A flotilla of Australian tall ships and a Royal Australian Navy guided missile frigate welcomed Chilean Navy tall ship Buque Escuela Esmeralda to Sydney on August 1.

HMAS Melbourne met the 113-metre-long four-masted barquentine outside Sydney Heads and escorted her into the harbour, accompanied by STS Young Endeavour, James Craig, Soren Larsen, MV Martindale and HMAS Diamantina.

Meeting them at the entrance to the harbour was a Port Authority of NSW fire tug, which added to the spectacle.

As it approached Garden Island, Esmeralda fired a 21-gun salute. The Royal Australian Navy responded with a three-pound saluting gun firing blank rounds, a traditional mark of respect between a warship and shore battery to indicate both have peaceful intentions.

Boatswain mates from HMAS Kuttabul fire a three-pound saluting gun at the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre, Sydney. Photo: Able Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill

Commander of the Australian Fleet Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead was pleased to welcome the Chilean Navy back to Australia.

“The Navies of Australia and Chile share a common interest in promoting maritime stability and security in the Pacific,” Rear Admiral Mead said.

“This engagement with our Chilean counterparts is a beneficial opportunity to build on shared traditional maritime skills.”

Esmeralda comes alongside at Fleet Base East in Sydney. Photo: Petty Officer Helen Frank

Young Endeavour’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Callander, said seeing Esmeralda again was a thrill.

“This is the first time Young Endeavour and Esmeralda have crossed paths since we rendezvoused in the Atlantic Ocean during our world voyage in 2015,” Lieutenant Commander Callander said.

“The staff and youth crew in Young Endeavour were very pleased to be part of the fleet to welcome her to Sydney.”

Esmeralda is visiting Sydney as part of her 64th Instructional Cruise. Embarked is a crew of 278, including an Australian midshipman who is taking part in an exchange program.

The Chilean tall ship will remain in Sydney until August 5, when she will set sail for Bali.