Friday, 13 March 2015

RCN Arrivals in Halifax

I managed to time my ferry ride this morning to coincide with the arrivals of HMCS HALIFAX (FFH 330) and HMCS ATHABASKAN (DDG 282). HMCS MONTREAL (FFH 336) also returned today, but I didn't see her. The latter two were on exercises, while the former was returning from sea trials for the new (and interim) CH-148 Cyclone helicopter. HALIFAX also visited St. John's during her trip.

HMCS HALIFAX (FFH 330) returning from sea trials.
HALIFAX's return also coincided with just the right angle from the rising sun, which provided nice warm lighting. It being -13 this morning, she is displaying some icing, and the remains of her bow wave can be seen from the lack of ice buildup on her waterline at the bow.

HMCS HALIFAX against the Halifax waterfront skyline.
According to a tweet by Rear Admiral John Newton this past week, HALIFAX has been "conducting launch and recovery trials [of the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter] in increasingly heavy weather. Storm chasing!" Roughly 50 years ago, it was HMCS ASSINIBOINE that was carrying out similar trials with the then-new CH-124 Sea King.

The CH-148 Cyclone is still folded up from storage in the hangar, which is open here.
HALIFAX went alongside in the Dockyard, then apparently headed over to Shearwater, and was being cold moved back from Shearwater by two tugs this afternoon. Hopefully the Cyclone didn't have to be craned off!

HMCS ATHABASKAN (DDG 282) reappears in a puff of smoke. Well, more of a cloud. Photographing over water is frequently subjected to distortion and image degradation, which is the case here when the image is magnified (which I haven't done here). I'm more used to seeing this from heat haze, but at -13 it can happen too.
ATHABASKAN was producing a considerable amount of smoke the entire time that I observed her, and she apparently continued once in the Bedford Basin where she went for a while before returning to the Dockyard. Normally one only sees this much smoke upon startup of one of the engines, and the smoke dies down once the engine in question warms up.

HMCS ATHABASKAN proceeding into the Narrows.
Once engines are warmed up, all you normally see is light emissions and a heat haze from the funnel (see first image of HALIFAX above), so this suggests some sort of malfunction in the engineering plant on board.

IROQUOIS was also receiving some nice lighting this morning while alongside.

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