rowing as that wind increased.

Thursday 1st July

Our diver was down again from first light, as we are due to leave for Limassol at 2200hrs and have now transferred the diver to the destroyer which arrived this morning. We had a 'Make and Mend' this afternoon and 'recreational shore leave' although all that meant was going to the nearest beach for swimming. It was great as the sun was as hot as ever and for some reason the usual strong wind didn't get up, so we were swimming all the afternoon. We almost had to stay in the water as the sand was too hot to stand on with bare feet. Everyone had a good time and we returned on board at about 1800. We sailed on time with the frigate 'Verum Bay' astern.

Friday 2nd July

Evidently we arrived back at Limassol at 0530 and after collecting our dghaisa (we have really got it for the Regatta) and other odds and ends sailed for Istanbul at 1130. The band practised the Turkish National anthem. We have to be note perfect because some nations get very upset (politically) if anything is wrong with their beloved anthem! 'Triumph' is with us again and we have been carrying out what are called 'strategic' exercises with their planes. We have been attacked by them all afternoon so we were 'closed up' in the TS. They reckoned that we shot quite a few of them down but as it was a 'no live ammunition do' it would have been mostly guesswork. As the light faded we went into a thick fog bank and our siren is blaring out. As it is not far from my private cabin (Ship's library cubicle) it is deafening. I'm thinking of complaining to the Captain!

Saturday 3rd July

Still steaming along at our ECS (Economical Cruising speed for you ignorant people). That is evidently 14 knots and therefore only uses one boiler. The Cruiser 'Newcastle' mysteriously appeared from somewhere this a.m. and has been with us ever since. I did a lot of work in the library today, cataloguing the books - and also sorting out band parts. We closed up for night action stations at 2200 and had a mock battle with our three 'big' ships being attacked by 5 destroyers and 3 submarines. I don't know what happened, the guns only fired three times with 'starshell' Finished about midnight. Whilst the weather has been fine, it has been a bit rough due to a strong head wind and the ship tends to pitch a bit, but as it hasn't been what I'd call really rough since I've been on it I'm not grumbling.

Sunday 4th July

No colours (never at sea) thank goodness so I was able to enjoy a 'lie-in' in my luxurious de-luxe cabin and didn't arise until about 0730, then cleaned everything up in plenty of time for divisions at 0930 followed by church (put my euphonium away and get out my cello!) The pigs don't have proper Sunday pre-lunch cocktails whilst at sea, although I bet they punish the duty-free just the same. I read until dinner time (midday dinner that is. Dinner for us, lunch for the lot at the blunt end) and afterwards developed some films. I'd just completed the last one when a messenger handed me a telegram containing the great news (three cheers for Uncle Don). It doesn't give the time of despatch but I received it at 1500, which I think is about 1330 GMT (we have just advanced the clocks half-an-hour now that we are moving west again, consequently I get a bit confused!) I was very pleased to hear the news. I said it would be a girl didn't I? - - - - - Didn't I? No? Well I can't always be correct can I?

We are now passing some land (fairly distant) on the port side. Not sure where, but it's very mountainous so it's probably Greece.

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