Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth averts tea shortage crisis thanks to the Canadian navy
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The Portsmouth-based aircraft carrier ran out of its stash of the steaming amber liquid for the flag officers’ mess while on deployment in the Pacific
With minor high seas catering crisis looming, the quick-thinking commander of Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg stepped in to resupply the pride of the Royal Navy while the boss of the British task force, Commodore Steve Moorhouse, was on his ship.
‘I went across thinking I would be offered traditional Canadian hospitality, whatever that may be,’ Commodore Moorhouse told CBC News following his 90-minute visit to the Canadian vessel. ‘And they very, very kindly laid on English tea, afternoon tea.’
Cdre Moorhouse, who was previously the captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth, was reportedly genuinely touched by the gesture of the Canadians.
‘I had a cup of Earl Grey and English scones with cream and jam," he added. ‘I said, “Hey, that's fantastic, we've just run out of Earl Grey tea in the flag area on Queen Elizabeth”. I returned to the ship weighed down with probably a thousand tea bags.’
The commander of the Winnipeg said it was the least they could do to help an allied unit suffering through the privation of a long sea voyage.
‘We gave him three boxes and he sent me an email afterwards and said I was a hero going back to a British ship with tea from Canada,; Canadian Commander Doug Layton said.
Cdre Moorhouse said his team was surprised by the gift. He added: ‘Whenever you visit a ship, sailors will say, “Hey sir, what did you get? What did they give you? Was it maple syrup or something like that?,’ he said. ‘And I said, “No, I've got Earl Grey tea bags”.’
HMS Queen Elizabeth has almost completed her tour of the Far East.
The 65,000-tonne warship, the biggest ever built for the Royal Navy, is now in Singapore, having previously spent time in Japan and Guam.
She is expected home in Portsmouth before Christmas.