Eden was treated to a sneak preview of a tall ship reunion not seen in Australia since 1988 when four vessels from yesteryear called into port this week.
The fleet are part of a huge maritime gathering in Sydney to celebrate the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) centenary in Australia.
Today (Thursday) they will join a dozen more tall ships, 40 war ships and 8000 personnel who have been gathering in and around Jervis Bay for the RAN Fleet Review.
The tall ships are expected to enter Sydney harbour as a group at 11am today.
Australian tall ships, the Lord Nelson and the Soren Larson are unique in that they are specially equipped to be sailed by people with physical and sensory disabilities.
They were joined in Eden by Tasmanian tall ships the Lady Nelson the Windeward Bound.
A rough crossing of the Bass Strait took its toll on the smallest of the fleet, the Lady Nelson, who called Marine Rescue for assistance from Disaster Bay at about 6.30am on Sunday.
Captain of 15 years Allen Rust said the engine began spluttering near Gabo Island and investigations of the fuel system had been unsuccessful.
“The engine had mostly given way and the wind wasn’t favourable to sail to Eden,” he said.
Cue Eden Water police Sergeant Steven Judd and Senior Constable Scott McRae, also a qualified motor mechanic.
SC McRae boarded the Lady Nelson and fixed a blocked fuel valve, giving it a much needed extra few knots of speed.
Sgt Judd said the crew, mostly volunteers, had done all they could.
“A fuel blockage caused their engine to fail, and with the prevailing wind and weather forecast it (was) likely that the "Lady Nelson" wouldn't have made it to Sydney on time for the fleet review without the use of her engine,” he said.
“They had been through a night of very severe weather, and the actual problem was something a bit out of the box so to speak.
“They tried to bleed the fuel line, they changed filters, did everything they could.
“The crew on board did a really good job in the circumstances.”
The war ships will make their spectacular entrance on Friday, October 4 – exactly 100 years after the RAN first came to Australia.
They represent countries including Britain, Malaysia, New Zealand and have been conducting exercises on Jervis Bay all week.
The review includes a visit from British royal, Prince Harry, open days, sailing trips, a march through Sydney and fireworks.
Check out our Tall Ship photo gallery online edenmagnet.com.au
Tall ship discount for Eden Magnet readers: See page 2.