Phill O'Neill


Sailing the High Seas

Havoc was created in Sydney with rampaging storms, flooding and trees floating through Martin Place train station. Sydney Siders had been enjoying an extended summer until mother nature decided to make her statement. Winter was not coming but indeed here with vengeance. 

The offset of this was 13+ foot swell to start our journey from Sydney. Being a virgin to the open seas I had a strangely familiar feeling of butterflies in my tummy. Fortunately it wasn’t crippling for me like it was for others in our group. Not long after we set sail we discovered our first stop had been affected by the storms and the wharf had been washed away. HMAS Canberra had been condemned to circle work just outside of Syndye Heads waiting further instruction.

After taking nearly a fortnight off trumpet with the flu and posting out of Sydney to HMAS Canberra with what always feels like a life time of briefings I was itching to get back to playing. With us on our way to pick up another 1000 personnel,  trucks, helicopters, tanks and other cool military things (if you’re into that kind of stuff) we’ve had plenty of space and time to get back to playing music. 

Whilst aboard HMAS Canberra we are required to help out with other areas of the ship. Emergency fire fighting teams, scullery, cleaning duties are what we’ve been tasked with this trip.  Each day we run through drills on our fire fighting and other emergency stations Heaven forbid the need arise. Each afternoon we clean our living quarters and rotate ourselves through the scullery. When we arrive at our first destination we are part of the wharf sentry’s team.

So we’re all quite busy but when you don’t have a home to go to there are plenty of hours to keep up with my Clarke studies.

I know this hasn’t been a hugely trumpet related post; I just thought it was important to let you know how things have been on a smiling week aboard HMAS Canberra.

Happy Practicing