Melbourne families get a taste of life at sea

Published on LEUT James McPherson (author), LSIS Kieran Dempsey (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Melbourne (F05)

Royal Australian Navy sailor Leading Seaman Marine Technician Adam Hope, left, gives family and friends of crew members a guided tour of the machinery spaces of HMAS Melbourne during a families cruise from Gladstone to Sydney. (photo: LSIS Kieran Dempsey)
Royal Australian Navy sailor Leading Seaman Marine Technician Adam Hope, left, gives family and friends of crew members a guided tour of the machinery spaces of HMAS Melbourne during a families cruise from Gladstone to Sydney.

On HMAS Melbourne’s final stretch of her latest and last overseas deployment, a number of family members had the unique chance to experience life at sea.

With some members of the ship’s company on leave or on courses, space opened up to be able to take select next-of-kin on a trip down the east coast.

Royal Australian Navy sailor Leading Seaman Marine Technician Ben Macauley, right, shows his father, Ian, left, one of the machinery spaces of HMAS Melbourne during a families cruise from Gladstone to Sydney.

Royal Australian Navy sailor Leading Seaman Marine Technician Ben Macauley, right, shows his father, Ian, left, one of the machinery spaces of HMAS Melbourne during a families cruise from Gladstone to Sydney.

Able Seaman Marine Technician Ben Macaulay had his father join the ship in Gladstone, Queensland.

“This was dad’s first time onboard the ship. It’s great to be able to show him what I do,” Able Seaman Macaulay said.

Able Seaman Macaulay works in the Marine Engineering department looking after all of the refrigeration on board the ship. Learning about it was all new to Ben’s father, Ian.

“It’s a little bit different from a cruise ship,” Mr Macaulay said.

“I’ve really enjoyed hearing all about the job and getting context and understanding for what Ben does on daily basis.

“It’s full-on. Between his technical roles, watchkeeping, looking after yourself and trying to get a little bit of sleep, there isn’t much time left in a day.”

When asked what his favourite part of the trip was, Able Seaman Macaulay emphatically said “coming home”. It was a sentiment shared by all of the families onboard.