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  Our man in the Gulf: Getting used to life at sea
Updated 14 March 2003, 08.18
The Ark Royal
BBC reporter and ex-Newsround presenter Matthew Price is reporting from the aircraft carrier Ark Royal in the Gulf.

Matthew Price
Our reporter, Matthew Price
And he's writing a web diary for CBBC Newsround.

Here, he talks about what it's like to be on an aircraft carrier.


Diary entry three

I got hardly any sleep last night. The bunks in the ship are pretty cramped, and the guy below me snores.

It was a busy day, most of it spent on the flight deck. Normally Ark Royal carries fighter jets. It has what they call a ski ramp at the front where they lift off from. It's a floating airbase.

Busy training for war

Now it's been turned into a base for helicopters and troops. The generals working on plans for any war in Iraq have decided the best thing is to make sure the navy can get troops onto land quickly.


So on board Ark Royal are about 130 Royal Marines. They can get to land - if they need to - by helicopter, or directly by ship.

I met a few of them training on the flight deck. Firing their guns at targets placed at the end of the ship. Whenever another vessel passed behind us they had to stop. It's not easy to train on board.

Later, below decks, we were watching the TV.

They get the BBC news here, and have the internet and emails. Sometimes the ship has to switch it all off, and no one can communicate with the outside world.

Troops beginning to get fed up

A report came on. Politicians talking about perhaps giving Saddam Hussein more time to disarm before attacking him.

That doesn't go down well with many of the troops here. Some are getting fed up.

They've been at sea for sometime now. They want to know if they are going to have to fight. And if not, they want to go home.

Check out Matthew's next diary tomorrow!

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