They'd just got the post in when I got down there. An important time for the people on board. They get e-mails, but receiving stuff directly from home is better.
Further along the deck the Royal Marines had set up their backpacks. Ready to go - if they're needed.
And there were shooting targets, leaning against the vehicles they'll use if they do have to go to war.
The hanger is packed with tonnes of equipment. Stores, machinery. Down the end some people were doing some physical training. It's one of the few large places they can use.
I chatted to a few young Royal Marines. They're in the navy, and they're the people who will go into Iraq if the order's given.
All of them said they were ready. As everyone on board here tells you.
But one told me the waiting was frustrating. And not just for them.
"Our families", he said "are frustrated too."
Like people around the world, even the troops are waiting to see what happens.