What shall we do with a Drunken Sailor?

The last time I was asked to do something with the Brits, IT. WAS. SO. MUCH. FUN. So when tickets came up for grabs for Trafalgar Night I didn’t hesitate to tell them I wanted one.


Trafalgar is arguably the greatest British victory ever won. The battle was fought during the War of the Third Coalition (1805)  in which the Royal Navy took on a combined fleet of French and Spanish ships. In total the British fought with 27 ships and the French-Spanish fought with 33 ships.

The battle itself was as fluid as the water beneath them. Explaining where all 55 ships were at one time during the battle takes full books, as well as the strategic plan behind it, which I don’t intend to divulge tonight. However for a good place to start, and then if you are still interested.

What I can tell you is that the British did indeed come away with the victory and by a landslide. They as one Navy, sank over 19 of the combined French-Spainsh Fleet and without having one casualty of their own.


A Captain before he was 21, a household name throughout Europe at 39 and killed in action just 3 weeks before his 47th birthday. Nelson lived a colorful and crowded life. As well as winning some of the most resounding victories in British History– and losing an arm and the sight in one eye in the process– he also had a tempestuous and very public love affair with Emma Hamilton, one of the most beautiful women of her day.

In charge of the British fleet and sailing onboard the H.M.S. Victory, he was mortally wounded at the battle of Trafalgar and ordered his men to carry him below decks so the rest of the crew would not see his diminishing state and lose hope.

DID YOU ALSO KNOW that of the 13,000 sailors that served for the Royal Navy 1,260 of them were not born in England or Ireland? This includes 24 Spainiards and 54 Frenchmen that fought against their countries for the British Fleet.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 4Which means we should be celebrating the battle in style, with a large bottle of Grey Goose. A group of us had signed up to ride the bus to the venue so we opted to start the pre gaming quite early.

Then there was the matter of the missing mini medals. There’s always one guy who doesn’t have his uniform together, geez! Luckily we were getting ready on a base so it took a few phone calls and a quick run across the road at which point we were back on track.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 40My new favorite past time became pictures in the mirror as everyone put the finishing touches on.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 39Finished product, yo.

With a couple of flasks of whiskey hidden up our skirts and inside of jackets, we were well on our way to a wonderful evening. We headed over to catch the bus in true JO fashion, causing a ruckus in the back while all of the Captains and their wives sat up front.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 5Hello incredibly beautiful and awesome ladies!

Finesse Buhat

Source: @FinesseB

I couldn’t help but post this photo. Look how stunning she is in that gown, its perfect!

Looking at the seating chart, we somehow found ourselves at the head table. What the heck? We’re just lowly Junior Officers, how are we at the head table with Admirals?

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 6Finding our way to our seats we remained standing for the Official party to include the First Sealord in the British Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations for the U.S. Navy.

Trafalgar Night with the BritsSeated at the head table, what what?!

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 8My view of the room.

Once the official party arrived and all the guests were seated, we said grace.

Nelson’s Prayer before the Battle of Trafalgar:

May the Great God whom I worship grant to my country, and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it; and may humanity after victory be the predominant feature in the British Fleet. For myself individually I commit my life to Him that made me; and may His blessing alight my endeavors for serving my country faithfully. To him I resign myself, and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend.

**Thanks Kyle for giving me one of the programs to remember all this, I was neglecting my blogging duties in favor for the flask of whiskey hidden under the table. 🙂

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 9It was time for the wine to start flowing and the food to begin!

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 10Lady Emma’s Insalata di mare: Octopus salad, salmon, and clam puree.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 11Trafalgar Night with the Brits 3New friends!

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 13Drunkest guy in the entire place on the left right there. Making friends with British officer’s on his other side.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 2Do the glasses make him look more sophisticated? I’d say Yaas.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 14Horatio’s Beef Wellington, definitely delicious and I would tell you that the food was worth coming for.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 15Parading a boat full of chocolate. That’s right, A BOAT full of chocolate.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 16Trafalgar Night with the Brits 17The band is sitting up on the balcony, ready for the sea ditties when dinner finishes.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 18Desert has arrived.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 20Last few glasses of regular wine before the port wine starts being passed.

port wine for toasting

Source: FinesseB

The best Port Wines come from Lisbon Portugal, and this is a heavy drink that can get you quite intoxicated if you aren’t careful.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 23Where’s your fourth glass, the port wine is here.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 25Once the wine is poured all the way around the room, the first toast is always to the Queen and from there the speeches may begin.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 27A few terms to learn for the festivities:

Turning a Blind Eye. When Nelson was ordered to retreat at Copenhagen, Nelson is supposed to have placed the telescope to his blind eye and claimed he could not see the signal.

Slush Fund. Taken from the money the chef could earn by selling the slush that rose to the top of a cooking pot when boiling salted ham. This greasy by-product was in demand for waterproofing ropes.

Cut of his (her) Jib. The term originated when the nationality of a warship sighted at sea could be accurately determined by the shape of their jib long before the national flag could be seen.

Show a Leg! It rose from the old days when seaman, who were signed on for the duration of a ship’s commission, were always refused shore leave for fear they would desert. So instead women were allowed to live onboard while the ship was in harbor. In the morning they would check the hammock by a show of the leg over the side, if it was hairy it was a male, hairless, female (or a submariner today).

Mind your P’s & Q’s. An admonishment to stay alert or be on your best behavior. Originated form tavern owners who allowed sailors to drink “on credit” until they were hired by a ship. P’s refers to pints, Q’s refers to quarts.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 30A very funny introductory speech was given for the First Sealord.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 31
Trafalgar Night with the Brits 34At which point he came out and returned the favor.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 35Then the CNO came in. It was definitely a night for laughing, mostly do to the added port wine at the end.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 36British First Sea Lord, Sir George Zambellas, CNO equivalent in the U.S. Navy.

Trafalgar Night with the Brits 37Newly appointed CNO- Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Richardson.
Trafalgar Night with the Brits 38Once the speeches were finished we were whisked off to the dance floor, where we spent the remainder of the evening until the buses were called to come pick us up.

This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.