Can you believe that HMAS Toowoomba is due home in a matter of weeks!  Where did that time go.  So far,from the 80 or so quilts that we sent off, we have heard back from all but ten of the recipients.  I am keeping on top of it though and am checking on each of them.  Five of those quilts were sent fairly late in the day so it is quite reasonable that theirs have not yet arrived.  

As HMAS Toowoomba will soon be on her way home, HMAS Newcastle has already departed for the Middle East.  Here she is on the day she deployed.  I always think there can be no more beautiful harbour to depart and arrive from Australia than Sydney Harbour. I can only imagine that passing through the Heads must certainly be exciting.  Can you imagine the view!
I thought you might like to know a little about the next ship we will be looking after though I am by no means an expert.  

HMAS Newcastle was commissioned in Newcastle on 11 December 1993 and is the last ship of her class to be built.  She is one of four Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigates (FFG) in service with the Royal Australian Navy. The other three are HMAS Darwin, Melbourne (III) and Sydney (IV).  Newcastle is the newest of the four frigates and was constructed in Williamstown, Victoria with all previous class modifications incorporated.

Newcastle is a long range escort vessel, capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. The ship can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.

Newcastle and her three sister ships were the first RAN ships to be powered by gas turbines. This combined with a modern repair by replacement policy, has allowed both a reduced complement and a high availability for sea duty. Additionally, two forward mounted retractable auxiliary propulsion units provide a secondary means of propulsion plus excellent maneuverability in confined waters.
In recent years Newcastle has deployed in support of peacekeeping operations in East Timor and the Solomon Islands and Operation Catalyst in the Persian Gulf.

HMAS Newcastle is named after the City of Newcastle and is the first RAN ship to carry this name. The ship maintains close links with her namesake city, particularly through active support of her adopted charity organisation, the Hunter Orthopaedic School.

HMAS Newcastle’s motto is “Enterprise”

I had an email from the chaplain this week and he tells me that within days we should be receiving the list of requests for the crew so those of you who have quilts ready and waiting standby to receive.  I expect our first quilts will be on their way to HMAS Newcastle within days of us receiving the list.

And before I move on to a different subject, here is are a couple of interesting bits for you.

For the did you know that the Navy, like more organisations, though perhaps more so than some, has its own language to a degree.  These are the terms that I felt were fit for Blog Reader comsumption and which I remember from my daily life in the RAN. 
I thought you might enjoy learning some of it.

Brew – a cup of tea or coffee
Dhoby Bag – laundry bag
Dhoby Dust – aundry powder
Duff – sticky pudding or any kind of sweet
Fang Bosun or Fang Farrier – dentist
Gasg – rubbish
Goffers – cold fizzy drinks
Gong  – term for medals or decorations
Heads – toilets (this comes from the old sailing ships where the toilets were directly beneath the figure head
Housewife – personal sewing kit
Lid – Junior or Senior Sailor’s cap
Scran – food or a meal
Wooly Pully – the thick issue jumper

Obviously I had to leave a number of the terms out for fear of offending some (well, many including the Blue Orchids and the Pongos) but you can see the full list if you check out the (source).  Just don’t blame me!

A change of subject as usual on a Thursday night -here is the list of those that have sent off quilts and laundry bags this week. If you have sent something and have not sent me a picture please let me know ASAP.

Christine and Nicole
Danni and the Sit and Sew Ladies
Kiwi Karen
Nancy and Grace
Liz and Co
Rita M

Please let me know if I have left anyone off the list

Yours Aye,