HMS Iron Duke Visits Jersey

The British Navy's warship makes its first visit to Jersey and we all get a tour. Very cool. Posted 17 November 2011

Day 1

HMS Iron Duke in Elizabeth Harbour for the first time

HMS Iron Duke in Elizabeth Harbour for the first time

It’s hard to miss this one if you looked in the harbour today. HMS Iron Duke arrived into port this morning, berthing where the Condor freight ferries usually are. According to Wikipedia it is a Royal Navy ship specialising in anti-submarine warfare. I welcome the crew to Jersey and I hope they can relax and take a few quiet days off. I guarantee no problems with submarines here as you can barely sail a ship in these treacherous waters and tides.

l-r: Duke of Normandy, Goliath, Iron Duke</p>

l-r: Duke of Normandy, Goliath, Iron Duke

I saw this BBC Jersey story last night, and headed down to the water with the camera. I was hoping to get a great photo of the guns going off at 10:30 when the ship did the arrival salute. I waited patiently out at the end of Albert Pier, with a couple other photographers. We were all there, waiting to photograph the same thing.

The ship's bridge with the German lookout tower atop Elizabeth Castle behind</p>

The ship's bridge with the German lookout tower atop Elizabeth Castle behind

Too bad, we missed it. I guess they did it a half-hour early. I was a bit disappointed, especially because at 10:30 the Condor Express was just entering the next slip. It would have been hilarious to see the passengers reacting to cannon fire alongside. The ship will be open to the public for tours this Saturday from 10am-4pm, according to this MOD page. I highly recommend it. I got to go aboard the HMS Illustrious as a child and I still remember it fondly. According to Channelonline, the tours are free.

Day 2

I went aboard today for a tour. I hope you got a chance to see it, because the tours are now over. Until the next visit, you will have to just browse these photos or watch the ITV Channel Television video.

Welcome aboard!

Welcome aboard!

The crew was very friendly, and there was no problem taking photos. A few of them even offered to take pictures with my camera while I stood in front of the missile launcher up front.

As you came aboard, you were guided along by little arrow signs tied to bits of rope. You were free to take your time and explore, which was great.

There were members of the crew standing at various points, explaining the different parts of the ship and answering visitors’ questions.

I didn’t expect to get access to as many places as I did. There were various members of the crew working and moving about the ship. With about 170 crew, it was busy but they were patient with all the visitors roaming everywhere.

Home sweet home under the small crosshairs

Home sweet home under the small crosshairs

A view of the Sea Wolf launch tubes, center.

A view of the Sea Wolf launch tubes at center

SeaGnat decoy launcher tubes

SeaGnat decoy launcher tubes

A Somali pirate's worst nightmare...

A Somali pirate's worst nightmare...

The ship's bell

The ship's bell

Pegboard to keep track of who is aboard

Pegboard to keep track of who is aboard

A RIB, ready to go

A RIB, ready to go

I thank the crew for opening their ship to the public and showing us what they do. I wish them safe travels and I hope they can come back to Jersey soon.