back to article All aboard the warship that'll make you Sicker

The Royal Navy will receive two more River-class offshore patrol vessels – and the motto of one appears to encourage her crew to vomit everywhere. HMS Tamar and HMS Spey were ordered from BAE Systems today as the Ministry of Defence signed the contract for the two ships, with Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin …

  1. lawndart

    Looks sleeker than the earlier River class.

    A knuckle and deep bilge keels. D K Brown would have approved.

  2. Bonzo_red

    All sounds German to me

    Presumably "mac siccar" is derived from the same origin as the German "mach sicher".

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: All sounds German to me

      Probably nope; never heard it being said like that.

      "Stellen Sie sicher, daß [insert objective]" however...

      1. Lotaresco Silver badge

        Re: All sounds German to me

        " never heard it being said like that."

        "Mach dich sicher" is in fairly common usage, I'm surprised you haven't heard that. But mach sicher is also used in both senses of "make secure" and "make sure" (check). As in the example quoted.

    2. Norman Nescio Bronze badge

      Re: All sounds Germanic/Norse to me

      Norwegian: sikker

      Danish: sikker

      Swedish: säkker

      Dutch: zeker

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All sounds Germanic/Norse to me

        Yes, the word is found in many Germanic languages, but according to the OED, "The word is an early Germanic adoption of Latin sēcūrus". No date is mentioned but it must have been borrowed a long time ago to be found in all those Germanic languages.

        Nothing to do with Gaelic, in any case.

    3. albaleo

      Re: All sounds German to me

      I'm pretty sure it's not Gaelic, but the Scots dialect/language of the time, which, as did English, derived from old Geordie.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: All sounds German to me

        I'm pretty sure it's not Gaelic

        Just to add to the examples already given.

        I'm no linguist, but I do speak Welsh, which is a Celtic language distantly related to Gaelic(*) and the Welsh for "sure" is "sicr"

        Geiriadur ar-lein

        I usually prefer Geiriadur yr Academi but direct linking is more difficult (there are Ts&Cs to click through too).

        M.

        (*)As I understand it there are two main "branches" of the Celtic languages. One branch contains Irish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic and Manx while the other contains Breton, Cornish, and Welsh. There was / is also a Celtic type language / dialect in Cumbria, but I'm not sure how that fits in. Welsh and Breton are sufficiently close that native speakers can - I'm told - usually manage to make themselves understood. Revived Cornish has borrowed a lot from Welsh, but has been a bit free and easy with spelling.

        As a Welsh-speaker, watching BBC Alba is somewhat disconcerting. All the sounds are familiar but they don't fit together into recognisable words most of the time.

        1. albaleo

          Re: All sounds German to me

          the Welsh for "sure" is "sicr"

          Which made me doubt my earlier comment that it wasn't Gaelic. But online Scots dictionaries suggest it is Scots. It's used in that well-known line from one of Walter Scott's works:

          "He sall walk a mair siccar path, and be a dainty curate"

        2. Mage Silver badge

          Re: All sounds German to me

          "As I understand it there are two main "branches" of the Celtic languages."

          P & Q,

          Possibly the origin of mind your ps and qs.

          Irish/Scottish: son of = mac (maq)

          Welsh: son of = ap (shortened from map)

          It's thought to be due to Roman influence? Not sure.

        3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: All sounds German to me

          There was / is also a Celtic type language / dialect in Cumbria, but I'm not sure how that fits in

          It was a Brythonic language (so the same sub-group as Welsh, Cornish and Breton). And remember, Gaidhlig (Scots Gaelic) has quite a few Norse loan-words - much more so than Irish Gaelic.

    4. herman Silver badge

      Re: All sounds German to me

      Afrikaans Nederlands - Maak seker.

    5. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: All sounds German to me

      Yep, "mak siccar" (or variants thereof) are Anglo-Saxon derived Lowland Scots, not Celtic Scottish Gaelic.

      As pointed out "mak siccar" is just the Scots equivalent of "make sure" in English. And before anyone says "it's just English with an accent", similar parallels can be made in most related language pairs.

      Climb the mountain might be "escalar la montaña" in Spanish and "scalare la montagna" in Italian, but that doesn't make one of them "the other with an accent".

      Modern Gaelic would have the phrase as "dèan cinnteach" or "dèannaibh cinnteach", but some people have suggested to me that that's a recent calque (literal translation) and that older forms would have used "dearbhaich"/"dearbhaichibh" (literally "verify").

  3. 8Ace

    Helicopter carried on an open flight deck ?

    On an offshore vessel . Surely some mistake .

    1. Paul Kinsler

      Re: Helicopter carried on an open flight deck ?

      Perhaps the helicopter is not intended to /stay/ landed on it for any length of time?

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Helicopter carried on an open flight deck ?

      I believe it's to allow limited operations to/from the ship rather than to have one embarked for a deployment.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Helicopter carried on an open flight deck ?

        Heli-pad 'tis indeed meant for occasional use, not a permanent home for a whirly-bird. Which is a pity because the ship would be a damned sight more useful with a permanent helicopter.

        It's a shame, but thirty years on from the Falklands the Navy has yet to regain the small ship / large fleet utility the Leander class provided.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Helicopter carried on an open flight deck ?

          It's a shame, but thirty years on from the Falklands the Navy has yet to regain the small ship / large fleet utility the Leander class provided.

          The Leander class frigates were a thing of beauty, though only from the outside. One of my uncles served on the Arethusa for many years, and when the ship was in Portsmouth for an engine refit (1976?) he took me and my brother on a tour through the stripped-down hull one Sunday morning when no-one else except a two-man watch was aboard. The engine room was a vast space, shadowed and empty except for support beams and a handful of lights strung out on cables. The hangar was empty too, but you could see how large it had to be to not just to accommodate a Sea Lynx but also to outfit and maintain it.

    3. Doctor_Wibble
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Helicopter carried on an open flight deck ?

      It's only there for deliveries, the advantage is that it's harder to sneak up and drop in the 'sorry you were out' card without being spotted.

      Though the disadvantage of trying to land on a smaller vessel is that it can get quite interesting if the sea is having one of those days

      e.g. ytvid: lynx having fun in rough sea

      And what other icon could there be?

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Helicopter carried on an open flight deck ?

        Outstanding flying! Having done some heli- born assault in the past, seeing that makes me glad I was not a Royal Marine, I like adrenalin but not quite that much.

    4. weebz

      Re: Helicopter carried on an open flight deck ?

      'Capable of carrying' so probably used only to cross deck pax, stores etc, ie not permanently stationed on the ship.

      I'm pretty sure all offshore vessels use open flight decks, otherwise how do you land in a enclosed one?

      1. Doctor_Wibble
        Trollface

        Re: Helicopter carried on an open flight deck ?

        > otherwise how do you land in a enclosed one?

        Have a retractable cover, like you would on an extinct volcano, just scaled down a bit and with better waterproofing. How is this not glaringly obvious, should I have patented it?

  4. Joe Werner

    Mangled language...

    Spey - German: speien, to throw up.

    Fitting motto, methinks!

  5. wolfetone Silver badge

    "alike in war and peace"

    What does that actually mean?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: "alike in war and peace"

      > What does that actually mean?

      Expensive.

    3. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: "alike in war and peace"

      What does that actually mean?

      Equally backstabby?

  6. Paul Westerman
    Coat

    Has no-one said

    'HMS Spew' yet?

  7. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Headmaster

    The last "ship" to bear the name HMS Tamar

    Was the shore station and headquarters of the British forces in Hong Kong. Tamar is now the name of the new Government headquarters on the same site.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: The last "ship" to bear the name HMS Tamar

      I wonder how far up the river Tamar HMS Tamar can sail?

      1. Alfie

        Re: The last "ship" to bear the name HMS Tamar

        I'd like to see how far up the river Spey the HMS Spey could get as well!

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: The last "ship" to bear the name HMS Tamar

      'Tamar is now the name of the new Government headquarters on the same site'

      Although the building is still the one built for British Forces HK in '79 with a waist around the 4th floor. Apparently it was the first place the PLA went after the handover, Government House being seen as less important.

      Certainly a better place to have a naval base than Plymouth or Portsmouth, right in the centre of one of the most dynamic cities in the world!

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: The last "ship" to bear the name HMS Tamar

        @SkippyBing - The Tamar government HQ was opened in 2011, it didn't exist in 1997. You're thinking of the former Prince of Wales Building, now the Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building: http://gallery.moeding.net/AroundTheWorld/Asia/China/HongKong/Prince_Of_Wales_Building.jpg

        which is just next to Tamar:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamar,_Hong_Kong#/media/File:Tamar_Development_View_201308.jpg

        which is built on the filled-in ship repair basin. Both were part of HMS Tamar.

        The PLA went to the Prince of Wales Building first because all the military sites were transferred to them at the handover. Government House is owned by the civil government, though the first Chief Executive chose not to live there, probably to emphasise the difference from colonial times.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: The last "ship" to bear the name HMS Tamar

          '@SkippyBing - The Tamar government HQ was opened in 2011, it didn't exist in 1997. You're thinking of the former Prince of Wales Building, now the Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building: '

          D'oh, you're right of course! I even had a wander round for the first time since '94 last year during a seven hour stopover so you'd think I'd have noticed.

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: The last "ship" to bear the name HMS Tamar

        Certainly a better place to have a naval base than Plymouth or Portsmouth, right in the centre of one of the most dynamic cities in the world!

        I think HK's deepwater harbour is the main attraction. I once sailed past an American aircraft carrier moored there, and it's difficult to imagine how much of that huge vessel must have been below the waterline when the rest of it is hanging above you like a mountainside.

        1. Ledswinger Silver badge

          Re: The last "ship" to bear the name HMS Tamar

          it's difficult to imagine how much of that huge vessel must have been below the waterline

          Not as much as you might think in volume terms, due to the density of water. Draught of a really big carrier would be circa 35 feet, even though it would have a height perhaps 150 feet above the water, and be 250 feet wide.

          The real miracle of naval architecture is how they make these things float upright....

  8. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    why not take the historical example

    Why not use 'Mac siccar'?? Why spell it in a way that will cause derision forever?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scots

    It's Scots not Galic.

    As in old Scots ye ken.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scots

      As 'n auld Scots ye ken.

      FTFY

  10. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Joke

    On a different topic - The Photo

    Are those red things the naval equivalent of training wheels??

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: On a different topic - The Photo

      "Are those red things the naval equivalent of training wheels??"

      no, they're vortex vomit dispersal fins. you know, to prevent a wake of "last night's dinner" from making it possible to see where you've been...

      either that, or they help the hull go into a 'planing mode' at high speed...

      but an elegant design would have them be MULTI-FUNCTION - you know, increase top speed *AND* disperse all the puke!

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: On a different topic - The Photo

        The second one from the front looks like an active stabiliser to reduce roll. Handy when operating aircraft and for making the sensors and weapons more effective.

    2. Kurt Meyer
      Joke

      Re: On a different topic - The Photo

      @ Ian Emery

      Can ye nae read, man?

      They've painted 'Dina Launcher' right on the side of the wee red bastard!

      1. Colin Miller

        Re: On a different topic - The Photo

        That's a different ship, a floating dry dock. They submerge most of the way, slip under the ship to be carried, and then lift up. She seems to be a bit stern-low in the photo.

        There's a photo of a different one, the Mighty Servant II carrying the 138metre, 4100 ton USS Samuel B. Roberts on wikipedia

  11. illiad

    Old sailing maxim... It **does not** matter that you are sick and vomit, as long as you do not lose control!! :)

    a good sailor does it quickly over the side! :P :P

  12. JassMan Silver badge
    Trollface

    With 2 ships at less than £287M

    Sir Phillip "de le vert" could have had one refitted as a luxury yacht and not have had to rip of the BHS pension fund by so much. Then he wouldn't have gotten into so much hot water. Call himself a business man :; Pah!!!

  13. James O'Shea Silver badge

    more apropos

    "The phrase was memorably used by Alistair MacLean in his classic Second World War historical fiction novel Where Eagles Dare, during the climactic fight scene on top of an Alpine cable car some thousands of feet above a deep valley. MacLean’s protagonist, Major John Smith, who had been shot and wounded while on the roof of the cable car, was trying desperately to evade the Schmeisser-wielding double-crossing British spy Carraciola inside the cable car, who, as MacLean wrote, had climbed out and was “coming to mak’ siccar.”"

    MacLean used that phrase, or similar ones, multiple times, not least in his very first and probably best book, _HMS Ulysees_. Quote:

    'The Stirling died at dawn. She died while still under way, still plunging through the heavy seas, her mangled, twisted bridge and superstructure glowing red, glowing white-hot as the wind and sundered oil tanks lashed the flames into an incandescent holocaust. A strange and terrible sight, but not unique: thus the Bismarck had looked, whitely incandescent, just before the Shropshire’s torpedoes had sent her to the bottom.

    The Stirling would have died anyway—but the Stukas made siccar. The Northern Lights had long since gone: now, too, the clear skies were going, and dark cloud was banking heavily to the north. Men hoped and prayed that the cloud would spread over FR77, and cover it with blanketing snow. But the Stukas got there first.'

    - HMS Ulysees, A MacLean, Chapter 17, Sunday Morning.

    For those unfamiliar with the book, 'tis the tale of the last voyage of HM Cruiser Ulysees, escorting FR77 to Murmansk. 'Tis a tale of submarines in Scapa Flow, of carriers mined, stranded, wrecked by storms, torpedoed; of air attacks, of submarine attacks, of surface actions; of ships, and I quote, 'driving to the black floor of the Arctic, their own engines their executioners'; of Uylsees charging at full power, 'A' turret out of action due to a Stuka crashed onto the forcastle, 'X' and 'Y' turrets knocked off their moorings by the wreck of a Condor aft, torpedoes out of action, 'B' turret firing starshell because that was all that was left in the magazine, battle ensign flying from what was left of the foremast, going in to ram, in the middle of a snowstorm.

    Mr. MacLean certainly liked to pile it on, didn't he?

    In any case, somewhat more naval than a commando operation in the Alps.

  14. Christo99

    ‘sicker, adj. and adv.< Old English sicor (rare), = . . Old High German sihhur , sichur , etc. The word is an early Germanic adoption of Latin sēcūrus secure adj., with the stress shifted to the first syllable.

    . . Proverb: c1440 J. Capgrave Life St. Katherine ii. 250 It is more sekyr a byrd in your fest Than to haue iij. in þe sky a-boue.

    (OED)

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