Aussie Hero Quilts Visit to HMAS Adelaide….. by Jenny N

Written by AHQ

25 October 2018

   Some of the Navy days start with the dawn patrol (as  I call it). We got up at early for this one , 4.45 AM which is probably normal for some of our Defence force friends

 We were kindly invited to be part of a family day on the HMAS Adelaide. How thrilling and what a privilege. It’s difficult to put into words what an experience it was. It was  like describing a rollercoaster’s ride WOW !

    For a start I didn’t think she was taking us for a spin. That’s what my husband says when we go to Pittwater with a five metre runabout. Maybe I didn’t listen to orders from the OIC Jan Maree, nothing unusual in that!

 The next leg started off waiting at the famous landmark in the harbour, Harry’s cafe de Wheels and we waited near to the gate for security check.

Jan-Maree did say we were going on board in landing craft as the Adelaide was anchored in the harbour.  We watched the LCs ferry visitors across the harbour. Very quickly it was our turn. How great was that, skimming across the harbour on a beautiful day.  I was reflecting at that time of how many soldiers, sailors and airmen and women these craft have carried and the awesome work they do in a defence capacity as well as humanitarian needs.

    We passed a lot of ships. Sydney harbour really is huge, and there she was! As my husband said “come home to mummy” we actually drove into the ship. That’s really cool! How can the ship stay afloat with the rear flap down and a section full of water? Brilliant engineering. I felt as if I was part of a blockbuster movie. It was surreal.

   It was going to be a really busy day. We gained access to the upper deck on this amazing lift, a huge square of metal with a lot of bleeping alarms, and then HMAS Adelaide sailed out of the heads.

   It was an incredible experience. The flight deck was HUGE and I loved the scoop at the end. The crew on board run up there and back for exercise. It was quite a hill!

   She was incredibly stable. It was only when you looked at the stern you could notice the ship’s movement. There were three helos on deck which put on an amazing display for us. We needed earplugs for this. 

Actually ships are very noisy, so many alarms… the equipment continually humming and when when messages come over the intercom that’s called the pipes (when they literally used pipes before electronics). Everyone stops and listens because it could be an emergency. Thankfully Andrew, our gracious host and Chaplain, translated the terminology. I couldn’t understand a thing!

   Next it was lunch which was absolutely delicious, thank you chefs. I went gangbusters with crumbed lamb cutlets. That was a treat! Hubby Howard had some delicious fish. There were plenty of vegetables, although no dessert which the Navy calls duff which is highly commendable considering how fit you have to be on a ship.

  After lunch we had a tour of the immaculate hospital with a very kind enrolled nurse. I found it fascinating because I’m a radiographer. When needed, many reserve doctors and nurses and other medical staff come aboard, therefore giving the ship and incredible  level of expertise whatever they are deployed.

   Thank you to all the men and women who are reservists who fulfil these vital roles  not only help defence members but also to respond to humanitarian needs as well. You’re awesome!    

   Well it’s Showtime up on the upper deck again. Face the stern  and eyes right. We are waiting for an F8 from Williamtown. Two hours plus by road and 15 minutes in the jet. 
Sweet! Here she comes, a black speck and then screaming past in some fancy manoeuvre, and there’s more! Yeah! I’m nearly jumping out of my skin with excitement. How good does it get! After a few spine tingling fly pasts she’s gone. Well my husband is still smiling! That beats an Air Show.  Nothing beats an aerial display on the deck of the HMAS Adelaide!

   There is still more! We go down to the lower deck to be greeted by the captain as friends of the Navy and JM and  the chaplain hand out a few of the laundry bags that everyone on board will receive.  Then it was a hilarious raffle with some great prizes. Some of our Aussie Hero members were fortunate enough to be winners. That was nice and it was a lot of fun.

   Howard and I had a final chat to a lovely Navy family  with a dad and his daughter serving on the ship together. In fact the family has been in Navy service  since her grandfather. Two of her brothers are in the Navy as well. Thank you to all ( I hope I don’t embarrass you) A big thank you to their mum as well and also all the other wives husbands and partners  who support their loved ones when they are away. It is a huge sacrifice for them, as well as those leaving for deployments.

  Unfortunately the day had to end. As we sailed back we paid homage to the Sydney  memorial as we glided past. Other nations honour this tradition as well.  The chaplain gave us a lively commentary on all the ships we passed and all the structures on the harbour.  Thanks Andrew you’re a historian , it was fascinating.

    Thank you so much Navy friends for a simply awesome day and for including us as Navy family. We hope our laundry bags brighten your day and cheer you up knowing that complete strangers care about how your day is going. 

  We sleep at night in this country because you do what you do and for that
we are grateful     

   We at AH want to thank you for your service to Australia the best country in the world.

 The landing craft waiting to take up to HMAS Adelaide. 

 On Board the landing craft and heading for the back door of HMAS Adelaide.

Waiting to walk off the Landing Craft, up the ramp at the back of the craft…

coming on to HMAS Adelaide

Our host, the Chaplain, and the Executive Officer 

On the flight deck for the Helicopter display

Helos packed away for transit

A parade of smiling faces as Jan-Maree presented 50 of the 1000 laundry bags we had taken on board. 

The rest of the laundry bags were stored in the cabin of the chaplain and the cabin next to his. 

Aussie Hero Quilters Jenny N, Ashleigh, Bridget and Rachel.

Part of the hornet fly past… very, very cool!!!

not a bad view for the day. 

Howard and Jenny N… thanks for the post guys!

Till next time keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx

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