Oxford URNU New Entry Sea Weekend

On the 19 Jan 18, the New Entry Officer Cadets of the Oxford URNU arrived at HMNB Portsmouth where they would embark on their first sea weekend

After some preparatory chart work they got their heads down on board HMS Smiter for an early start the next day.

With call the hands at 0630 each member was able to take part in the Colours Ceremony before HMS Smiter departed. Officer Cadet Nikhil Daas’ “Carry On” pipe attempt was certainly something to remember!

The Unit enjoyed some fair weather for the first day, learning how to navigate effectively whilst at sea, taking bearings from landmarks and plotting fixes on charts.

They took part in some of the daily operations performed by the Ship’s Company, including learning to tie knots and secure the ropes on board the Ship. Each member also had a turn at being the Helmsman with help from the Officer of the Watch.

After a busy day at sea, the group ventured into the HMS Nelson Wardroom for their evening ‘scran’ and a chance to reflect on the training received throughout the day. 

It was an amazing experience; it was great seeing how the Ship is run and has left me eagerly awaiting the next deployment.

Officer Cadet Billy Ward

The weather on the final day was not as kind as the first and despite early determination to proceed on with the plan of the day the Ship had to unfortunately had to head back early due to the turbulent weather.

A final clean down of the Ship completed the New Entry Sea Weekend with the group heading back to the Oxford URNU shortly afterward.

Officer Cadet Billy Ward said: “It was an amazing experience; it was great seeing how the Ship is run and has left me eagerly awaiting the next deployment.”

Lieutenant Will Jones RN, Commanding Officer of the Oxford URNU said “The weekend was a fantastic opportunity for the newest Officer Cadets in the Unit to get first hand experience of life at sea in the RN."

Oxford is one of 15 URNUs located across the UK offering opportunities to 750 undergraduates from the country’s leading universities.

The URNU's mission is: "To develop an understanding of the Naval Service in undergraduates, so that those who go into civilian employment are positive advocates thereof and to facilitate a Naval Career for those who choose one."

The URNU is a chance to experience military life without commitment and gain new skills applicable to all walks of life.

Words by Officer Cadet Billy Ward, Oxford URNU and potential WE Officer.