HYAMS Beach residents certainly had some of the best views of the many naval ships anchored in Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney.
Graham Stone, whose home overlooks the pristine waters of the bay, spent many hours on his elevated viewing deck watching the ships come and go.
“It’s been pretty spectacular,” said Mr Stone, who retired to the area about 12 months ago with his wife Sharon.
“We have been visiting this area for a long time.
My mother Alice, whose home is in front of ours - right on the water, has lived here for 50 years.
“We’ve always loved Hyams and that’s why we decided to move here.
“The navy ships coming and going over the past few days have been pretty spectacular.
“But I don’t think there were as many as were here during another operation about 30 years ago.”
The couple’s son also managed to capture a photograph on Tuesday afternoon of a whale breaching in front of one of the warships.
“It’s been good, but the ships moved more over towards Creswell, they were closer to the shore on Sunday.”
Fellow resident Peter Rose, who has lived in the village for 20 years, said it had been interesting to watch the ships come and go.
“We have just been able to sit and watch the ships come and go,” he said.
“Unfortunately there are a couple of ships that haven’t made it in – the Russians and Canadians, but what has come in has certainly been spectacular.
“They were much closer in to Hyams on Sunday.”
A number of people visited the village to look at the ships with regular buses operating in and out from Vincentia High School.
“It hasn’t impacted on us at all,” Mr Rose said.
“It’s a pretty place and the visit just highlighted that.”
The Hyams Beach Village Association also took advantage of the extra visitors to the area, staging a sausage sizzle and the raised funds will be used to put more infrastructure into the village, like barbecue tables and outdoor showers.
Bendalong couple Margaret and Col Gladman brought their grandsons Matthew Kerry-Vanlook and Thomas Weekes to Hyams Beach to witness the anchored fleet.
Both youngsters enjoyed the visit, although their opinions did vary over a favourite ship.
“I like the biggest one,” Thomas said, while Matthew liked one of the tall ships.
“The one with the big masts,” he said.
“It’s been good to be able to see the ships,” Thomas said.
The couple said it was a good opportunity for their grandsons to experience the visit.
“I think it’s good for the boys to see it,” Mrs Gladman said.
“The last time we saw something like this was when the tall ships were in,” Mr Gladman said.