back to article British naval food doesn't look half bad... so we're going to try it out for ourselves

Ahead of the upcoming second edition of The Register's Boatnotes series, the crew of Royal Navy warship HMS Severn has shared a glimpse with the wider world of the food served aboard ship – and it really looks rather good. The River-class offshore patrol vessel is due to be formally re-commissioned back into the Royal Navy …

  1. Eclectic Man Silver badge


    The late Sir Peter Scott was camouflage officer in the Royal Navy in World War 2. His camouflage schemes were so effective at hiding ships that they sometimes collided!

    "By May 1941, all ships in the Western Approaches (the North Atlantic) were ordered to be painted in Scott's camouflage scheme. The scheme was said to be so effective that several British ships including HMS Broke collided with each other. The effectiveness of Scott's and Thayer's ideas was demonstrated experimentally by the Leamington Camouflage Centre in 1941. Under a cloudy overcast sky, the tests showed that a white ship could approach six miles (9.6 km) closer than a black-painted ship before being seen"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Camouflage

      You want to make 'em hard to see? Paint 'em in a neon bright, glow in the day, disco tartan plaid in various shades of octerene. Nobody'll be able to see 'em at all! (They'll be too busy screamin' an' clawin' out their eyes.)

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Camouflage

      Makes a sort of 1940s sense. Nowadays a lot of small craft are equipped with radar. Its also common practice for many small boats to carry AIS transponders, they're handy in crowded coastal waters where you've got a lot of mixed shipping.

      (I'm assuming the purpose of this ship is to patrol the channel looking for inflatables carrying a handful of would-be migrants.)

    3. Mips

      Re: Camouflage

      I once had the task to design a replacement galley in a shore based establishment. As I was surveying the building I noticed that a large cockroach had fallen off a duct into a tub of custard on the servery counter. I noted this to the crewman manning the servery expecting him to do something about it. He did. He stirred it in.

      Added protein I suppose.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: Camouflage

        Mips: "I once had the task to design a replacement galley in a shore based establishment."

        Did your design include a 'Cockroach Hotel'?


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I loved the Navy in my teens

    I smoked Player's Navy Cut - it was great, especially with a little Nepalese addition.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: I loved the Navy in my teens

      Black Nepalese? Got ya weak in your knees?

      1. sebacoustic

        Re: I loved the Navy in my teens

        i wish they would let the Afghans export some black resin: while that stuff is strong, it won't make anyone agressive of loopey like those new-fangled weed breeds. And they could surely do with the income, I'd even gladly pay the IRS their due share.

  3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

    Join The Navy, See The World

    Exotic places like Lundan.

    1. EarthDog

      Re: Join The Navy, See The World

      Don't forget the fresh fruit every day. WHich can be in short supply on longer cruises.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Join The Navy, See The World

        Not sure daily rum and Lime juice is an essential part of patrolling the south coast looking for rubber dinghys full of refugees

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Join The Navy, See The World

        Well since Rum and the Lash are no longer allowed.....

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Join The Navy, See The World

          Just so I don't sound like a complete idiot.......

          The deleted post referred to the 3rd traditional naval activity

  4. Irony Deficient Silver badge

    Naval budgets mean the crew must eat three square meals a day for £3.61.

    Does the £3.61 only cover the cost of ingredients? Does it include storage and preparation costs (e.g. refrigeration, heating, labor)?

    1. Random Task

      Re: Naval budgets mean the crew must eat three square meals a day for £3.61.

      just the ingredients

    2. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Naval budgets mean the crew must eat three square meals a day for £3.61.

      It's not all that tight a budget. I live alone and seem to be spending about £7 a day on average. But that's a single adult shopping at a well known national grocer's online site, includes some luxuries and non-food related items. I also don't bother looking for bargains or cheaper items and mostly buy ready prepared stuff rather than raw ingredients.

      I reckon an organisation as big and important as the RN can negotiate some damn good deals on stuff and cooking from scratch is saving money if you ignore the staff and facilities costs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Naval budgets mean the crew must eat three square meals a day for £3.61.

        My sons a 'jack dusty' and given the RN's bulk purchasing £3.61 goes a long way compared to buying food in civi street, and most on-board food is pretty good.

        On base (land 'ships' and multi-service bases) food is prep'd by commercial facilities management type companies like Sod-OXO (sp!) and is expensive for what it is crap, service personnel have to pay for it out of their own pockets except when 'on duty', many actually shop in normal supermarkets and feed themselves it's that bad!

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: Naval budgets mean the crew must eat three square meals a day for £3.61.

          "On base (land 'ships' and multi-service bases) food is prep'd by commercial facilities management type companies"

          That caused a bit of stress, as although in theory it saved the RN some money, it meant that the only RN staff who had to serve their entire time at sea would be the chefs and kitchen staff as there would be no shore postings for them, unlike all other RN ranks and occupations. So some of the catering on shore is done by sailors.

          I once visited HMS Seahawk in Cornwall. Had the very best smoked haddock risotto I've ever tasted in the Officers' Mess, wonderful.

    3. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Naval budgets mean the crew must eat three square meals a day for £3.61.

      Does the £3.61 also apply to the Officers' food?

  5. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    I thought the headline was about sausages. Lots of navels in sausages...

    1. Glen 1

      That joke was offal

  6. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    "...this is genuinely designed to camouflage; to hide a ship at sea."

    Looks like Commander Phil Harper didn't get the memory from Boris about doing away with camouflage and plastering everything red, white and blue, with the union flag, like his Boris Force 1 RAF Voyager. Uniforms and camouflage outfits of all the services to be standardised and based on a design inspired by Ginger Spice's union jack outfit.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Camouflage

      sorry - typo - memo from Boris

    2. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

      Re: Camouflage

      The thing is, sticking a nice bright easy to see colour on the tail of an aircraft that in peace time is going to be used for air-to-air refuelling (as well as transport), which involves very expensive aeroplanes manoeuvring very close to each other, is actually quite a sensible thing to do.

    3. Kev99 Silver badge

      Re: Camouflage

      FYI - The Brits did an experiment once where they covered a tank with high intensity lights. At high noon you couldn't see a bloody thing. The idea went nowhere. Their Evereadys kept dying.

  7. Norman Nescio Silver badge

    I wonder if it's good for waterskiing?

    " Lieutenant Commander Nigel Williams water skis from Type 22 frigate HMS Brave"

    Reddit: "Lieutenant Commander Nigel Williams water skis from Type 22 frigate HMS Brave"

    The vessel is HMS Brave, but a swift look at the Wikipedia entry doesn't list a Nigel Williams as a Commander, and the possible mix-up with Bob Williams doesn't agree with the alleged date of 1986.

    It's still a great picture, though.

  8. ThatOne Silver badge

    River-class offshore

    > River-class offshore patrol vessel

    Sorry, but isn't there a contradiction somewhere?

    Unless you mean "off river shores" of course, but that would be a little unambitious, wouldn't it. ("OMG, there is water all around us! The shore is almost 15 feet away!")

    Is there a rational explanation for this?

    1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

      Re: River-class offshore

      River Class = named after Rivers (hence HMS Severn).

      The Type 23 Frigates are also named the 'Duke Class', because they are named after Dukes; there have previously been 'County Class' Cruisers (Second World War) and 'County Class' destroyers (1970's/80's), named after British Counties, etc, etc

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: River-class offshore

        > River Class = named after Rivers

        Thanks. Didn't think of that.

    2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: River-class offshore

      On a cruise in the Southern Ocean, a worried USAn lady tourist asked how far away they were from land.

      Russian captain said "Nearest land, one mile".

      USAn lady, much relieved was, however, slightly confused: "in which direction?" she enquired, scanning the horizon.

      Captain (pointing): "DOWN"

  9. Claverhouse Silver badge

    All Very Blairite

    How exactly does such PFI work with a Navy ship ? If sunk by pirates off the starboard bow, who absorbs the cost ?

    Not the Navy because that would be 'privatised profits and socialized losses' which no competent government would ever agree to; the owners ? Insurance ?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: All Very Blairite

      PPI navy is traditional - I believe it was known as 'letters of marque'

  10. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Assorted Cereals

    Actually, that menu irresistibly reminds one of a motorway service station.

  11. Kev99 Silver badge

    In my opinion, many of the ship and land vehicles of The War would handle themselves quite well today. During The War every climate and terrain was encountered. The Russians and American both learned early on that having the latest & greatest was not always the answer. Being able to field large numbers of simple, easy to operate equipment was more effective than having the engineers latest toy. As an example, the US alone built 86,000 tanks while the Axis forces built 76,000 (Germany, Italy & Japan combined.). The US alone built over 100 flat-tops of all types like Ford built cars.

    The lessons learned the hard way during The War have been completely ignored by today's military. The Russians haven't forgotten.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      > Being able to field large numbers of simple, easy to operate equipment was more effective

      You forget one detail: This only works if you also have the manpower to operate those "large numbers"! Germany is a small country with a limited population and had to make each man count, so while their tanks were often clearly over-engineered (like the Tiger), going for "quantity over quality" was not really an option for them, tank operators don't grow on trees.

      As for WWII kit doing well today, I don't think so. While WWII vehicles/vessels were often simpler and thus easier to repair, they were also much slower and had appalling fuel consumptions.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Regarding WW2 kit doing well or not today, it can be a bit non-obvious. It all depends on what comes up against what.

        For example as ships evolved so have the weapons designed to sink them. That means that, for example, today's Exocet does not necessarily have the power to punch through the armour plate on something like an Iowa class battleship. And it'd be quite hard for an F35 to shoot down a Farey Swordfish.

        However, a modern torpedo would do extreme damage to an Iowa battleship, and an Apache helicopter or A10 would tear a Swordfish to bits.

        Plus there's a lot that can be done in the line of sensors these days that renders almost all old WW2 military capabilities redundant.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          >As for WWII kit doing well today, I don't think so.

          I believe Atomic bombs are still rather snazzy

        2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          re: F35 vs Farey Swordfish

          "And it'd be quite hard for an F35 to shoot down a Farey Swordfish."

          The F35 can hover and fly slowly enough to play quite easily with a Farey Swordfish:

          As long as it can fire its machine gun at the same time the Swordfish would have no chance. ("The F-35A is armed with a 25 mm GAU-22/A rotary cannon mounted internally near the left wing root with 182 rounds carried"

          Alternatively just fly past the Swordfish at supersonic speed and let the shockwave shake it apart.

          1. bazza Silver badge

            Re: re: F35 vs Farey Swordfish

            Ah well, the F35-A has a gun, but the variant that can hover / fly slowly is the F35-B which doesn't have a gun. It can carry a gun pod, but that's center line mounted and, by the looks of it, would shoot the front undercarriage off (which I believe has to be down in hover mode).

            So it'd be over to missiles and such, but a Stringbag flying slowly at near zero feet is set against a difficult background for any modern target acquisition / tracking system to go up against; too much clutter, speed differential too low for Doppler clutter separation to be effective (the Swordfish can tootle along at about 60mph), minimal thermal signature.

            Also, supersonic aircraft often can't be supersonic at low level. The F35A does Mach 1.6 at altitude. I wouldn't mind betting that the maximum ceiling of the Swordfish (16,500ft) is below the minimum altitude for supersonic flight for the F35...

            But generally the thing that makes the real difference is that the speed overlap between something as slow as a Swordfish and something fast like an F35. The time between sighting the Swordfish and going past it is too short for the pilot to do anything about it. That's the tactic that helicopters use to outwit a fast jet - hover and scoot.

            1. druck Silver badge

              Re: re: F35 vs Farey Swordfish

              Just about any fighter from the 1950s onwards can go supersonic at low level, they just tend not to due to the damage caused on the ground.

    2. Ken G Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Which war?

      1. Jonathan Richards 1

        re. Which war?

        My question exactly. I have to distrust Kev's opinions when (s)he uses the definite article in front of "War".

        1. Ken G Silver badge

          Re: re. Which war?

          Yeah, some of the context suggests the Emergency/Great Patriotic War/WW2 except Russia wasn't in that one. Usually "the" war is the current/latest one but that seems unlikely. If it was the one starting between 1931-1941 and ending 1945-1957 then I'm not sure how any of the equipment would hold up to sustained drone strikes, though it'd probably be hardened against cyberattack and social media manipulation. I thinkGM manufactured more trucks than Ford during that one, if you count all the subsidiaries; Vauxhall, Opel, Isuzu, etc.

  12. Sam 15

    Disco Tartan plaid [1] ???

    How about the Dazzle camouflage actually used in WW!?

    (Just stick "dazzle camouflage" into your preferred search engine)

    [1] Tautology Shirley?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Catering on life rafts may differ

  14. Korev Silver badge

    Personally I'm disappointed they didn't have Severn Up on the menu...

  15. Jim_E

    The menu is not a patch on the menus after the Navy catering scandal in the late 60s. Roast haunch of wild boar anyone?

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