This week the world’s naval ships will be invading the place we used to camp with our kids.
Our memories of camping at lovely Greenpatch on Jervis Bay, a couple of hours’ drive south of Sydney, include wallabies sniffing around the tent at night and dozens of king parrots and rosellas dropping out of the trees to perch on the arms and heads of kids, standing like nervous statues with their hands full of birdseed.
For understandable reasons, feeding wildlife is now forbidden. There’s still plenty of it about and even on a fine day in a school holiday period the beaches were far from crowded.
The International Fleet Review brings naval ships from around the world into Sydney Harbour from October 3-11, celebrating the centenary of the entry of the Australian Navy to Sydney Harbour. As a preview, they gathered off the naval base in Jervis Bay.
It seems incongruous to look out from such a peaceful spot to see machines designed for efficient mass destruction cruising the quiet waters. But as long as they keep their fingers off the red ‘fire’ buttons, I don’t mind too much.
The event in Sydney Harbour should be quite a party too. Prince Harry will be there, anyway.