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  Our man in the Gulf: Getting used to life at sea
Updated 15 March 2003, 13.42
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.

In his latest instalment, he describes ship manoeuvres and how the marines stay fit.


Diary entry four

When you're in a ship like the Ark Royal you don't get the chance to see much daylight. There aren't many windows.

But today we were up on deck. The Navy is showing off its forces here in the Gulf.

Helicopters taking off, the other ships in the fleet cruising past. One, HMS Liverpool doing a fast 90 degree turn - I thought it was almost going to tip over.

There are almost 30 ships here in the Royal Navy's task force. If the politicians and generals decide to go to war, they say they'll be able to get Royal Marines onto land fast.

Keeping fit

Every day the marines train. Not easy on the ship. But they do firing practice off the back. And if they get a chance in between the helicopters landing, they train on deck. A makeshift assault course has been set up. Press ups, running up and down the deck. Anything they can to stay fit.


I'm getting more used to life here. It's very different from anything I've done before. We sleep 12 to a cabin. The guy below me snores all night. There's hardly any storage space, but everything has to be packed away in case there's a sudden problem on board ship.

Claustrophic

And life is led by different rules. There are only a certain number of places you can go to. It's not like you can pop down to the cinema, or local cafe. Sometimes it feels claustrophobic, but when it does you try to get out on deck to breathe fresh air.

As for whether there's going to be a war, no one here knows. Or if they do they're not telling me.

They say they're ready to go into action if they're asked to. Very few people on board know the final plan but I think we may find out soon.

Check out Matthew's next diary tomorrow!

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Our man in the Gulf: Getting used to life at sea
Our man in the Gulf: On board Ark Royal
Our man in the Gulf: To the Ark Royal

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