Navy chef Simon Clare is swapping his traditional family Christmas in Bedford for life on the ocean waves this year.
Far from enjoying the festive season with his parents Pauline and Steven, Simon will cook Christmas dinner for the 260 strong crew of HMS Edinburgh, a Type 2 destroyer which is currently deployed in the North Atlantic.
And the chef has also made a cheeky Christmas video with his crew-mates to lighten the mood.
He said: “Despite being in the Navy for ten years, this is my first Christmas away from home.
“It will be strange not being home but I’ll try and Skype them if I can and I hope they like the presents I bought them before I came away.”
During the mission HMS Edinburgh is taking on a range of tasks to support British interests.
Tasks during the six-month deployment include supporting counter narcotics operations in the West African region, and providing reassurance to UK territories and dependencies.
And Simon, who grew up in Bedford and has spent the majority of his career in Portsmouth based ships, added: “I’ve been to places I never would have had the chance to visit if I’d never joined the Navy.
“So far the USA deployment in the Ark Royal has been my favourite time away but we have stops in the Caribbean on this deployment to look forward to as well.”
To see the crew’s Christmas video, plus a special message from Simon to his family visit www.youtube.com and type in HMS Edinburgh Christmas.