Following Petty Officers Leadership Course at Whale Island and POMEM(M)’s course in HMS Sultan, I again returned to the maintenance base in May 1997, though it had changed its name to HMS Drake CFM. This stood for Captain Fleet Maintenance, though it was later changed to SFM, standing for Superintendent Fleet maintenance.


This time, I was working as a slinger, hoisting heavy machinery in and out of submarines. This was a physically demanding job, but mentally stimulating as you were required to figure out how to lift an item weighing several tons under control and to position it precisely when lowering it. This was never a job that was done quickly, but a job that required thought, teamwork and excellent communication. Fortunately we had an excellent team.







One of the more challenging jobs was to list the 35ft yacht ‘Storm Dragon’ out of the water onto a cradle for a bottom clean before taking part in Exercise Portolano where as a team of 6 we travelled to Santander to take over the boat for the 3rd leg sailing via Castro Urdiales and La Rochelle to Pornichet in Brittany.

To date, that was the last time I worked in HMS Drake. I left in September 1998 to join HMS Talent