Motto: Grow With Strength

What is another name for the galley on a ship? This is just one of the bits of
information we learned when a group of the enthusiastic quilters from Aussie Hero Quilts joined Jan-Maree on a tour of the HMAS Hobart III, the lead ship of the three Hobart Class Destroyer, Guided Missile Ships (DDG) war ships built for the Royal Australian Navy. Read on to discover the answer.

As some of our members had recently enjoyed Family Day on the ship, I will aim to share different bits of our adventure.

We were initially greeted in the security office where we received our visitor lanyards and chatted with naval personnel and members of our group. We proceeded to the ship’s flight deck at the front of the ship where we were given safety instructions, met more of the staff, etc. (The Seahawk helicopter is not on deck when in port which gave us better idea of the size of the deck area.)

Glad we followed Jan-Maree’s dress suggestions, (slacks and sneakers), we clung to the rails on the steep and narrow stairs to get from one area of the ship to another. One sailor put us to shame as he nimbly flew down the stairs in his spotless white uniform.

All of the crew treated us like family telling us about their areas of specialty and happily answering questions in words we could understand. Some also shared photos of their fur babies and human families, personal interests and their hopes for their futures. We were guided along, but not rushed, at a comfortable pace. I love to talk and more than once heard the voice of Jan-Maree encouraging me to get closer to the front of the group. That request was difficult for me as every person had interesting things to share.

The ship is virtually paperless with the most current technology in every area. From one control area all areas of the ship can be kept in view. Heaven for those who LOVE computers.

The sick bay is compact and well-equipped for medical emergencies (nothing surgical). The medic in charge explained how appendicitis cases were handled when at sea. A doctor is onboard when they are at sea. If the need arises, the dining area in the junior sailor’s mess can be repurposed as a medical treatment area with the tables becoming examination/treatment tables.

The galley (aka caboose) had the menu of lamb chops or turkey as the protein posted at its entrance. Catering choices also include vegetarian dishes. A separate bakery the size of a large bathroom adjoining the dining area bakes ALL baked goods for the ship. The chefs who made us our afternoon tea of sweet biscuits and scones are to be given utmost praise. The scones would rival those of the CWA!! There was no doubt they practise quantity cookery as there was plenty of everything, especially huge bowls of whipped cream and jam.

During our afternoon tea we had the pleasure of meeting the Commanding Officer, Commander Ryan Gaskin, 

and others who passed by to say thank you for the quilts and laundry bags. One sailor felt so comfortable that he shared the beautiful cat block quilt his wife had made for him. It was a cherished work of love. Thank you LCDR P. We had a wonderful time of sharing.

The bridge was very fascinating as there were leather seats that looked so comfortable in front of many computers where the crew members drive the ship. Gone are the days of paper charts and maps. My quilting quality controller (husband) marvelled at the small size of the steering wheel. I wonder how the windshield wiper blades are changed….

Time passed quickly and we were escorted back to the security office where we surrendered our lanyards and said our farewells. Our experience generated feelings of gratitude and admiration for those who serve to protect our country on these amazing vessels.

What a wonderful day, thanks Ghost Riders !!!!

Diane G

The big gun,

and our little tour coordinator extraudinaire!

Great job Diane, thank you. 

Till nex time… keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx