G’day all.   I have something really special for you tonight and a first for Aussie Heroes.  Joan is a Director and a volunteer for the Sydney Heritage Fleet she has something really exciting for you.

Over to you Joan!

A Life on the Ocean Waves, for a day! 
The Tall Ship James Craig, operated by Sydney Heritage Fleet, regularly sails out to sea through the magnificent Sydney Harbour. 

You have the opportunity to experience this and raise funds for Aussie Hero Quilts (and Laundry Bags).

You can win a voucher for two people (valid for twelve months) for a Square Rig Sailing Adventure and raise funds for AHQ by bidding in our SILENT AUCTION which closes at 1700 hours on Monday 23rd September 2013.

Place your bid at jo*********@ou*****.com 

Pretty please, with a cherry on top, use this email address for any queries, 
I do not want to give Jan-Maree any more work.
To find out all about the Adventure, check it out here on the Sydney Heritage Fleet Website. 
No Reserve, Get your bids in now and that will be one present you can mark off your Christmas list. Use it for yourself and it can be one thing to mark off your bucket list.

Thanks Joan!  Well, I just have to say – HOW FABULOUS IS THAT!!!

Seeing as we are in a nautical mood now is a good time to introduce you to the new ship deployed to the Middle East. 
That would be HMAS MELBOURNE.

HMAS Melbourne (III) is one of the Royal Australian Navy’s four Adelaide Class guided missile frigates. The ship is a long-range escort capable of area air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. The ship can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.
Melbourne (III) deployed to the Arabian Gulf during 2002 as part of the Multinational Interception Force (MIF) enforcing United Nation’s sanctions against Iraq .
The name Melbourne has been carried by two former RAN warships: a light cruiser 1913-1928, and an aircraft carrier 1955-1982.   The ship was originally ordered in 1980 as HMAS Torrens; one of the last two Adelaide class ships ordered for the RAN, and the only two not to be built in the United States of America.  Prior to her 5 May 1989 launching, Torrens was renamed Melbourne, as the aircraft carrier of the same name was still commissioned when the Adelaide class was ordered, but left service in 1982. The new Melbourne was commissioned into the RAN on 15 February 1992.
In 2002, Melbourne participated in the third rotation of RAN ships to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Slipper, where she enforced United Nations sanctions against Iraq. In 2003, the ship returned to Iraqi waters in support of Operation Catalyst, protecting Iraqi territorial waters following Operations Iraqi Freedom.
On 16 August 2010, Melbourne was deployed to the Middle East for the third time, again as part of Operation Slipper.  During the six-month deployment, the frigate participated in anti piracy operations in the Arabian Sea and responded to 14 distress calls from merchant vessels, including the British chemical tanker MVCPO China on 3 January 2011.  Although it took six hours for Melbourne to close with CPO China, the merchant ship’s crew secured themselves in the citadel, and the pirates retreated when the frigate and her Seahawk helicopter arrived.  Melbourne returned to Sydney on 18 February 2011.
The ship’s motto, ‘VIRES ACQUIRIT EUNO’, translates as ‘She Gathers Strength As She Goes’.

I expect we will begin to receive requests from the crew on HMAS Melbourne in the next couple of weeks and we will have till approximately the third week in December to get our parcels in the mail.

And just one last word.  A few of the quilts that have been done for the ships, including the one that I did for the chaplain and Debbie’s quilt for the captain incorporated words spelt out in ships flags.  If you are wondering how we worked out the correct flags to use etc then you need to check this website out.  I think there could be some very cool quilts made using these flags.

Till next time……….may you have fair winds and following seas ……..  and happy stitching!  JMxx