Gary Oakley - Sea time and training
Some of us in my class, of all the classes that came out of Leeuwin with me, some of those guys went to the Vendetta. Vendetta took over the gunline I think when either the Perth or Hobart got shot up and so they did gunline stuff. But Sydney was also a training ship, so it was chock full of bloody ordinary seamen.
I mean, there was at one stage when I was on, there was about 60 odd of us because after you left Leeuwin you had to do at least a minimum of six months sea time to get all that seamanship stuff sorted out, like, you know, you had to be on the helm and you had to do look out and you had to do boat stuff.
So that was the way the Navy trained its young recruits, it's junior recruits, six months sea time. And that was the problem too, because as an electrician, the electrical course lasted longer than most other courses. So, if you got on the Sydney and your course didn't start until next year, you were on the Sydney until your course started.
Some guys were on there I know for three or four weeks did the Sydney and they were gone and they were back as rated sailors before you’d even left because they'd gone to the seamanship course, which might be two months long, or whatever somewhere else.