HMAS Sirius departed Albany in Western Australia on November 30 with a few extra crew members.
CAPTION: Maritime warfare officer Sub Lieutenant Jacques de Villiers on watch on HMAS Sirius’ bridge with his father Bertus during the family cruise. Story by Sub Lieutenant Lachlan Rowe.
The ship’s company welcomed several family members on board for the ship’s final voyage back to Fleet Base West. The ship arrived on December 2.
The sea-riders, all eager to experience life at sea and understand what their loved ones do, were treated to a range of activities.
These included observing Anzac-class frigate HMAS Paramatta conduct officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres at close range around Sirius, as well as Sirius’ 770th and final replenishment at sea (RAS), which was conducted with Parramatta.
Commanding Officer Sirius Commander Chris Doherty said it was a privilege to have the families on board for the ship’s final voyage.
“It’s wonderful that our families get an opportunity to have a small glimpse of sea life. It is sometimes difficult to explain to non-sea going people about life at sea and what we do,” Commander Doherty said.
“This small cruise gives them some insight into our daily life.”
Many of the guests had the opportunity to shadow their host during the RAS, including helping out on the distance line, observing from the bridge and watching from the RAS control room.
Other highlights of the trip included sampling the food made by the galley staff and using the gym.
For some family members, this wasn’t their first time at sea.
Petty Officer electronics technician Helen Adams’ father, Martin, is a former sailor and enjoyed comparing the evolutions today to how they were done in his day.
Mr Martin said there had been many changes since his time at sea.
“Definitely for the better,” Mr Martin said.
The cruise culminated in family members witnessing Procedure Alpha, with the crew members lining the deck as Sirius returned alongside Fleet Base west for the final time, welcomed by loved ones, the WA Navy Band and various well-wishers.
HMAS Sirius will be decommissioned at Fleet Base West on December 18.