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Balmain, NSW Australia

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On Wednesday May 16, members of the squad received a guided tour of HMAS Adelaide and then had the pleasure of sharing lunch with Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Earley and the crew of the Adelaide.

We were invited to assist the catering  crew with the preparation of an all crew BBQ before the Adelaide’s RIMPAC deployment. Donning our aprons, gloves and very special navy NAVY caps we set to work following the instructions of Dougie, Alex and the other chefs. We must have done ok as the food vanished as quickly as the platters could be filled. Members of the crew showed their support for our program by raising $1,000 over the course of their lunch break.

On our arrival at Garden Island, we were met by Commander Christopher Searle who then provided a top to toe tour of the ship. Toward the end we met up with Chief Petty Officer Marine Technician Glen Farrawell and Ruby.

Adelaide, the second of two Canberra class amphibious ships and the largest ever built for the Royal Australian Navy was commissioned on 4 December 2015. The ship, also known as a Landing Helicopter Docks provide one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world.

She is a magnificent ship, the largest in the Fleet and one that can swiftly and efficiently respond to large disasters such as cyclone, hurricane, tsunami or flood ravaged islands as well as responding to military crises.

Head Chef Dougie, Chef Alex and the rest of the catering crew provided an amazing spread of fresh salads, home made bread rolls, seafood and every variety of meat imaginable.

We can’t thank Captain Jonathan Earley, Commanding Officer Christopher Searle and every other member of the ship’s crew enough for the warmth of their welcome, the wonderful tour and the generosity shown by the BBQ donation of $1,000.

Ruby’s father has been stationed on the Adelaide for some time and assisted us in organising the tour. We are very grateful to Commander Searle for making this visit and bbq happen and for his unwavering support for the program and his recognition of the value sport plays in allowing one to enjoy a healthy and happy life.

We plan to continue this relationship and once RIMPAC is completed and Adelaide has arrived home we intend issuing a challenge – their best rowers against ours. All categories BUT all racing on an erg (unless we can dockdown and float a scull or two in)!

Commander Christopher Searle and the squad                          representatives.
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics – Chef Alex King is assisted by Ruby Sutherland and Barbra Ramjan from the Balmain Para Rowing Program to cook a barbeque lunch onboard HMAS Adelaide.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Adelaide, Captain Jonathan Earley, presents a shield to the members of the Balmain Para Rowing Program on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide

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