HMAS CANBERRA


This site is dedicated to all the Royal Australian Navy personnel who have served in HMAS CANBERRA

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HMAS CANBERRA (1) from the 9th 0f July 1928 until she was sunk off Savo Island on the 9th of August 1942.

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HMAS CANBERRA (2) from the 21st of March 1981 until the Decommissioning on the 12th of November 2005.

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HMAS CANBERRA (3) commissioning at Fleet Base East in Sydney, Australia in 2014.

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THE HMAS CANBERRA CRUISE BOOK FOR 2002

Ports of Call

DUBAI     U. A. E.

Dubai Delights

Compiled by SBLT Kristen Rice

Dubai is the second largest of seven emirates, covering an area of 3,900 square kilometres. The city of Dubai is really two towns: Deira in the north and Bur Dubai to the south, separated by Dubai Creek (Khor Dubai). Dubai has historically been a centre of trade for pearl divers and sea-going fisherman.

Sheikh Maktoum, Dubai’s current leader, has added to this reputation encouraging economic freedom through free trade legislation. Although relatively relaxed, Dubai’s culture is rooted in Islam with Emiratis mostly of the liberal Sunni Muslim sect. Only a quarter of the UAE’s population is native, the rest is made up from expatriates from all over the world including Iran, Great Britain, Pakistan, India and the Philippines.

Dubai was undoubtable The Port of Call whilst on OP Slipper, with many opportunities to spend those tax free dollars on electronics, prayer rugs, jewellery and singing Mosque clocks. Unless of course you’re the DMEO “I went to on of the shopping centres once. The rest of the time I’ve been reading LM2500 manuals”. Or conversely the Buffer and Coxswain got “a lost taxi drivers uninteresting tour of Dubai, anywhere else we were too pissed to remember.” Few could resist the sparkle of gold at Al Fayed’s (familiarly known as Aussie Mick’s) a jewellery dealer that offered the best deals to all the Australian ships only “Ma-ate” (And oh maybe to all the British, Americans and Canadians on the side as well). All the custom made jewellery, not to mention a few engagement rings, will surely bring a smile to many a wife, girlfriend and family back home.

The locals also enjoyed Canberra’s patronage at many of the big four and five star hotels, namely The York, The York and The York. In fact, there were ghastly rumours of the ships company frequenting other venues such as the Ramada, Rydges (HMAS Canberra land HQ), Four Points Sheraton, the Meridian or according to POBM Thompson “That flash hotel near Wild Wadi……..” Another big favourite was the Wild Wadi Water Park, in Jumeira. Many a member of the ships company began acting like a twelve year old again, with a class A1 wedgie from the longest continuous water slide in the world - a whopping 28 km of wet and wild fun where you were actually propelled uphill by high powered water jets. I dare say its hard to look cool in front of all the “Great looking scenery” says ABSTD Rutherford, ABCSO Lee-Tarren, “when picking your bathing costume out of your arse”.

One of the highlights of Dubai for many people was the 4WD Desert Safari. We were heading off into the untamed western regions of Dubai - dune country. After a quick succession of death defying near misses (as evidence by the quick succession of breath intakes and white knuckles of ABCIS Campbell and ABCIS James) the passengers were given a breathtaking vista of the desert sunset. Once at camp and after a ride on a camel, or in some cases rather avoiding them (apparently they spit) we were treated to the mysterious ways of the desert. This began with the Shisha: the traditional Arabic peace pipe. Many couldn’t resist the urge to “smoke the (perfectly legal I assure you ‘Swain) dragon.” Whilst this pipe was being passed around, so were the comments when a beautiful belly dancer took to the carpet. By the end of her dance, most of the Ships Company were wiggling their hips. We were all gyrating gods that night, in front of this seductive and majestic beauty.

The traditional Arabian dinner was then served and the opportunity to have a Henna Tattoo on your arm or hand was offered, along with the chance to try on the traditional Arabian dress. The evening concluded successfully with more 4WD driving - this time in the dark - through the dunes and back to the ship. Everyone who went were extremely impressed with the tour and a number of people went back for more (or was it for the belly dancer?)

 

 


 

 

Kuwait City

Stokers Day Out In Kuwait City

By Smn Greg Brumby

The day started as hot! Damn hot! We all collected our gear, and were all amped for our day out in Kuwait city. Being about half an hour off the ship the bus arrived and we all piled in. Our first stop was the telecommunications centre. Taking one look at that we decided to move on to another part of the city. Our next stop was the main shopping centre. With boats and a lovely marina in our sights we decided that this was the place to start our journey. So we jumped off into the stifling heat and proceeded to dodge speeding cars and busses, crossing the road to get to the shopping centre.


We got to the entrance of the centre to find that it was not to open until 1000. Being only 0900 we headed towards the stinking fish markets further down the road. Passing them we found another shopping centre but this one looked more like a supermarket though. The first thing that the boys noticed was the Budweiser, but unfortunately "na" was printed on the box. Non-alcoholic! What the??


We all got bored pretty quickly so we headed back to the main shopping centre as it had opened by this stage. On the inside it looked like any other shopping centre you would go to at home, with pizza hut, maccas and kfc etc. Seeing that we naturally had to stop for a feed. Looking on further we found a games arcade and we stopped there as well. After some time there we left the shopping centre and decided to wait in the heat for a bus.

A bus that never came. We were not going to wait for the bus any longer so we started to walk. We left the bus stop and in our travels we passed some old buildings some had bullet holes in them, and we then came across a semi-arid desert in the middle of the city. In the distance you could see the Kuwait towers, and towards the main part of the city we saw the larger of the towers. We decided that bigger was better and that's the way we headed.


On the way there we passed a one of the many mosques in the area and started to take photos of it. Whilst we were taking photos of it one of the locals came out and what we thought was a friendly wave resulted in us moving in the opposite direction a little faster than normal pace. After all the walking/running and feeling the heat we were needing to stop for a drink. We weren’t going to get to the tower because it was somehow further away than it looked. Suddenly eddie came up with the idea that we should change direction and go to green island.


We walked around for about half an hour looking for a taxi to get there. As there were 6 of us we needed 2 taxies and another half an hour to explain where this green island was to the taxi drivers who were locals, we eventually made a move. Once we got there we almost got into an all in brawl over the taxi fare, as they charged us more than what the meter said. I don't know who won in the end; it was too hot to care.


Green island, well what can i say?? Eddie was going to be bashed for this decision. There were three people there. The two at the gate and one security guard on a push bike. Not to mention the thin film of what appeared to be sewerage across the main swimming area. What the??


After watching some jet skiers for about half an hour dolly wanted to have a go at it. It proved to be the most fun any of us had so far during the day even though trev ran over dorries arm and dolly kept falling off, and getting run over by trev. It cost about 7kd for half an hour and i think we got every dina worth out of it, oh and don't wear jeans when you jet ski. It hurts later!


We reluctantly got off them once we were being chased by the owners. Our next stop was the Sheraton hotel for a good shower and swim in a non-toxic swimming pool. We found that we weren’t allowed to use their facilities so we trekked around to find another hotel. We eventually found the le meridian's hotel. Dolly, trev and myself found the pool which was awesome.

The hotel was great. 15 stories up we found the sun deck, sauna, spa, nice showers and the best pool you could imagine and not to mention overlooking a deserted cemetery what a view. After our time there which was all on the house we got another taxi back to the main shopping centre. We had another feed of junk food and spent some more money at the games arcade.
We then decided to call it a day and headed back to the ship. It wasn't the best place in the world but we made the most of it.

 
 

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BAHRAIN, SAUDI ARABIA

 

The Maldives

Lost in Paradise

by SBLT Kristen Rice

The Maldives is a largely forgotten Republic of coral islands renowned for the under water beauty of its atolls and coral reefs. The island chain begins off the south western coast of India and more or less makes its way down to the equator. It’s no wonder tourism in the Maldives is a prosperous trade for the region - that is until HMAS CANBERRA and her crew arrived on the 11th of July 2002! Coming back from what can only be described as six months of challenging work the crew were ready, willing and very able to let down their hair and the Male International Airport was the place to be on the first night in town. But first - the obstacle course that was the ships pontoon and having to judge the right moment to make a grab for the waiting ferry. Who could forget the DMEO’s Leap of Faith into our water transport. I hear there was only a bruised elbow after the fall, oops I mean gracious landing. Once off the ship, plenty of the Ships’ Company, lured by the promise of cheap drinks, we’re found indulging in beer, spirits and Australian wines at the Captains Fun Bar.

On the next day, the destination of choice was either the Capital - Malĕ with its petite streets and shops, with peak hour consisting of three instead of the usual two taxi’s down the coastal road, or Paradise and Bandos Islands. Others favoured scuba diving, surfing the breaks, snorkelling, sailing, surf skiing and even ambitiously challenging some US Navy Seals to a game of Beach Volleyball. That evening, everyone was shipped out to a beach party on Kuda Bandos Island (maybe the resort was giving us a subtle hint?) which was decked out with bonfires, beach mats, a live DJ, night swimming and of course a bar. The diehard groovers lasted until the final boat call, around one in the morning, before heading back to Bandos to continue further into the morning. By the last day, practically everyone was well within relaxation mode, however the time had come to leave. I’m sure the photographs relay the relaxing atmosphere that was the …..Maldives - Lost in Paradise.

 

 


 

PHUKET THAILAND

By LEUT Corinne van Beek

Its easy to understand why Phuket is the number one overseas destination for Australians - this much anticipated run ashore turned out every bit as successful and fun as was hoped. The thrills certainly started with the many wives, girlfriends and Mo’s baby daughter Alicia and the CSM’s cherub - Celeste - waiting on Phuket Wharf as CANBERRA came alongside.

The Rugby boys brought into play all their hard training and crowd support, achieving resounding victory over the local Ex-Pat Team - the Vagabonds. Patong Beach was a buzz of excitement as many departments took the opportunity to catch up on their divisional meetings (Venue: Aussie Bar, Cat Bar, Amigos) and for the Gollies this was an eye opening introduction to “Up Top”. With Monkeys, Queens and Iguana’s roaming the streets for a photo opportunity, the nightlife on the Strip was as good as anyone could remember.

By day, those that could get out of their Five Star rooms at the Novatel or Merlin Beach Resort took the chance to scuba dive or snorkel on Phi Phi Island, sun themselves on The Beach, take Long Boat rides through Phang Nga Bay, go sea-kyaking through caves and mangrove forests, handle tigers, snakes and monkeys at the Phuket Zoo, ride elephants through the jungle, go on a White Water rafting adventures, get a traditional Thai massage on Naihain Beach, have their hair braided and beaded, have suits and gowns tailor made, and generally relax by the pool with a cocktail. Did I cover it all? Probably not, because that is the beauty of Phuket - there was so much to do the six days flew by in a blur… or was that the Mekong?

 


 

 

 
 
 

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