North of Eden Gin and the crew members of HMAS Supply II have together raised $1800 to go directly towards the Eden Whale Festival.
The money was raised through the sale of a tailor made gin for the crew by the multi-award winning micro distillery North of Eden.
For every bottle sold to the crew on board, an additional $2 was contributed towards the ship's charity efforts.
The crew raised over $9000 for a number of charities, including the Sir David Martin Foundation for troubled youth in the Illawarra. They allocated $900 to go directly towards the Eden Whale Festival.
Operating commercially just outside Bega since January 2019, distillers Gavin Hughes and partner Karen Touchie vowed to match the money raised and so contributed another $900 to go towards the festival.
"The Commissioning Gin I designed for them was one that I had been working on for some time and it's an oyster shell gin," said Mr Hughes.
Notes of saltbush and citrus also feature in the true London Dry gin, created in a 100-litre copper alembic still.
Mr Hughes said the plan was always to relaunch the gin under their own label once they had carried out the commissioning. However the gin bottles have continued to carry the gin pennant on one side of the label to denote the company's connection with HMAS Supply II.
"The gin pennant has a little green and white flag with a green martini glass in it," he said.
Supply II Captain Ben Hissink said that after the Black Summer bushfires the crew wanted to find a way to give back to the Bega Valley community and support local businesses.
It was then when they got in contact with the gin makers to commission a bespoke bottle they could use to help raise funds for Eden - the ship's ceremonial home port.
"The crew selected the bespoke oyster shell gin for our commissioning, inspired by the Sapphire Coast and NSW Oyster Coast Trail," Captain Hissink said.
The label of the bespoke gin featured the ship's shield design created by South Coast Indigenous artists Alison Simpson and Joseph Stewart and featured legendary orca 'Old Tom', who became the ship's mascot.
Mr Hughes from North of Eden said he hoped the money would help the festival directors put on a bigger and better event in October this year.
The decision to put the money towards the Eden Whale Festival was made by Captain Hissink, but Mr Hughes said it was really great to be part of an effort towards raising funds for South Coast events after two years of cancellations.
"We haven't had the chance to get along to the festival, we wanted to go last year but it was cancelled, so we will absolutely get there this year," said Mr Hughes.
"I think it's great we've got so many great events that are now starting to happen across the Sapphire Coast and if we can assist in any of those things and support them then we're definitely up for that," he said.
President of the Eden Whale Festival Mick Sawers said the organising committee of the Eden Whale Festival was very grateful for the support.
"On behalf of the festival we would like to say a huge thank you to HMAS Supply II and Captain Ben Hissink for their generous donation towards the running of the festival.
"Donations like this make it possible for the festival to go ahead, so we are very appreciative of the support," he said.