All attendees managed to survive the 2014 mini reunion held on board the MV Carnival Freedom, at sea on passage from Peurto-Rico to The Bahamas. Here is the Report of Proceedings submitted by our ever diligent roving reporter, Dave Lenton:
MINI-REUNION 2014 - SURVIVORS’ NOTICE
Episode 1 (Joining Routine) <Click here for the full Joining Routine PDF>
The first episode covers leaving UK to completion of the Joining Routine and some highlights include:
‘A raging thunderstorm struck the airport while we were there, and the ensuing deluge and lightning delayed our flight for two hours. A few hours later, we were in the brace position, with our heads on our knees, and our hearts in our mouths, while the Captain executed an emergency landing at Fort Lauderdale.’ and…..
‘An hour into the cruise, and he’d already scuppered a 4 man ‘Bucket of Beer’ and was displaying all the symptoms of nerve agent poisoning; slurring of speech, loss of muscle control, blurred vision etc.‘
Episode 2 (Sea Time) <Click here for the full Sea Time PDF>
In this episode Dave covers some of the more interesting facets of a reunion at sea:
No wonder these cruises are so popular! Life at sea in the mob was never like this. No watches; swanning around on the upper scupper, bronzying at will; a dazzling array of food and drink constantly available; living it up and boozing with your oppos every night until the wee small hours. Hang on…..I think I’ve just described life at sea for us chippies!
Episode 3 (Nights at Sea) <Click here for the full Nights at Sea PDF>
Here’s Dave’s account of what the ‘F’in Dayworkers’ do in the evenings:
Unfortunately, being foreign, they just didn't 'get' that singing Happy Fecking Birthday at 6 different tables every night is probably the most annoying thing that anyone could inflict on his fellow man, with the possible exception of waking him up with a bugle - Something else that Calvert has to answer for in days gone by!
Episode 4 (Runs Ashore) <Click here for the full Runs Ashore PDF>
No mention of The Black Angus or the Pusser’s Rum Shop, clearly this was restrained by having the girls along:
But not before bumping into Eddy and Marisa in a bar, no more than a stone's throw from the ship - and you could tell they'd supped a few! Wha-hey! They'd actually been treated to a parade of the Island's Defence Forces, complete with Band and Guard; they were so close to the action that they were almost part of it! And finally, how much rum would it take to persuade YOUR wife/girlfriend to join a steel band (stand fast John Waddington!)?
Episode 5 (The Reunion Dinner) <Click here for the full Dinner PDF>
Only 47 years on:
……and what a brilliant, unforgettable experience the whole thing was, in the true tradition of all our reunions. S61 entry may well have been branded as the worst bunch of ne'er do wells ever to take the Queen's shilling, but the Caledonia element has certainly got something special, which holds us all together more tightly, and gives us a greater sense of belonging, than any other class of Apprentices; and long may it continue!