December 16 (Sat) 1944, Scapa Flow, Orkney

The gale has continued unabated & we sit here in berth A4. We have not drifted any closer to the buoy but there is still hope. Shoots have proved impracticable as the BPT [Battle Practice Target] has been unable to leave harbour. Apart from embarking stores & supplies, including a replacement for the lost PV [paravane], we have just generally sat. By the First Dog [watch, 1600 to 1800] on Friday, had reverted to 1 hours notice for steam but by the Middle watch [0000 to 0400], the situation had deteriorated & “Special Sea Dutymen” closed up [upper deck seamen made the ship ready for sea]. By most people this was taken as an aftermath of a birthday party held in the Ward Room but I believe some did close up. I have not yet been able to find out what they did.



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