Some of the sailors, officers, public servants, and contractors at the Patrol Boat Systems Program Office in Darwin took a break from their normal work of maintaining the 13 Armidale class patrol boats recently to enjoy a team-building day of fishing in the Arafura Sea.
The Northern Territory has some of the best fishing in the world and the team took full advantage the opportunity to reflect on the hard work and team achievements throughout the year.
Captain Ben Favelle, Director of the Patrol Boat Systems Program Office, said the pace of work often did not allow personnel to appreciate the scale of their successes.
"The combined efforts have enabled the patrol boats to progress through half-life dockings involving the installation of a number of improvements to solve longstanding issues, the most significant being the structural strengthening of the hulls," he said.
In fantastic conditions on a falling tide, the team reeled in a large haul of fish including golden snapper, black jewfish, Spanish flags, redfin, Spanish mackerel and coral trout.
Everyone on the trip caught multiple fish and took home enough to feed themselves for a week. Part of the Spanish mackerel was turned into delicious and very fresh sashimi which was quickly devoured on the day.
Marine Engineering Officer, Lieutenant Loudoun Campbell, was angling for a job change to professional fisherman by the end of the day with a haul of two coral trout, two black jewfish and a golden snapper.
Lieutenant Campbell has form as a fisherman, having recently also caught a one metre barramundi.
"I was lured to the Darwin posting by the territory lifestyle of four wheel driving, fishing, hunting and camping," he said.
"I enjoy the outdoor lifestyle in Darwin and everything the Territory has to offer."
Some of the team stayed ashore to keep the essential tasks progressing, but the long-term benefits of the relationships built and respite gained were not lost on those lucky enough to participate.
"As a naval officer, I couldn’t do this down south; you have come up here for the experience!" Lieutenant Campbell said.
"All of us came back refreshed and reinvigorated to tackle the challenges ahead to keep the patrol boat fleet at sea."