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Monday, October 7, 2013

Sydney parties with the Navy

Sydney had a huge party on the harbour this long weekend.  It was all part of the International Fleet Review, celebrating 100 years to the day, since the Royal Australian Navy fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour.  

The event included 40 warships from around the world including the UK, US, France, Spain, Japan, China, India, 16 tall ships, 60 aircraft and 8000 sailors from 17 nations.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and family with Prince Harry

With so many ships involved, arrival times into the harbour had to be staggered.  Singapore's Endeavour was first through the heads followed by Jebat from Malaysia and then China's spectacular Qingdao. Next came warships from Great Britain, India, New Zealand and then our own Navy came into view.  HMAS Sydney led the way, followed by HMAS Perth, Darwin, Parramatta, Bundaberg, Diamantina and Huon.

HMAS Sydney

Barangaroo Wharf was host to the British destroyer HMS Daring,  the American cruiser USS Chosin, and Australian warship HMAS Parramatta.  The public were invited to come aboard and 50,000 tickets sold out quickly.

 HMS Daring

The crew of Young Endeavour were elated to have the honour to lead the Tall Ships entry.  Leut Caitlin Guest said sailing through Sydney Heads greeted by hundreds of pleasure craft all hooting their sirens and horns was an amazing experience.

The DIDP-N is a seven month program that provides indigenous youth in far north Queensland with education, training, life skills and confidence to embark on a career in the Royal Australian Navy.  

Other tall ships taking part included the steel-hulled Cape Horner Picton Castle (Canada);   Lord Nelson (England);  Tecta (Netherlands); James Cook's magnificent HMB Endeavour replica (Sydney);  the 100ft gaff rigged schooner South Passage (Brisbane); the Norwegian built 1939 square rigger Coral Trekker (Airlie Beach);  the 1911 Bark Europa (Netherlands);  the iron-hulled James Craig (Sydney); and the Deptford built brig Lady Nelson replica (Hobart).

And the party continued well into the night.

Prince Harry flew in for the celebrations and as usual, was a huge hit wherever he went.