Returning to our island home

Published on LCDR Glenn Blizzard (author)

Location(s): Hobart, TAS

Topic(s): HMAS Sirius (A266)

Hobart natives from the ship’s company of HMAS Sirius. (photo: )
Hobart natives from the ship’s company of HMAS Sirius.

A short port visit to Hobart over the period 18-20 June 2019 provided six members of HMAS Sirius the opportunity to visit friends and family and show off their home state to their shipmates.

Despite having the largest displacement of any ship in the Royal Australian Navy and a relatively small complement of just 73, Sirius has a surprisingly a large percentage of Tasmanians on board.

The Apple Isle contingent includes Commanding Officer Commander Melanie Verho, Command Warrant Officer Scott Brown, Lieutenant Commander Glenn Blizzard, Lieutenant Tom Veit, Sub Lieutenant Bonnie Galbraith and Able Seaman Simone McDonald.

Able Seaman McDonald was particularly excited about seeing her family and friends after a lengthy period away.

“It was so good being able to see my friends and family - and especially coming here in Sirius.

“Winter is such a beautiful time to visit Tasmania,” she said.

Hobart from the deck of HMAS Sirius.

Hobart from the deck of HMAS Sirius.

And Hobart did not disappoint the ship’s company, with a light dusting of snow falling on Kunanyi (Mt Wellington) during the visit.

Lieutenant Veit took the opportunity to provide a tour of the ship to his parents.

“This was my first port visit to Hobart while serving in Sirius and it was a fantastic opportunity to have Mum and Dad come on board to see my home on the sea, and for me to be able to provide them with some insight into what we do,” he said.

Despite the crisp temperatures and short period alongside, Sirius’s ship’s company enjoyed the hospitality and sights of Hobart, with many attending the annual ‘Dark Mofo’ Winter Feast and Festival.

Reminiscing on 40 years of service in the Royal Australian Navy, Warrant Officer Brown said Hobart was a favourite port visit for a lot of Navy people.

“Visiting my home state as the Command Warrant Officer in Sirius is a real honour and I look forward to any future visits,” Warrant Officer Brown said.

For Commander Verho however, it was more a case of being able to show off her big ship to her family and home.

“There’s something very special about taking one of the biggest ships in the Fleet, the ship that you are in command of, into your home state - especially when it’s as small as Tasmania.

“It was great to see my family and be able to show them Sirius,” Commander Verho said.

The snow-capped mountains were soon a distant memory as Sirius set sail the warmer climates of the South West Pacific.