Roos on the quarterdeck

21 Oct

After all Louise’s hard work, I thought it was about time for an entry of my own.  Obviously I have neither the technical know how, nor the permission to write the blog myself, so this will have to go through my editor!

The last two months have been hectic but wonderful.  I think we can say that we are just about settled now; with the ‘big ticket’ items such as car, flat and TV all sorted and we have spent a small fortune on bedding…..  Our shipping arrived this week and so we now have our personal things to make the flat more homely, though apparently there are one or two books that need to find a home now – I think that Kindle will be the best thing Louise ever buys me!

I have been away all this week so poor Louise had to do the unpacking of 70 boxes of shipping (pulling a guilty face!) alone while I have been learning how to fight fires, plug leaks and survive gas attacks.  I have also been enjoying the wonderful surroundings down here in Jervis Bay, three hours drive south from Sydney where the Navy’s fire fighting school is located.  The base here has to be one of the most beautiful military establishments I have EVER been to.  Not only is the fire fighting school here but HMAS CRESWELL is also where new naval officers come to do their basic training, the RAN equivalent to Dartmouth.  The college is located in a natural park, surrounded by leafy woods and perched on a stunning white sanded beach, there are also kangaroos every where – brilliant (except for the droppings!).  Each day after class I have been on the beach on a borrowed Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) – awesome fun and my ‘new’ thing, I just need to get permission to buy my own board…..

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Work wise things have also been pretty good, though I have been frustrated by certain administrative issues but I guess you get that everywhere.  I have been working at HMAS Watson (probably the second most beautiful base I have ever seen!) where I have had the time and opportunity to get acquainted with what I need to know to do my job as a PWO.  I join HMAS NEWCASTLE (a ship) at the end of November and am pretty excited about that.  As luck would have it I know one of the other PWOs on board NEWCASTLE, as he is the RN exchange officer.  A real bonus for me as it is always good to join a Ship knowing a friendly face, but in this case Nick will understand what a Pom turned Aussie naval officer will need to know.  He has been on his own for the last year so I think he will also be glad to see me.  The Ship’s programme is pretty good, not the pacific deployment that I thought I had been getting, but a shorter period away and close enough for Louise to visit (Perth) next Easter.  As an aside I have signed up for a Post Graduate Diploma in Management and Strategy via distance learning at the University of New South Wales.  I start the course next March, which may seem that I am bitting off a little bit more than I can chew, but actually it is rather expected that officers get post grad qualifications over here (how different to the RN!) and it is a prerequisite if I want to get promoted to Commander (which I do) and it is free, so all in all I am pretty chuffed with this news.

Well I will halt here.  More to come in due course.

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