David had become increasingly interested in the sea, partly from reading and listening to his godmother Muriel Kind’s stories of her naval experiences. David joined the Sea Cadet Corps in Aberystwyth and learnt to sail and pull cutters and whalers. Visits to warships paying courtesy calls to Aberystwyth also fuelled his interest in ships. He remembers touring the battleships Duke of York and Anson, the destroyers Wizard, Diamond and Relentless, the frigate Fleetwood and the American destroyer Zellars. In 1953 just before his 15th birthday, he passed the entrance exam to enter H.M.S.Conway Cadet School In addition to standard school subjects, cadets were taught navigation, chart work, seamanship, signals, ship construction and engineering.