STANDING at the top of Old Portsmouth’s Round Tower, 30-year-old Joanna Teal waved off her husband-to-be.
Sean Candler was one of 44 sailors who left for the Mediterranean on board HMS Brocklesby yesterday for a four-month Nato mission in the Mediterranean.
When Sean returns, he is due to marry Joanna four weeks later on May 17.
Joanna said: ‘He was on HMS Atherstone and then HMS Brocklesby. I don’t feel that happy but they are going out for Nato so it is important.’
Hazel Hibbs, 30, managed to get 15-month-old son Jake’s pushchair up to the top of the tower. It was the first time her husband Paul has been deployed abroad since their son’s birth.
The Fareham resident said: ‘I don’t mind the short deployments – it’s the long ones I don’t like. He has been in the navy for near 13 years but it’s the first time he has gone away since the little one was born.’
David Shell, 75, had also made the journey to wave off his 30-year-old son James, who is a diver.
‘He is my only son in the navy,’ he said. ‘I was in the Royal Navy myself many years ago.’
Thirty-year-old Nicola Clark was also out with her daughter Betty-Rose to wave off her husband.
She said: ‘He does it all the time. He left Betty-Rose when she was five weeks told; she is 14 months now.
‘We try to come down here every time, but I work in computing so it’s not always possible.’
The Portsmouth-based Royal Navy minehunter was due to leave Portsmouth on Monday but was delayed because of bad weather in the Bay of Biscay.
She will be working as part of a multinational maritime force called the Standing Nato Mine Counter Measures Group 2.
The Royal Navy is at the forefront of mine countermeasures capability worldwide and the deployment offers Brocklesby’s crew of 44 the opportunity to demonstrate and hone those skills further working alongside Nato allies.