OK, just so we're on the same page with this Australian naval sex contest, I will do my absolute best to refrain from using the following terms: "down under," "seamen" and "coxswain." Thank you for your understanding.
Female sailors on the HMAS (Her Majesty's Australian Ship) Success (aptly named, one would guess) became quite concerned regarding the existence of tome called "The Ledger" that detailed the alleged sexual conquests of the sailors in question as well as the dollar value (more for officers and suspected lesbians) of said conquests. Additional challenges included the location of the sex act (no, not like the poop deck, Nigel).
The ship's captain, clearly a stern but fair man, interviewed the alleged keepers of "The Ledger" and began disciplinary action by sending the lot of them back to Australia as the Success was on maneuvers off of South East Asia. Sexual harassment (as well as other non-gender-related forms of harassment) is strictly forbidden in the Aussie Navy and violation of this code of conduct is dealt with firmly (so says the ministry of Defence). If guilty of sexual harassment, the offending sailors not only let down the captain, the female sailors, the 220-some odd crew members, the Navy but also the great nation of Australia.
Obviously, this is not the first scheme of this nature. If my knowledge of fraternity films is up to snuff, then this idea is less thannovel. Can you chalk this up to "boys will be boys?" Maybe. But I do know (not first hand, of course) that being out to sea ("on a cruise" in the naval parlance) is an exercise in tedium. Cleaning things, checking things and re-cleaning and re-checking those things can get pretty monotonous. Playing Pinochle, thumbing through Spunk, reading the collected works of Nevil Shute and even watching McLeod's Daughters (and don't get me started on vegemite) can get really, really boring. On top of that, even the meager salary of a junior enlisted fellow adds up quickly with nowhere to spend it, hence gambling and going bananas on shore leave. Read: Sexy Ladies Make Men Spend Money
Per a buddy in the US Navy, the same sorts of shenanigans happen on US ships. For instance, after 45 consecutive days a-sea, the ship gives each crewmember exactly two beers. Teetotalers are able to sell their allotment of beer for upwards of $50 apiece. It's like being on a Vegas hot-streak for five hours: monetary value loses all meaning without perspective.
In the old yar days, crews were exclusively male and turned to rum consumption, scatological humor and buggery to pass the time. Is "The Ledger" progress? Nah. Is it sophomoric? Sure. Is it in any way, shape or form unexpected? Nay. Would this thing have happened on the HMS Pinafore? Not by a long shot.
Just keep in mind that it's not the size of the ship but the motion of the ocean.