Friday, January 14, 2011


The crew of HMAS Glenelg have used the school holiday period to show their family their life at sea, after spending Christmas on patrol. Departing Darwin Naval Base the group remained onboard and was treated to Navy cooking, watch-keeping on the bridge, sunsets at sea and an exploration of some beautiful parts of the Northern Territory.
 ABBM Ben Manson, LSBM Brendon Chaffer, SMNBM Cameron Clark and ABBM Callum Carr with Brothers and Sisters and Family for Family Cruise
L-R ABBM Ben Manson, LSBM Brendon Chaffer, SMNBM Cameron Clark and ABBM Callum Carr with Brothers, Sisters and Family for Family Cruise
As a Darwin based Armidale Class Patrol Boat crew, the 25 men and women of Aware Two conduct border patrols for Operation Resolute. This work is dangerous, rewarding and takes them away from their loved ones for weeks at a time.
Able Seaman Deb Navin invited her father to attend the cruise.
“My Dad now really knows what I do at sea, he has seen where I live and work and probably will worry less about his daughter’s world,” she said.
Leading Seaman Michael Cameron agreed.
“It’s just great being able to actually show my family what I have been talking about all these years,” he said.
The crew were able to invite their children also. The Buffer’s daughter, nine year old Emily said her favourite time was the jet boat ride to explore the ruins of Victoria Settlement in Port Essington, but also she liked the big breakfasts and she had decided the worst bit was “the bumpy weather”. Whilst sitting in the Captain’s Chair, Emily commented that she now knew what her Dad does and it seems like ‘great fun’.
As part of the cruise the Commanding Officer, LCDR Shane Doolin extended an invitation to the ship’s sponsored charity ‘The Grey Man’, a charity and rescue organisation that works to reduce child exploitation and provides funding to improve living standards and education of children in South East Asia.
For a small group of Navy men and women their influence is far-reaching and LCDR Doolin and his crew feel passionately about their connection to these children.
“Aware Two, now the Grey Man’s Northern Territory Chapter, has raised awareness, nearly seven thousand dollars and shown support to their chosen charity for over 18 months now. The crew enjoy the opportunity to support a unique Australian charity were nearly each cent in the dollar goes to doing good, rescuing children and the end result is children given the opportunity to be placed in a better place free from exploitation,” said LCDR Doolin.
The Grey Man appreciates the connection said John Curtis, Founder and CEO of The Grey Man.
“Navy support of the Grey Man charity through the activities and fund raising of Aware Two has resulted in the rescue of 14 children and allowed us to give children an education,” he said.
John Curtis and his wife who spent the three days with Aware Two said they enjoyed the hospitality of the crew.
“We had an absolutely fantastic time onboard thanks to the generosity and hospitality of Aware Two. It was a mixture of adventure, humour and a real learning experience for us and we really appreciate the Captain and Crews efforts on our behalf,” said Mr Curtis.
As the crew returned the 18 loved ones to their homeport, after an at times blustery and rough trip, there were smiles all round: now there is a little less mystery about life at sea which would mean an easier goodbye next time Aware Two sailed for operations.
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