Nope, but I know a lot about sitting in a Patrol Base in the middle of the Afghan summer, living off ration packs, with strictly rationed water, no welfare facilities and incoming fire multiple times a day. Lest you think this is me having a pop at the Navy, I can't imagine that being submerged on a V-Boat for months on end in much fun either. Or living in permanent darkness with the British Antarctic Survey.
'Most challenging conditions imaginable', my arse. Especially when you can pop to the Hard Rock Cafe in Kuwait City or TGI Fridays in Dubai every couple of weeks.
In 1907 Admiral Lord Charles Beresford was Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet. After a visit to ports on the east coast of England, he was the first to recommend the use of Grimsby trawlers for minesweeping duties. He wrote:
"Our fishing fleets, in war, will be rendered inactive and will, in consequence be available for war service. Fishermen, by virtue of their calling, are adept in the handling and towing of wires and trawls, more so than are naval ratings. Small naval vessels, if used in minesweeping, will be used at the expense of other urgent war requirements."