Sailors of South Pacific cast salute Royal Australian Navy

Published on SBLT Bianca Wise (author), ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Waterhen, Sydney

Topic(s): HMAS Huon (M82), International Fleet Review

The musical cast from the theatre production South Pacific, currently showing at the Sydney Opera House, on the wharf with Ship's Company of HMAS Huon at HMAS Waterhen. (photo: ABIS Nicolas Gonzalez)
The musical cast from the theatre production South Pacific, currently showing at the Sydney Opera House, on the wharf with Ship's Company of HMAS Huon at HMAS Waterhen.

The musical cast of South Pacific, currently showing at the Sydney Opera House, shared a salute last week with the crew of HMAS Huon as both prepared for the International Fleet Review (IFR) in Sydney this week.

“The cast were particularly interested in the salutes,” Opera Australia Publicist Sarah Wilson said, “having learnt to salute for a stage show; it was great to see a real Naval salute in action!”

Following a photo opportunity onboard, the crew of Huon gave the cast of South Pacific a tour of the Minehunter Coastal.

“We were incredibly impressed with the hospitality of the crew, and could see that despite having to live, work and sleep in some very tight spaces, the crew is a well disciplined team,” Sarah Wilson.

With 40 warships and 16 tall ships from around the world currently making their way to Sydney Harbour, excitement is building for all things Navy.

The Sydney Opera House is sharing in the Naval celebrations by offering show goers discounted tickets and a spectacular view during the IFR Lightshow and Pyrotechnics Spectacular on Saturday 5 October.

“Opera Australia is well aware of the massive scale of the IFR, and has timed the evening performance so that patrons can enjoy the fireworks at interval,” Opera Australia Publicist Sarah Wilson said.

“Patrons will have one of the harbour's best vantage points - the northern foyers of the Opera House.”

Set in a US Naval Base on a tropical island during WWII, South Pacific is the sweeping romantic story of two couples, threatened by the realities of war.

With the antics of the US seabees keeping the musical at a fast pace, South Pacific is a snapshot of the US Navy in the 1940s.

Only days before welcoming the cast onboard, Huon returned from Operation RESOLUTE, Australia’s whole of government border security effort.

While she is alongside at HMAS Waterhen the crew are participating in various activities in the lead up to the International Fleet Review.

Taking place from 3-11 October 2013, the IFR commemorates the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy's Fleet into Sydney.

Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20131560.