Melbourne also had another reason to celebrate. Most ladies don't like to devulge their age but Melbourne is not so shy. On the 15th of February she entered Port Sultan Qaboos in Oman in the Middle East. This was an opportunity to offload waste and take on fresh, frozen and dry food but is also marked the ship's 22nd birthday. The ship's youngest sailor and the and the Captain shared the honour of cutting the cake and then 232 pieces of cake were dispensed to the crew.
Happy Belated Birthday HMAS Melbourne!
I understand that HMAS Melbourne has received their last delivery of mail until they come home so I am in the process of trying to narrow down who is still waiting to receive their quilts. If you have not heard from your recipient bear with me as I track them down but don't hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.
After a week at sea, HMAS Darwin made a brief logistics visit to Diego Garcia for one day.
Next the ship moved on to cross the Equator. Every time a ship crosses the Equator they tradionally pay homage to King Neptune. This is called "Crossing the Line". The senior sailors dress up and everyone as some fun. This is a long standing tradition that in the past has been considered a type of initiation ceremony but these days it is a way to relax and have some fun whilst remembering time honoured traditions.
Darwin's Captain knew he would be brought before the court - the captain always is - so he was suitably prepared with a poetic plea in mitigation......
King Neptune, all Mighty Master of the Sea,
On all these charges I plead Not Guilty,
There are photos too but you will have to wait for those.
Darwin has just completed a visit to Kochi in India and subsequently conducted some exercises with the Indian Navy Ship Sunanya which provided an excellent opportunity to improve interoperability.
The chaplain of HMAS Dawin held a memorial service in the Wardroom to commemorate mark the 50th Anniversary of the collision between the HMA Ships Voyager and Melbourne on 10 Feb 1964.
Darwin is yet to receive any mail from us but the messages I receive every time that I tell a crew member that their quilt is on the way indicate that there is a great deal of anticipation and a huge amount of appreciation for what we are doing for them.
This is one of my favourite replies so far
"Thank you for having the time to do this for me and my shipmates. It comforts me to know that people like yourself and your team are thinking of us during such a long deployment away from our families and loved ones. I will inform you promptly once I have the quilt in my hot little hands!"
All information and photos on this post were taken from the Facebook pages for both ships.
Bev and Geoff
Jenny and Gale
Till next time ....................keep spreading the word and happy stitching! JMxx