There was plenty of entertainment to occupy leisure. During the last cruise, mostly in Arctic waters, 165 showings of sixteen different film were given in the cinema. The Church of England padre, the Rev. Clifford Davies, wrote a mystery thriller play, which a cast of volunteers from the crew broadcast nightly over the ship's relay system. It told the story of an able seaman found stabbed to-death in his hammock the night his ship was due to sail. Efforts to discover the imagined killer - who was still on board - met with threats to deal out more killings. Finally, he was trapped. One member of the Vanguard's crew confessed that the story had made him start to see things at night.
A regular pastime on board was bird watching. Just after dawn one morning, a seaman found a puffin, unconscious on the deck. He took it to an engineer officer, who ordered him to put it in the care of a midshipman bird watcher. The midshipman was asleep, so the seaman put it with him in his hammock. Not very much perturbed at finding this large bird beneath his blankets when he awoke, the midshipman took it to the galley to get it some fish. This the ungrateful bird refused, and after giving him several sharp pecks, flew out of a porthole.
Towards late afternoon on a typical day such as this, we would drop anchor for the night rather than return to Portsmouth. I cannot remember ever leaving Portsmouth for a single day in the Solent - we would always be on on a voyage to somewhere as part of a cruise.