HMAS Gascoyne hunted down an opportunity to thank families for their continued support during a rare port visit to Adelaide.
After completing route survey operations off Port Adelaide recently, a number of crew who are Adelaide natives were able to invite their families on board for a cruise from Outer Harbour to Glenelg.
Commanding Officer HMAS Gascoyne Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Crane said the cruise was a way to thank families for their ongoing support of their serving loved ones.
“It has been almost 20 years since Gascoyne last visited the Port of Adelaide so this family cruise was certainly a rare event and one which took a little more planning to ensure we abided by the local and fleet COVID-19 policies,” Lieutenant Commander Crane said.
“Family support is vital, especially on long deployments, so the chance to give back to loved ones and showcase what we do at sea was a proud moment for all on board.”
Families were treated to a tour of the ship, including an opportunity to see the ship’s company in action on the bridge during pilotage, in order to give them a true appreciation of life on board.
Gascoyne's catering department treated family guests to breakfast, morning tea and lunch, with engineering and seamanship departments providing an exciting and professional experience, explaining in detail the operations and workings unique to the Huon-class mine hunter coastal.
Officer of the watch Sub Lieutenant Emma Bennett, who hosted her parents and sibling, said she appreciated being able to share her Navy life with her family, who were usually too far away to be part of it.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to show my family what I do for a living,” Sub Lieutenant Bennett said.
“Being based out of Sydney, I haven’t had the opportunity to show them the ship, let alone be able to bring them out to sea and demonstrate what my job entails.”
Sub Lieutenant Bennett’s father, Peter Bennett, thoroughly enjoyed the morning and proudly touted how impressed he was with the opportunity to see his daughter take control for a man-overboard exercise.
“We had an opportunity to tour the ship and get an understanding of the role of a mine hunter and were given the chance to sit in the helm's chair and drive the ship around,” Mr Bennett said.
“It was a great experience and something that I may not have the chance to do again, so I’m glad we got the opportunity to do it.”
The family day also coincided with a committal-of-ashes-to-the-sea ceremony conducted by Chaplain Wayne Philp.
The committal was a fitting tribute to the five veterans who were returned to the sea to eternal rest.