It has not all been smooth sailing, with a few cultural differences appearing or messages lost in translation, but the training value has been incalculable

Lt Serena Scott

And just for good measure the German guests were also invited to join in ‘whole ship’ events, demanding the actions of most of the ship’s company, such as storing ship and getting rid of rubbish (‘out all gash’).

The Mürwik cadets were surprised by the size of the Royal Marines’ hoses as they washed down their boats, but impressed by the ability of vacuum cleaners to dry wet decks.

They were introduced to bucketball – basketball with a bucket – put senior officers on he spot about maintaining morale during sustained periods at sea and generally impressed the 700-plus sailors, soldiers, airmen and Royal Marines aboard Ocean with their attitude and command of the English language.

Britannia trains upwards of 450 officers for the Royal and international navies every year, while around 250 would-be German naval leaders pass through Marineschule Mürwik (Mürwik Naval College). German cadets have mostly come straight from school, with the Deutsche Marine sponsoring them through university before they resume their seafaring careers.

Helping the German cadets throughout has been Lt Serena Scott, their divisional officer, who’s currently on exchange at Mürwik, near Flensburg, a couple of hours’ drive north of Hamburg.

“It has not all been smooth sailing, with a few cultural differences appearing or messages lost in translation, but the training value has been incalculable,” he said.
Following their four-week spell on Ocean, the cadets will return to their respective colleges to complete their training.