Newcastle - seashells and Seychelles

Published on SBLT Iain McMillan (author), ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer)

Location(s): Port Victoria

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, HMAS Newcastle (F06)

HMAS Newcastle prepares to berth alongside in Victoria, Seychelles during Operation Manitou. (photo: ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez)
HMAS Newcastle prepares to berth alongside in Victoria, Seychelles during Operation Manitou.
Following an extensive patrol off the coast of Africa in the South Indian Ocean while on Operation MANITOU, the crew of HMAS Newcastle recently conducted a logistics and respite visit in Port Victoria, Seychelles.
 
Due to the limited wharf space Newcastle anchored in crystal clear waters for the first two nights of the visit just off the main island of Mahe.
 
The position of the anchorage provided picturesque views of Sainte Anne Island to the east and the breathtaking cliffs of the mainland to the west; the ship was even visited by some of the local marine life in the form of some very inquisitive sea turtles.
 
Commander Mark Sirois, Commanding Officer Newcastle, said the replenishment and respite visit gave the ship’s company some time to explore the local sights.
 
“The crew were able to get ashore and visit all corners of the Island, relax on the beaches, and get a taste of the local Creole cuisine,” he said.
 
“It was a good break after a high-tempo period of operations.”
 
Despite the limited time, activities ranged from snorkelling and diving with exotic fish and whale sharks, hiking through the tropical landscape and up the impressive volcanic mountains that divide the Island, and relaxing on the sun-drenched Beau Vallon beach.
 
After completing replenishment Newcastle proceeded on patrol of the Southern Indian Ocean in support of Combined Task Force 150 and its counter-narcotics efforts.
 
It is unlikely, however, that this will be the last the Seychelles sees of the crew of Newcastle, with more than one member of ship’s company planning to return to holiday at the country’s scenic shores in the not too distant future.