Jufair handled our communications so if you were not duty watch the rest of the day was yours from 12, this normally consisted of heading off to the base swimming pool and a lazy afternoon with a few beers. There was only one attractive girl at that swimming pool, the daughter of one of the army blokes, she became the girlfriend of a young cook on the Tartar, I met that very cook ten years later on my first oil platform, small world. We did make the odd trip into the capital Manama and it was just what I expected an Arab town to look like from my experiences of Beau Geste movies, walls, big gates, dusty streets, no pubs, coffee shops and blokes holding hands. As with most stops Manama had its special Naval interest, not a bar this time but little books called AFO's 'Admiralty Fleet Orders' these were small Mills and Boon sized publications which contained sexually explicit stories which would have had no problem getting banned in any civilised country.
|Pool at Jufair|
There was one hotel which we frequented now and again where you could drink, the Moons Plaza, this was quite a tad fancier than I had been used to, perhaps one of the first 'posh' hotels I ever drank in. It was memorable for me due to several things, an introduction to Canadian Club, I tried Lobster Thermidor and didn't like it, enjoyed the best chicken noodle soup I ever ate and for the first time in my life tried to sneak out without paying the bill. The idea to sneak out was John Hill's, the killick bunting (leading seaman signaller), we made our way out one at a time and took shelter outside behind a nearby wall, grinning and sniggering until two large bouncers came to the hotel front door holding a terrified Plum Humphries by the scruff of the neck with said captive pleading for us to return. Nonchalantly explaining we had popped out for a breath of fresh air we paid up, it didn't stop us going back.
|JD, Plum, Me, Lil, Tomo, Lofty at the Moons Plaza.|