Well this month’s Friday the 13th (two in a row means the whole spooky thing really wears off quickly) turned into something of a Sydney Harbour spectacle this morning when 17 ships of the Australian Navy sailed into the harbour for a review of the fleet as part of a six-week east coast training exhibition which the Navy have spectacularly turned into part-training/part-advertising. But hey, based on the crowd at Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair and in Farm Cove – it worked! It worked on me anyway. But I was always pretty susceptible to anything branded ‘navy’.
So, what did I see? Well, despite the apparent 17 ships, I managed to see about 9. That said, three of them were docked so do they really count? So,
03 – the HMAS Sydney (Adelaide Class GM -Frigate)
04 – the HMAS Darwin (Adelaide Class GM – Frigate)
So, apart from watching a group of poor (but still bloody lucky) sailors standing out on the deck of their ships from about 8:15 to well after 9 I also found myself asking these questions about the whole thing…
1. Does the huge pile of horse crap in the Royal Botanical Gardens really help sell the ship viewing? I mean, after erecting all those well-designed signs at the entrance to Farm Cove, it was quality advertising wasted. (BTW: by well-designed signs I mean two signs on placards that look like they’d been printed on my old 1994-model Canon printer – hard to read)
2. What was with the security standing over everyone’s shoulder at Farm Cove and Mrs. Macquarie’s? I mean, what are they worried will happen? Someone will dive into the Harbour and swim up to a ship and take control? Dude, we’ve all seen only recently what happens when you go for a dip in the Harbour near a navy vessel…
3. How many cruises had been planned that day by private companies? After nine you couldn’t see any of the ships past the cruise vessels. And they seemed to be enjoying themselves too. One ship went right around the Sydney for a gander two times then carried on stalking the other ships too…
Who organised these cruises? That bunch of obsessed weirdos at SP.com? lol. And if so, where was my invite?
4. How sexy is this picture?
Okay fine, that wasn’t much of a question, but it’s a nice little panorama anyway.
Oh and these two:
Okay, I’ll quit the self-promotion now. But really, they are nice. Almost worth the 6am start. And by almost I mean I’m really struggling to justify it.
But, I don’t have a question 5 so this is redundant now…
Anyway, my day ended just after 10am when I realised I had to pack up and get back to reality or else find myself hopelessly lost in the wonderful world of the Navy. Packing up and heading to St James (anything that would keep me from walking past the hose crap again), I not only found I’d been sitting on wet grass but I also almost fell over when that stupid gun salute came out of nowhere and scared the begeebas out of me. So on the whole, a good morning.
It was interesting to see it was almost all Adelaide Class. Clearly they’ve returned home from Iraq bored with that fact that the war has been downgraded from ‘Improbable Threat to Australia’ to ‘Zero Threat to Australia’. Of course, I can’t imagine this ‘Ship Viewing’ as the Royal Botanical Gardens called it, which they say runs from 7:30am to 6pm, is any more fun.
But done and dusted, now to try and get in for this Navy march thingy tomorrow.
Till then… the last of the pictures:
And good day…