It was during the passage to Invergordon that it was decided to fire the fifteen inch guns. This would be only the second time the guns had been fired-never in anger-and as it turned out, it would be the last time. Arrangements were made and throughout the ship small cotton bags were fitted to the punker louvres which were the swivelled exits in the ventilation system for the fresh air to enter the various compartments of the ship. These were intended to catch the dust accumulated in the system since the ship was built. A drogue target was towed behind a ship some miles away and we waited and we waited and we waited. Just as we were about to fire a fishing fleet sailed between us and the target so we continued to wait. Eventually all guns were fired and it was all over m a matter of minutes. When we went back to our messes we found all the cotton bags had been blown off by the pressure of the explosions and the whole of the below decks was covered in a thick covering of dust. It was quite an experience.
We stayed at Invergordon until 10th November during which time there was the Commander-in-Chief's inspection, General Drill, orchestral concerts by the Royal Marine Band at Invergordon and Inverness, various fishing and sailing expeditions, the Fleet boxing contests and plenty of sport. There was also a tightening up for the Arctic Cruise.