World Cup 2022

ο»ΏI’m so glad I have already completed most of my Christmas shopping. I had not actually planned it that way, nevertheless, it was a really good move on my part. The World Cup has just started, with games almost every day. Already watched England win their opening game, and was so pleased to see Saka (Arsenal) score two beautiful goals. England went on to defeat Iran 6-2.  Next up USA vs Wales, oh boy I’m really in my happy place. This is not Arsenal but the do not disturb sign still applies. I will reappear on the 18th December.

God Bless and keep reading

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Shoreline Insanity

The more I look at the construction site at Durocher Point, the more I have to think someone is doing someone a favour. No one could claim this is grandfathering, or indeed say they are using the same footprint of the original structure. No matter how fancy the architect explains it, few if any are going to believe him. How Myers and Compton can stand up in the legislature and say it meets all provincial laws is unbelievable. Why does King not act? Is he perhaps doing someone the favour? No matter the skullduggery going on here, something surely has to give? Apart from the violations, building so close to the water is insanity in this time of climate uncertainty. No amount of rocks or barriers will stop the oceans fury, it will come around or come over nothing will stop the waters crashing on shore.

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Weekend Funnies

Time to smile No1. e)

I once dated a girl with a twin and people always asked me how i could tell them apart….. It was simple, Alison painted her nails red, and Bob had a beard.

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Time to smile No2

A Genie granted me one wish, so I said “i just want to be happy”. So now I’m living in a little cottage with 6 dwarves and working in a mine.’ whistle while you work…….’

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Time to smile No3

I took my 8-year-old daughter to the office on ‘take your kid to work day’. But when we walked into the office she started to cry. As concerned staff gathered around, I asked her what was wrong and she said: “Daddy where are all the clowns you said you worked with”?

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Accounting For Taste

The accountant for the law firm of Dewey, Cheatham & Howe was retiring after working for the firm for seventeen years. Cheatham was interviewing applicants, and was disappointed, as only three had even bothered to send in a resume.

After looking over the application of the first, an accountant with six year’s experience at Goldman Sachs, he called the first applicant in, and asked the woman what 2 plus 2 was.

She answered, “Four.”

Cheatham said he would call her if she was selected.

The second candidate was a CPA from Harvard, and at the end of the interview he was asked the same question, “What is two and two?”

The CPA replied, “Four.” Cheatham told him that he would call the young man if he was selected.

The third applicant was a recently-graduated philosophy. Cheatham figured that this wasn’t going to go anywhere, but thought, “What the hey? I’ve got nothing to lose.”

He interviewed the young man quickly and asked, “I know you don’t have an accountancy background, but can you tell me what two plus two is?”

To which the philosophy major replied, “Can you tell me what would you want it to be?”

And was hired on the spot.

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Crush Depth

A Submariners Story.

Posted on November 18th 2022 by irishroverpei I know I have posted this story before, however, after watching a Utube program taking about death in a submarine sinking to crush depth, I felt the urge to repeat my story. No one knows what death is like in a submarine reaching crush depth. No one has survived to tell the tell. All we are sure of it would be so fast our brains would have no time to react. Nevertheless, in those moments waiting and knowing one faces certain death would be terrifying. I can attest to that as I came so very close. Please read my story below. 

A Submariner’s Story (Sinking to Crush depth) 


It was a 0400 hrs on a Thursday morning in early April 1964. The day arrived just like a hundred other mornings aboard a British submarine at sea. Roughly roused from the tranquility of sleep it was my turn to go on watch. My name is Fred Rodgers, but aboard Alcide I go by the nickname Ben. Just about everyone in the navy has a nickname. For example, with the surname Reynolds you’d be known as Debbie. Please don’t ask, I have no idea how I came by the name Ben. I’m a Leading Seaman having served for a little over five years in the Submarine Service. I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and joined the Royal Navy in 1955.
Reluctantly climbing out of my warm bunk I slowly lower my feet on to the deck. At sea we never change clothes or undress so I’m ready to go on watch. Before heading for the control room, I pay a visit to the head. The boat is running normal and quiet as I take up my duty in the control room. The watch change continues with bleary-eyed submariners dragging themselves to their various duties.
The Royal Navy β€œA” class submarine was cruising at four knots one hundred feet below the surface of the North Atlantic. Our job was to patrol in a designated zone listening for intruders, the polite name for Russian’s. The cold war was in full swing. I was sitting at the fore plane’s control dreading the four long hours ahead. The stale damp air in the boat was a familiar mixture of body odor and diesel fumes. The harsh white overhead lights hurt my still sleepy eyes.
At approximately 0430hrs the morning kye (hot chocolate) arrived. The officer of the watch gave permission for one all round. One all round was the signal to light up; smoking out of necessity was a restricted privilege aboard a submarine. The watch was relaxed with the boat in the hands of George the autopilot. George was designed to control course, speed and depth. Nevertheless, we were vigilant as George could be notoriously unreliable at times.

While keeping a keen eye on the depth I helped solve the world’s major problems with my fellow watch-keepers. After much debate we selected the best car of the year. We touched on the problems of religion, politics and anything else that came to mind. Around 0730hrs a wonderful aroma of bacon frying in the galley invaded my nostrils. I was hungry and anxious to see my relief. At a few minutes after 0800hrs I headed aft to collect my breakfast. The tiny galley on an β€œA” class boat is located in the after part of the control room beside the engine room door. Weary from four hours on watch I leaned against the bulkhead watching eggs sizzle on the grill. As the chef piled two eggs and several rashers of bacon on my plate, I sensed the deck angle change downward. I smiled as I listened to the officer of the watch berating the plainsman who had just relieved me. β€œCome on lad wake up and watch your depth”. I knew he couldn’t blame George. It had been shut down at the watch change.

Suddenly it was clear the downward angle was not the fault of the planesman – we appeared to be in a steep dive!
In a matter of seconds, we were at 200 feet. The 1st Lieutenant rushed into the control room, immediately taking charge of what was rapidly becoming a serious situation. The order to shut off for going deep sounded throughout the submarine. The captain’s cabin is located above the control room outside the main pressure hull. Our skipper was asleep in the cabin. Going deep meant the lower conning tower hatch along with every other hatch inside the boat was quickly shut. This effectively left the captain isolated and alone outside the main pressure hull. I assisted in shutting the engine room door and all valves passing through the bulkhead. I returned to the control room to report that part of ship sealed.

Events now seemed to evolve in slow motion as the crew went about their duties sealing the boat for the deep dive. Every eye in the control room focused on the rapidly descending depth gauge readings. Passing 400 feet the 1st Lieutenant ordered the one thing we were waiting for, β€œblow main ballast”. This would surely correct the uncontrolled descent and allow us to regain buoyancy. The sound of air screeching into the ballast tanks was reassuring as we waited for the boat to level off and start rising. I stood breathless and motionless unable to take my eyes off the depth gauge.
I wasn’t alone. It seemed every man in the control room was frozen in time eyes firmly fixed on the same gauge. When the blow was completed an eerie and utter silence returned to the boat.
We were still sinking. Blowing the tanks had not even slowed us down. The sea bottom perhaps two miles below we would never reach in one piece. As we passed through 600 feet the 1st lieutenant threw his shirt over the depth gauge. It effectively broke our trance like concentration.

Now in the silence, we heard the first groans and creaks as the hull compressed under the enormous sea pressure. The feeling of being trapped in a steel tube as it plunges toward its crush depth is terrifying. Powerless to do anything, I stood fearfully awaiting the end. I wondered would people know what happened to us or if we would be thought of as dying bravely. I thought of never seeing a blue sky or green grass again and other strange thoughts. I ask myself the silly question of why I’d volunteered for the submarine service. I remembered the lessons we were taught during training. An β€œA” boat has a maximum depth of 500 feet. The hull was designed and thought to withstand sea pressure to 1000 feet. That theory wasn’t very reassuring at that moment, and the builders weren’t here to actually attest to its accuracy. Besides which, Alcide was more than twenty years old, the pressure hull would have certainly deteriorated during that time.

I was gripped by a fear never before experienced, while outwardly I tried to maintain an appearance of calm. As we continued our descent a strange feeling of calm did indeed over take me. I relaxed realizing I was no longer in control of events unfolding around me. Through the fog of these thoughts and theories, I became aware my right hand was hurting. I had a death grip on a stanchion but couldn’t let go thinking I might be adding strength to the hull.
Suddenly a voice pierced my silent reverie. β€œBubble rising sir” I wasn’t at first sure I’d heard correctly. Maybe I was dreaming and this was naturally what I’d want to hear. However, shifting my weight to allow for a sudden upward sweep of the deck, I knew we were rising! The boat was now racing toward the surface at about the same speed we had dived moments before. Clearly no one wanted to slow our ascent even though sonar could not safely report surface contacts at this speed.

When we broke surface, a relieved skipper was the first man on the bridge. Trapped alone in his tiny cabin not knowing what was happening must have been a frightening ordeal. The entire experience had only taken minutes. Yet for those of us in the control room minutes had seemed like hours. The first question everyone asked. β€œWhat happened?” β€œWhat caused the sudden dive?” I wasn’t so concerned with the cause, just happy to be alive and back on the surface. Still hungry, my thoughts quickly returned to my breakfast.

On reaching the seaman’s mess I found it alive with chatter about the recent event. I think it was mostly bravado hiding fear. Shipmates eagerly related tales of worse experiences (supposedly) on other boats. β€œOn such and such we hit the sea bed at 800 feet!” β€œOh yeah! On my last boat we sank stern first and were stuck on the sea bed for hours!” And so, the stories went on. Personally, it was the most terrifying experience of my life. I truly believe I’d walked through the valley of the shadow of death that morning and only by the grace of God had survived.

But what really happened? What caused the steep dive? How deep did we actually go? These are questions I can’t answer with any certainty. The best theory offered and perhaps the actual cause was an iceberg. Icebergs are generally made up of fresh water and as they move into the Gulf Stream they melt.
That morning it is possible the submarine entered at the top of a huge pocket of fresh water, the remains of an iceberg. With the difference in water density between salt and fresh we immediately became very heavy and dropped like a stone. Only when we exited at the bottom of the berg did we regain our buoyancy.
How deep we went that morning is open to speculation. Perhaps somewhere near 800 feet. Had the berg been a few feet deeper maybe I wouldn’t be telling this story – who knows?
The End

God Bless and keep reading

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Irish Whiskey

You might ask, what a bottle of Irish Whisky and my sister with her young son sitting on a window ledge have in common. The photo is of my sister Anna and her son John and was taken in Thames Street Belfast circa 1954. Well, there is a very interesting connection, these two photos were taken some sixty eight years apart.. My nephew John dropped in for a visit recently and brought me an early Christmas gift. He had just returned from a visit back home to Belfast. Whilst there he went to the Bushmills whiskey distillery, which as a point of interest is the oldest maker of whiskey in the world, over 500 years. He purchased the bottle seen in the photo, it is indeed very special, this particular blend is not available in retail, can only be had at Bushmills. However there is something else about it that makes it very special, look closely and you might see what that is

God Bless and Slainte

Sent from my iPad

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Value of Rare Cars

For most of my life cars have been my all-consuming interest and hobby. I almost exclusively favoured British cars, especially Rovers. Nevertheless, I have spent a great deal of time around vehicles from most manufacturers. I have been attending antique car shows since the 1970’s. I feel that I have gained a good deal of experience over the years and can usually put a value on most old cars. Please understand, I’m not claiming to be an expert and I would be completely lost around the more exotic vehicles such as Bugatti, Lagonda or Bentleys. However, the common garden varieties that cruised our roads over the years do not often present a problem when placing a value and I usually feel quite confident. Now to today’s story of a rare AMC Pacer for sale here on PEI. The car is in fair condition certainly not mint, body looks good, interior very tired, the car had a strong smell of gas indicating a leak, I immediately thought gas tank ? The asking price $6.500, too expensive in my view but I was asked to call for a friend who was interested in the car. The gas smell was explained away as either a small leak at a line or perhaps it flooded the last time it was started. The owner went on to tell me the car had belonged to an old lady and sat in her garage unused for the last sixteen years. Such stories are common and rarely accurate. A bit like saying I only used the car to go to church on Sundays, and oh look!! there is my lost bible stuck under the back seat!!!! The Pacer owner went on to say the Pacer was very Rare!!!! only one on PEI (how would he know that?). He claimed the antique car price guide valued his car in the USA at $14.000. Wow, should I put a deposit on this incredible bargain for my friend. Of course, the answer is no, many cars are rare but that does not automatically increase the value, I would venture a guess that the Yugo is rare, the Chevy Vega is rare, the Lada and skoda’s are rare. But you must ask yourself the reason why they are rare???? Mass produced vehicles with only a few exceptions rarely reach collector status. Successful limited editions, special coach-built bodies, convertibles etc are usually destined to become collectible. Remember the old saying if the top comes down the price goes up. Unfortunately, the Pacer was mass produced and sales were not successful. The car became known as a gold fish bowl on wheels. So, what is the PEI Pacer worth??? IMHO maybe $2000 $3000.  Always ask yourself this question, if you were selling it what would you expect to get. The car is rare but it will only appeal to a very small part of the car market and that my friends force the price way down!!!!! That’s my advice for the week!!!!!!

God Bless and keep reading.

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Long Ago Memories

HMS Ganges the Boys training school of the Royal Navy, was the toughest training camp for young boys anywhere. The place where the Royal Navy turned boys into men.  Turned them into the very best sailors in the Navy, they were gratefully received aboard all ships in the fleet because of their training and discipline. I will until the end of my days be proud to call myself a β€œGanges Boy”. I will always remember setting foot on the parade square in fear and trepidation for the first time some sixty-seven years ago. I’m sad when I think how Ganges is now gone forever, what a terrible loss this amazing place surely was to the Royal Navy. I departed Ganges in August 1956 and have never returned to the village of Shotley, Suffolk, where Ganges was located. It is just a short bus ride from Ipswich and a little more than an hour by rail to London . You might wonder why I writing about Ganges again???surely, I have posted many photos and told many stories,  it is perhaps becoming a little repetitive, sorry!!!  However, I must confess until a couple of hours ago writing about Ganges was the last thing on my mind. Then on Face Book I came across this coloured photo of the Ganges mast. I have seen this particular photo before but it was of poorer quality and in black and white.  The Mast was once the proud centre piece of the camp where boys climbed the halyards to the highest points on Sunday afternoons enjoying the only free time allowed.  From high above we looked out across the beautiful vista of the surrounding land and rivers. The photo brought tears to my eyes. To see the sad and derelict crumbling yardarms, the ragged ratlines and spars. To look across the old parade square now barely visible through the undergrowth and weeds. What a very sad way to have this grand place end, it truly breaks my heart.

God Bless and keep reading.

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To Premier King

Deroche Point then and now!!!!!!

I should not have to remind the Premier, or any other politicians that you were elected by the people. It is the people to whom you should listen, not apparently this wealthy outsider. You have ignored my numerous emails, for reasons I can only assume,  you wish not to answer. It appears to me you just intend to keep your head down and ride out this growing protest. So much for your claim to do government differently, or your logo, It’s About People. It’s not about islanders and it is certainly not about protecting our beaches. So, tell me Premier, if as you claim β€œit’s about people” tells us which people that might be? From where I sit it’s certainly not about islanders, so who??? Do the job you were elected to do please.

Respectfully submitted (again) F.Ben Rodgers

PS, please try to tell me the Deroche Point is legal, that grandfathering is ok, because from the photos I have seen to date. One could claim has been Great Great Great Grandfathering.!

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Weekend Funnies

The Charm of Irish Pub Hospitality

Two Irishmen went into a pub in Dublin and asked for two pints of Guinness.

The Barman, cleaning the tables said…”Sorry, we don’t open for another hour.”

One of the men asked β€œMind if we wait?”

β€œNo” said the Barman, β€œWould you like a pint while you’re waiting?”

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Out for Dinner

A husband told his wife that he’s going to β€˜The Second Wife’ for dinner. He didn’t get the chance to explain that it was a restaurant. He is now in hospital recovering.

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Angry wife’s note to Husband

β€œYour dinner is in the recipe book on page 34 and the ingredients are at the store”

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Father’s Blessing

My oldest daughter insisted that her true love speak with me, man to man, about his marriage intentions. She had met him overseas and, while I liked everything I’d heard about him, we’d never been introduced. I’m just old-fashioned enough to believe that parental blessing is still necessary for a truly happy union, so I eagerly anticipated our first face-to-face encounter.

The big meeting was scheduled to take place in my office. At the appointed hour, my daughter walked in with a good-looking but anxious fellow in tow.

Before I could say a thing, he dropped to one knee, took my right hand in both of his, gazed earnestly up at me and said, “Will you be my father-in-law?”

I couldn’t bless them fast enough.

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Bragging Vets

One day down at the local RSL hall, some old veterans were bragging about the heroic exploits of their ancestors.

The first declared proudly, “My great grandfather, at age 13, was a drummer boy at the Siege of Mafeking in the Boer War.”

The second boasted, “Mine went down at the Battle of Lone Pine on Gallipoli.”

The third said, “I’m the only soldier in my family, but if my great grandfather was living today he’d be the most famous man in the world.”

“Really? What’d he do?” his friends wanted to know.

“Nothing much. But he would be 165 years old.”

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Where’s the Cat

My wife came downstairs to my office where I was working and asked if I’d seen the cat. I hadn’t, but since I was working in the garage earlier and she hadn’t seen it since then, she swore I must have let it get out.

We never let the cat outside because my wife is afraid it will get hurt or lost. I was pretty sure I didn’t let the cat out, but I couldn’t find it either.

She was getting madder at me by the minute as she convinced herself it was all my doing, so I jumped in the car and drove around looking for the darn thing…in a heavy snowstorm…for over 2 hours.

She was sure she’d never see the cat again by now, and I was in the doghouse. It wasn’t until she went to bed that she heard a faint meow. It seems my wife shut the cat in the bathroom closet when she got out a towel to take a shower.

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75-year-old Dad

My 75-year-old Dad was taking his daily walk through the park when he heard a tiny voice calling to him. “Hey, mister! Pssst, mister!” Dad looked all around, and spotted a little frog sitting in the grass looking up at him.

“Hey mister,” said the frog. “A wicked witch cast a spell on me, and turned me into an ugly frog. If you’ll just kiss me I’ll turn back into a beautiful princess and be forever grateful.”

Dad reached down, picked up the frog, put it in his pocket, and proceeded to walk on. The frog called out to him again, “Hey! Didn’t you hear me? I said if you’ll kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess and be forever grateful.”

Dad replied, “I heard you, but at my age, I’d rather just have a talking frog!”

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Author of LILY & ME , and THE ROYAL NAVY & ME
Visit blog and website

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Remembrance Day – In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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