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Maritime Logistics Community News : December 2008
26 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2008 enthusiasm of the children and the general air of friendliness even in the face of much need. The band embarked on PARRAMATTA entertained the children with the very-loud-in-an-enclosed-space ‘drum ruffle’, ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and a rousing rendition of the theme from Austin Powers which had the kids up and dancing madly. To finish the visit off, the ship’s company of PARRAMATTA made a substantial donation to the orphanage which was accepted with much gratitude. ARRIvAL IN vLADIvOSTOK ORPHANAGE vISIT IN vLADIvOSTOK The cocktail party that night was notable for the great catering effort put on by the Cooks and Stewards. The sense of occasion was also aided by the unique stylings of the PARRAMATTA Jazz ensemble, however the real highlight of the evening was a ceremonial sunset, where both the Guard and Band put on a great show. In vladivostok the language barrier was a strong one which was only overcome by an application of the local beverage of choice and endless elaborate games of charades. Most misunderstandings were minor and could usually be settled with more charades and larger hand gestures. The highlight of the local nightlife was a searing Carmen Electra impersonation from ABSN Sammy Zavaleta. The fact that the ship’s company stepped in rig after mid-afternoon caused the locals some small amount of confusion, usually rectified by a frantic pointing to the word “Australia” on the shoulders of our uniforms when quizzed at any length. At this port the shopping started before we arrived. The ship pre-ordered a bunch of ushankas, which are fur hats most unlike those of our own military. Once on, your face becomes lost in a sea of fur—when we sailed out wearing them, the ship looked as if it were crewed by teddy-bears. Beyond this most basic of Russian souvenirs, markets set up on the wharf showered us with touts of ex-army gear, babushka dolls and Soviet-era trinkets. The excitement and exotic nature of this port will haunt our memories just as the musty scent of the ushankas now haunts our lockers… Maizuru- LEUT Kate Tindal After a wild and woolly trip to vladivostok, PARRAMATTA headed for the ancient port of Maizuru, Japan, for what we were hoping was going to be a quieter and more refined visit. Little did we know that the highlight of the trip was here, in this sleepy town. The first night saw a large group of the ship’s company head to our Japanese host ship, JDS AMAGIRI DD154 (which coincidentally shares the same pennant number as PARRAMATTA) for a night of outstanding hospitality. Slabs of sashimi and fresh wok-fried prawns on the flight deck impressed everyone, and liberal amounts of sake were consumed. Other members headed into town, discovering tiny sake bars, and the joys of ordering food with only the aid of charades. The ancient Japanese art of karaoke was mastered by most of the Ship’s Company with the exception of the DWEEO Lieutenant Gary Crawford, who, on approaching the microphone, was greeted with cries of “No Gary, No No Gary”. Regardless this experience provided great amusement to anyone who listened. The next few days saw people venturing further a field to Kyoto, where temples were explored and more shopping was done. Others went to the bright lights of Tokyo and Osaka, but it was in Maizuru that the real fun was to be had… One quiet morning, a small group of adventurers set out to explore the streets of Maizuru. We anticipated, well, not a lot, but what we discovered was a once in a life time experience. Unbeknownst to us, Maizuru is home to the World Brick Museum, an awe-inspiring building, filled with the history, the cultural relevance and the practical applications of, you’ve got it, bricks! There were interactive stations and dioramas illustrating the exact science behind bricks, and their many uses, and we were blown away by the pictorial evidence of how bricks have been utilised in architectural feats. The educational side of the visit was not lacking either, and despite the fact the entire display was in Japanese, we took away an increased knowledge of bricks and how they are made. Our only disappointment was that the souvenir shop did not have t-shirts, and we had to make do with miniature replications of nothing other than bricks. MEDITERANEAN MOORING IN vLADIvOSTOK. HMAS PARAMATTA IS ON THE RIGHT Our port visit to Maizuru was a true taste of the culture, the people and the history of this great and proud land. We experienced amazing hospitality and kindness from the Japanese people, and tasted food like no other, but the real highlight of this trip was our visit to the Brick Museum, and the lasting memories we have taken away about bricks.