THE old fishing cliché “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” doesn’t really apply to mad-keen angler and Narooma boy Owen Gauslaa.
That’s because Owen is an AB Electronics Technician in the Royal Australian Navy currently serving on HMAS Stuart, a 109-metre Anzac class frigate.
Over the past week while the ship’s been based at Garden Island naval base at Sydney, he has been taking advantage of his time off on board to do a little fishing off the ship and actually doing very well.
Using soft plastics, the Able Seaman has been catching bream, trevally, flathead and snapper, also losing a tailor.
He has been measuring his catches using his standard issue Navy tape measure so they are all on the record if not on the Navy dinner menu.
The Navy is keen to advertise the great lifestyle you can have while serving your country, and it would not surprise us to see Owen featured in the next campaign – “Join the Navy, Fish the World”!
We’re not sure whether the fishing is going to last much longer for Able Seaman Gauslaa because the ship is soon due to sail out on manoeuvres.
We last featured Owen in the Narooma News during the big International Fleet Review on Sydney Harbour as he is a keen photographer and got some great shots of the fireworks from on board.
This special event back in October 2013 commemorated the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy Fleet into Sydney Harbour.
Narooma, where Owen grew up fishing the inlet and working at the local marina, has quite the tradition and connection to the Navy.
Narooma resident and former president of the Narooma Golf Club, David Shackleton happens to be retired Vice Admiral and former Chief of the Royal Australian Navy.
Other currently serving former Narooma residents include Navy pilot Leut Alistair Auld, who flies a Seahawk helicopter and is based at 816 Squadron at HMAS Albatross at Nowra, while Dean Marchini son of RFS deputy group office Mick Marchini is also in the Navy based in Sydney.
And all of them were at the recent International Fleet Review doing their Navy jobs.
For the record - the HMAS Stuart and the other Anzac class frigates, while not technically built for fishing, are very impressive craft.
According to Wikipedia, each frigate has a 3,600-tonne (3,500-long-ton; 4,000-short-ton) full load displacement.
The ships are 109 metres (358 ft) long at the waterline, and 118 metres (387 ft) long overall, with a beam of 14.8 metres (49 ft), and a full load draught of 4.35 metres (14.3 ft).
A Combined Diesel or Gas (CODOG) propulsion machinery layout is used, with a single, 30,172-horsepower (22,499 kW) General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbine and two 8,840-horsepower (6,590 kW) MTU 12V1163 TB83 diesel engines driving the ships’ two controllable-pitch propellers.
Maximum speed is 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph), and maximum range is over 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph); about 50 per cent greater than other MEKO 200 designs.
The standard ship's company of an Anzac consists of 22 officers and 141 sailors.