Pacific Longbow – Step by step

Over the next year 180 soldiers will be embarking on an epic voyage in a test of endurance and stamina as Her Majesty’s Sail Training Craft ‘Discoverer’ casts off from the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre in Gosport on Ex PACIFIC LONGBOW, a trip totalling more than 24,000 nautical miles.

In October, as the Discoverer reached a stopover in its journey, a new crew boarded to take the yacht onto the next leg of the journey. Here are their personal accounts of the journey.

Discoverer Blog Day 1, 22 Oct 17

HMSTC Discoverer is embarking on an Army level round the world adventurous sail training expedition, Ex PACIFIC LONGBOW. Currently, the yacht is on its second leg, from Lanzarote to the Caribbean via 3000 miles of the Atlantic. Leg 2 is led by the REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) and is proudly part of the REME’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The leg 2 crew have just arrived on board and are busy preparing for the crossing.

Track the yacht

I’ve been on fishing boats, I’ve raced in regattas, I’ve even worked on Ben Ainslie’s Americas Cup catamaran… But nothing could have prepared me for #myfirstdayout on Discoverer. She helped me discover just how bad my sea legs were, after spending 4 hours feeling quite ill!

Today, I also found my hero; another crew member who kindly held back my hair as I chundered into the waves, providing me with a wedgie to remember in the process of keeping me secure on the boat whilst allowing the decks to stay clean. To be fair on us all, it was a choppy day and although I was the first person to break the chunder dam, I felt less ashamed when a watchleader projectile-vomited from a yellow face, one foot from my own.

It was white watches’s motherwatch today, where they are responsible for cooking. Breakfast went swimmingly (no pun intended) as we satisfied everyone’s tastebuds with pancakes, whilst turning the cabin kitchen into a scene from Narcos….

After breakfast we had a lesson to tie anyone’s brain into knots; knots. We learnt 6 knots, 2 of which I remember, before prepping the boat for #myfirstdayout.

Back to main scene of the story… The aim of #myfirstdayout was in order to practise man overboard drills, hoisting sails, tacking, gybing and reefing, all achieved successfully! Then back to the harbour to utilise the docking procedure we had practiced before leaving.

All in all, it was a fantastic day, only slightly compromised by the human brain’s inability to cope on the water. Within a few days, I am sure all that everyone will have found their sea legs!  We are looking forward to setting off later in the week, once we have completed the shopping and some more training over the next few days….

By Cfn Laura Davies

105 Battalion REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers)



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