Michael Apperley - A great life and a bit of adventure

Running time
1 min 56 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


You would normally do four years on a shore posting and then two years at sea. So you'd go through that sort of cycle. That's reduced a lot. Now there's more sea time, you know, for various reasons, but because they've commercialised a lot of the shore base postings.

So when you went to sea, you could be out there, just what we used to call weekly running, so go out for the week, back in on the weekend, or you could disappear on a six-month deployment. And you know, we would head up to Southeast Asia, or, you know, different parts of the Pacific, and we'd be gone from our home port, which, in my case, was Sydney, for anywhere between four to six months at a time … it was great, you know, just a bit of an adventure at the start, but then you sort of got to work out why we were doing the things that we were doing, and that every day was something different.

And it was, it's a great life while you're single, and then, you know, after that, you have to just sort of try and compromise a little bit, because, you know, when you were single going to sea was all you wanted to do. But after you got married, then, you know, you have to sort of try and get a few shore postings to, you know, spend a bit of time at home …

I got married when I was 20. And, you know, my wife and I just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary just recently. So yeah, she come along the journey with me most of the way. It's pretty good.

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