Friday, January 18, 2008

RFA Fort George: "Toys out of the pram!"

RFA Fort George

As we rounded the south west of the Little Cumbrae, we were disappointed that the mist had rolled back across the mountains of Arran. Then this fine vessel steamed into view. She is the RFA Fort George and passed us at 14.4 knots. Her wake was breaking white rollers and gave us some good fun!

She was launched in 1991 and, with her sister ships, supplies the Royal Navy warships with supplies such as food, stores, fuel and ammunition.

Although RFA (Royal Fleet Auxilary) ships are not front line warships, who can forget the bravery and tragic loss of life of the crews and troops aboard RFA Sir Galahad and RFA Sir Tristram? They were both lost after being bombed at Fitzroy during the Falklands War.

Anyway it is great to get the following message from Ian, who is currently on board the Fort George:

"Hi Douglas,

I'm on RFA Fort George, and was on the bridge when we passed you. I hope our bow-wave didn't cause you any inconvenience - might even have been good surfing?! I did sort of wonder whether it might be you in the kayak. By the way, we give the "boats" a wide berth too, there's only one guy with his head stuck up out of the hatch over there!"

Apparently the unofficial motto of the RFA is "Toys out of the pram!" I think I will let Ian explain that one...



  1. It's a small world, isn't it?

    Might be worth checking, I have a feeling that the tragedy you describe took place at Bluff Cove ... ?

    Mark R

  2. Hi Mark, it really is an amazing small world! Who would have thought that Ian, a kayaker, would be watching us from the bridge!

    Like you, I knew it as the Bluff Cove disaster and that was in my original post but I edited it after further research when I discovered that the bombing took place in a body of water called Port Fitzroy off Fitzroy settlement. Bluff Cove settlement, which was the Welsh Guards' destination, was 5 miles away inland.

    I wish the Fort George a successful and trouble free voyage.


  3. Typo in the above: I meant to say "in a body of water called Port Pleasant off Fitzroy settlement."

    BTW just looked at the Falklands on Google Earth, looks like an awesome place to paddle! Still with a distance of 12,000 miles and only 30 down to the Clyde, I suspect we will be just going for another wee trip "doon the water" this weekend!


  4. I have wanted to paddle in the Falklands ever since I watched Carol Thatcher (an overwise ridiculous person) in her TV report about albatrosses ...

    The trip has the appeal of the bleak wildness of Falkland, alongside paying respect to the Fallen. Wind is pretty awful though, I think.

    Weekly flights from RAF Brize Norton, not cheap.

    Mark R

  5. Re the RFA motto:

    The management prefer our official motto "Flexible Global Reach", or "Ready For Anything". Most of us prefer the unofficial "Really F8%*ed About or "Ready, Fire, Aim"! Thanks for your kind comments Douglas, and nice to see you out on such a good morning, I was very jealous!

  6. Forgot to add that not only can Fort George provide most Toys from the Pram, we also provide the fuel to keep the pram running!

  7. Ian,

    RFA: Ready, Fire, Aim, I love it! I hope you are having a good voyage :o)