A not quite sixteen-year-old Alfred Pickup is declared healthy, and after a simple written exam, joins the Royal Navy as a Junior Electrical Mechanic 2nd class in 1961. Pickup would serve on numerous ships from the HMS Wakeful, a decaying WW II era Destroyer to the HMS Cardiff, a brand new destroyer in 1979. Before joining any ship, a sixteen-year-old must learn many new skills. From minor obstacles of embroidering his name on his uniforms to learning to use a rifle, Pickup is readied for duty in strict Navy tradition. He puts together a string of first round knockouts as a member of the boxing team before seemingly meeting his match in a local ranked amateur. He would see incredible storms, on board fires, mechanical breakdowns, and the threat of war when the Falklands conflict began in 1982. Different ports-of-call would offer a range of shore leave possibilities. Strict navy regulations would not deter some crew from overindulging, nor would it protect them from unscrupulous individuals looking to separate them from their pay. While in foreign ports, Pickup would meet a remarkable number of Navy-friendly locals happy to show him the sights or take him into their homes for a home cooked meal. Raising a family of four on a meager Navy pay would see Pickup and his wife running a bed & breakfast, and later a fish and chips shop. Pickup worked odd jobs ashore and during a lengthy station in Gibraltar, operated a booming automotive repair and paint shop. Fish and Ships chronicles with humour and fine detail a twenty-five year career in the RN that would see Pickup rise to the rank of Chief Petty Officer and retire from service in his early forties to life as a restaurateur.