Card games are trumps in downtime

From the moment the last line has been cast, a ship becomes a sailor’s home.

CAPTION: HMAS Hobart crew members attend a physical training session on board the ship. Story and photo by Leading Seaman Kylie Jagiello.

Like COVID-19 isolation, you can’t pop out to the local café for a coffee with close friends, but you are surrounded by your shipmates.

As ship design and capability have evolved, so have the activities that sailors enjoy in their downtime.

More than 100 years ago, sailors lived in cramped quarters and enjoyed drinking, playing cards and perhaps singing sea shanties.

As HMAS Hobart sailed back to Sydney from the recent port visit to Hobart, the sailors found relaxation in more active pursuits, but the cards of their forbears remained.

After long hours preparing meals, Able Seaman chef Stacey Moon could often be found on the flight deck participating in physical training {PT} or below playing cards with her fellow chefs.

“While in Hobart, I visited the Salamanca Market and picked up a second-hand recipe book called Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey,” Able Seaman Moon said.

“Loving my job as a chef, in my downtime, I have already read the book from front to back.

“As part of a dinner function for the CO, I prepared a dessert from the book that included shortbread spoons.”

Having served nearly six years in the Navy, Able Seaman Jordan Pagett has been in Hobart for more than a year.

“When not maintaining the five-inch gun, I enjoy doing personal PT, playing cards with my fellow gun-busters or just sitting around chatting,” Able Seaman Pagett said.

“There are upsides and downsides to everything we do, but the crew is a big thing.

“You may not be the only one having a rough day and it helps having like-minded people around.”

Able Seaman Paige Maynard-Buckler helps maintain the radar and navigation tracking equipment and is nearly a year into her first sea posting.

“Each day I try to fit in a PT session or something physical to keep myself motivated and fit,” Able Seaman Maynard-Buckler said.

“It’s good for mental health – start the day off well and end the day well.”





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