HMAS Canberra in Hobart

We had a most pleasant surprise just before Anzac Day when Australia’s largest ever Navy ship, the HMAS Canberra pulled into Hobart to mark the Centenary events on the 25th of April. I received a text message from Sinead the day it arrived saying “Big ass ship coming in”. Upon venturing down to the waterfront later that day I saw just how big that big ass ship was……very.

A quick Google search found out exactly what she was and why she was in town and also that us lowly civilians would be able to take a tour on the Sunday! Having visited American Navy vessels before in both Aircraft Carrier, Submarine and Liberty Ship form before, I was excited to see what the current generation would be like. Having completed a tour of the HMAS Canberra I can say……not that different. Sure the bells and whistles are newer but the bare bones are the same, the layouts similar, the cramped spaces, the exposed machinery, the sense that this thing is built for one thing only……war.

It was really interesting being able to talk to the serving crew who were happy to talk about their jobs and answer the usual gawking tourist and military fan questions like “How fast does it go? What’s it like to fly this helicopter? Have you ever fired your gun in the air and went argh? How many rounds does it fire a minute? Is it true there’s a point in a man’s head that if you shoot it his head will explode? Oooookay that’s enough Hot Fuzz references for now but you get the idea. Fair play to the crew though, they answered every query with a smile and had great banter with the visitors.

That’s another thing, the sense of humour on board was evident throughout the ship in various posters on certain equipment or on doorways. Being a naval officer is of course a serious business but it was good to see that these guys knew how to have a laugh at the same time and I suppose hold on to their humanity in the face of potential horrors.

As I’ve said on my Facebook page and on Instagram captions, Australia really does care about their serving men and women and those that have gone before them. It was a pleasure to be here for Anzac Day and to see the respect shown to those who have given their lives for their country and to those who continue to put their lives on the line so that the rest of us can live in peace and safety.

HMAS Canberra looms over the Tasmanian Air Adventures plane in Sullivan's Cove.
HMAS Canberra looms over the Tasmanian Air Adventures plane in Sullivan’s Cove.
A young musician chats with one of the Navy band members in the cruise-ship terminal overlooking Hobart.
A young musician chats with one of the Navy band members in the cruise-ship terminal overlooking Hobart.
My kingdom for a wider lens on Frank! Had to shoot a panorama to get the whole ship in one shot.
My kingdom for a wider lens on Frank! Had to shoot a panorama to get the whole ship in one shot.
Anchors away, you can see just how big this fella is in the wider shot. Takes a lot to hold the Canberra still.
Anchors away, you can see just how big this fella is in the wider shot. Takes a lot to hold the Canberra still.
Hellooooooo, ellooooooo, ellooooooooooo. The cavernous lower deck of the ship which is able to carry up to 110 vehicles, including 4 of these kick-ass landing craft.
Hellooooooo, ellooooooo, ellooooooooooo. The cavernous lower deck of the ship which is able to carry up to 110 vehicles, including 4 of these kick-ass landing craft.
Watch your step, all the doors on navy vessels are designed to catch out drunk and clumsy people :)
Watch your step, all the doors on navy vessels are designed to catch out drunk and clumsy people 🙂
Sinead takes a peak into the cockpit of one of a MRH 90 up on the flight deck. They let you sit inside AND go down the ramp at the back. 5 year old us were very happy with that.
Sinead takes a peak into the cockpit of one of a MRH 90 up on the flight deck. They let you sit inside AND go down the ramp at the back. 5 year old us were very happy with that.
The MRH 90 which Australia has purchased quite a few of is one of the most modern helicopters out there.
The MRH 90 which Australia has purchased quite a few of is one of the most modern helicopters out there.
The tail rotor of a Seahawk glistens in the Tasmanian sun/cloud blend.
The tail rotor of a Seahawk glistens in the Tasmanian sun/cloud blend.
The Kangaroo stencil takes pride of place on all the vessels on board.
The Kangaroo stencil takes pride of place on all the vessels on board.
Visitors line up to oogle at the interior of the Seahawk and chat with the crew.
Visitors line up to oogle at the interior of the Seahawk and chat with the crew.
I can see my house from here.....I think.
I can see my house from here…..I think.
Hobart's delightful waterfront is the view the crew of the Canberra get to enjoy.
Hobart’s delightful waterfront is the view the crew of the Canberra get to enjoy.
Ok those of you who follow this blog will know that sometimes I don't take my captioning very seriously so I apologise for the next few images in advance. Starting with ELF BERTHING. So that's what Santa's helpers do in the off season...
Ok those of you who follow this blog will know that sometimes I don’t take my captioning very seriously so I apologise for the next few images in advance. Starting with ELF BERTHING. So that’s what Santa’s helpers do in the off season…
Good to know the Australian Navy takes Elf sanitation very seriously.
Good to know the Australian Navy takes Elf sanitation very seriously.
In case of emergency people should run towards the small green people trapped inside the larger group of white people from all four corners.
In case of emergency people should run towards the small green people trapped inside the larger group of white people from all four corners.
Oh for f** sake!
Oh for f** sake!
Bit of pipe porn for all you pipeophiliacs out there.
Bit of pipe porn for all you pipeophiliacs out there.
These heavy-duty chains are used to raise and lower the vehicle lift which transports helicopters up onto the flight deck from the hangar below.
These heavy-duty chains are used to raise and lower the vehicle lift which transports helicopters up onto the flight deck from the hangar below.
Pew pew pew pew pew.
Pew pew pew pew pew.
You do NOT want these 25mm rounds coming at you from the Typhoon weapon system onboard the Canberra.
You do NOT want these 25mm rounds coming at you from the Typhoon weapon system onboard the Canberra.
A group of yachts seen from the deck enjoying a relaxing sail in the Derwent Estuary.
A group of yachts seen from the deck enjoying a relaxing sail in the Derwent Estuary.
If this rope could talk while holding the enormous and swaying Canberra in place at the dock in Hobart it would probably say "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggghhhhhhh it realllllyyyy hurts!!!!"
If this rope could talk while holding the enormous and swaying Canberra in place at the dock in Hobart it would probably say “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggghhhhhhh it realllllyyyy hurts!!!!”
The Australian White Ensign flutters proudly in the breeze.
The Australian White Ensign flutters proudly in the breeze.
The medical facilities on board were quite impressive indeed. They need to be when you're thousands of miles from the nearest land/
The medical facilities on board were quite impressive indeed. They need to be when you’re thousands of miles from the nearest land/
HMAS Canberra's ornate wooden plaque is one of the first sights to greet you on board.
HMAS Canberra’s ornate wooden plaque is one of the first sights to greet you on board.
Spot the odd one out. The crew had no special ramp to board the ship so had to shimmy past the crowds.
Spot the odd one out. The crew had no special ramp to board the ship so had to shimmy past the crowds.
The bridge of the Canberra (which given that this is an active serving vessel) was not part of the tour.
The bridge of the Canberra (which given that this is an active serving vessel) was not part of the tour.
A fair warning to anyone who would attempt to mess with this ship.
A fair warning to anyone who would attempt to mess with this ship.
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2 thoughts on “HMAS Canberra in Hobart

  1. Awesome stuff! You’ve no idea how big those modern navy ships are until you get up close to them.

    It reminds me of when a youth group I was with years ago got a tour of the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier while it was in port; “immense” almost is an adequate adjective. Almost.

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