I'm sure that many fellow Ton, Hunt and SRMH ex-Skippers can claim to be members of this illustrious yet select club. Yes - Operation/Exercise PIKE stand-down springs to mind in the halcyon days of the early 80's. When either the weather or the Decca High Fix was not complying, we were forced to seek shelter or operate within the coverage area of that terrestrial precise navigation system of dubious reliability.
One such day when it was blowing hard from the West, KIRKLISTON happened to be taking refuge in Ettrick Bay (I have yet to rediscover or even re-locate this bay). The bay was known to be an area for exercise submarine minelaying so we knew (at least the Coxn told me he knew) that there was a small charge remaining in the S/M mines (from memory SMk6 or more probably MMk5) that was a potential hazard (again memory dubious but it could have been Sod Phos). FOSNI had agreed that this hazard needed to be reduced so it became the ideal opportunity to exercise the sonar and diving teams, use some realistic RSP techniques and tick off a few Fleet Form 10 tasks.
It went very well, in fact it went better than we could ever have wished. The 5lb pack was placed, actuated and produced not just a dull thud but also the must enormous 'bloom' of stunned white fish on the surface. The next few hours were spent collecting the fish and filling the freezers while the chef studied his 'ways of preparing herring'.
I'm a bit more of an environmentalist now and can have some sympathy for the passing shoal of herring. Nevertheless, the KIRKLISTONs of that time will be ever grateful for the skill and immaculate timing of the explosive initiation by the CD1. And thanks to you Tanky and Chef - there really are 1001 ways of cooking herring!
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