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Visit to Naval Base, Devonport


30 members and partners made their way to the Devonport Naval Base on a cool showery morning where they assembled at the main security gate at 10.30am. Here they were screened against their photographic ID prior to the commencement of our tour.

Arriving at the Naval Base

Our tour leader was Warrant Officer Ricky Dirkson, a very experienced and knowledgeable sailor who was ably assisted by a number of junior ratings, all of whom were enthusiastic, bright and very caring of their elderly charges.

Warrant Officer Ricky Dirkson Explaining About HMNZS Taupo

Our tour took us past the largest ship in the fleet HMNZS Canterbury, which is the navy’s amphibious support vessel and was being restocked after its recent return from disaster relief duties in Fiji. We also sighted the diver support vessel HMNZS Manawanui moored opposite. Then on along the wharf where two inshore patrol boats, HMNZS Pukaki and HMNZS Taupo were moored. WO Dickson explained various features of these ships which were in port for maintenance and refit work.

Starting The Tour On HMNZS Taupo

Our party was then split into two and half proceeded onboard Pukaki while the other half were led back around the wharf to another inshore patrol boat HMNZS Hawea where they too were taken onboard.

Second Tour Party Approaches HMNZS Hawea

The onboard tour commenced on the Bridge and control centre for the entire ship and then down onto the lower levels, galleys, messrooms and finally the engine room.

On The Bridge Of HMNZS Hawea

The duty crew at each station explained all the panels and systems and could not have been more helpful. They obviously took a pride in their profession and the opportunity to show off their navy.

Tour Of The Engine Room On Hawea

Naval Base Dry Dock

At the end of the visit, we all found our way to the cafe at the Naval Museum at Torpedo bay, the other end of Devonport. The friendly staff here had reserved a couple of large tables for us and we were able to chat and enjoy a tasty lunch of our choice.

Enjoying Lunch at Torpedo Bay - Devonport

Many thanks to John Hooper for organising such an interesting trip and then sadly missing out due to temporary mobility problems.

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May 2024

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