In the navy, Danielle sails the seven seas
DRIVING a warship through the Suez Canal is an amazing way to spend a 22nd birthday.
For Grafton woman and Acting Sub-Lieutenant Danielle Cole that experience is the ordinary.
Danielle joined the navy after high school and has experienced more than most people would in their lives.
"It can be very surreal at times when you see only water for days or even weeks on end," Danielle said.
She even had the honour of being present at Gallipoli during this year's Anzac Day centenary.
"To be a part of this deployment is an honour," she said. "Every commemorative day we have as a nation is special, but being able to re-trace the journey the original Anzacs took is extraordinary."
Danielle's position is the HMAS Anzac Maritime Warfare Officer.
"The job requires me to run the program of the ship on a daily basis as the Commanding Officer's representative on the bridge of the ship," she said.
"This can involve launching or recovery of helicopters, boat operations or weapons firings as well as the execution of the ship's navigation plan."
One of the most difficult parts for Danielle is being away from home, which can sometimes be six months at a time.
"The worst part is being away from the ones you love, whether it is one week or 6 months you always dread saying goodbye."