The Royal Canadian Navy helped solve a shortage of tea on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, supplying one of the most critical, moral-boosting items available on Royal Navy aircraft carrier, Alert 5 reported.
While on deployment in the Pacific, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, based at Portsmouth, ran out of its stash of the steaming amber liquid for the flag officers’ mess.
While boss of the British task force, Commodore Steve Moorhouse, was aboard HMCS Winnipeg, with minor high seas catering crisis looming, the quick-thinking commander of the Canadian frigate stepped in to resupply the pride of the Royal Navy.
‘I went across thinking I would be offered traditional Canadian hospitality, whatever that may be,’ Commodore Moorhouse told CBC News following his 90-minute visit to the Canadian vessel. ‘And they very, very kindly laid on English tea, afternoon tea.’
The gesture of the Canadians genuinely touched Cdre Moorhouse, former captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
‘I had a cup of Earl Grey and English scones with cream and jam,” he added. ‘I said, “Hey, that’s fantastic, we’ve just run out of Earl Grey tea in the flag area on Queen Elizabeth”. I returned to the ship weighed down with probably a thousand tea bags.’
The commander of the Winnipeg said it was the least they could do to help an allied unit suffering through the privation of a long sea voyage.
‘We gave him three boxes and he sent me an email afterwards and said I was a hero going back to a British ship with tea from Canada,’ Canadian Commander Doug Layton said.
Surprised by the gift, Cdre Moorhouse added: ‘Whenever you visit a ship, sailors will say, “Hey sir, what did you get? What did they give you? Was it maple syrup or something like that?,’ he said. ‘And I said, “No, I’ve got Earl Grey tea bags”.’
HMS Queen Elizabeth has almost completed her tour of the Far East.
The 65,000-tonne warship, is now in Singapore, having previously spent time in Japan and Guam.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest and most powerful vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy. The ship is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft.
The ship’s two propellers weigh 33 tonnes each. The powerplant behind them generates enough power to run 1000 family cars.
Photo credit: Royal Navy / Crown Copyright
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