A flotilla of tall ships and a Royal Australian Navy guided missile frigate welcomed Chilean Navy tall ship Buque Escuela Esmeralda to Sydney today.
HMAS Melbourne led the parade of tall ships into Sydney Heads. Royal Australian Navy operated STS Young Endeavour was the first of the tall ships in formation, followed by the spectacular four-masted burquentine TS Esmeralda. Sydney based tall ships James Craig, Soren Larsen and MV Martindale brought up the rear.
Meeting them at the entrance to the harbour was a Port Authority NSW Fire Tug, adding to the spectacle.
As it approached Garden Island, Esmeralda fired a 21-gun salute. The Royal Australian Navy responded with a 3-pound saluting gun firing blank rounds, a traditional mark of respect between a warship and shore battery to indicate both have peaceful intentions.
Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead AM, said he was pleased to welcome the Chilean Navy back to Australia.
“The Navies of Australia and Chile share a common interest in promoting maritime stability and security in the Pacific,” Rear Admiral Mead said.
“This engagement with our Chilean counterparts is a beneficial opportunity to build on shared traditional maritime skills.”
STS Young Endeavour’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Andrew Callander said seeing Esmeralda again was a thrill.
“This is the first time Young Endeavour and Esmeralda have crossed paths since we rendezvoused in the Atlantic Ocean during our world voyage in 2015.”
“The staff and youth crew in Young Endeavour were very pleased to be part of the fleet to welcome her to Sydney,” Lieutenant Commander Callander said.
Esmeralda is visiting Sydney as part of her 64th Instructional Cruise. Embarked is a crew of 278, including an Australian Midshipman who is taking part in a personnel exchange.
The Chilean tall ship will remain in Sydney until 5 August, when she will set sail for her next port, Bali.