Monday, 20 July 2015

L'Hermione in Lunenburg - Part 2

To follow up with my Part 1 post on L'Hermione's arrival in Lunenburg, this second post will present detail and rigging photos mostly taken while she was alongside. Unfortunately, the general public was not allowed onboard during her visit to Lunenburg, so I didn't manage to get any of those.

First, L'Hermione's specifications and details in their own words:

Information banner displayed by L'Hermione.

Information banner displayed by L'Hermione.
One of my favourite subjects is the sails and rigging of tall ships. I like to try and compose photos that make some sense of the rat's nest of line and blocks that one sees from a distance. 

Looking up into the rigging as L'Hermione approached Lunenburg.
I often convert these to black and white, at least in part because I usually end up taking these photos on overcast days, but also because I think they lend themselves to black and white. The photo above and the two below can be considered a progression, from wide angle to telephoto, with each subsequent photo zooming in to smaller details. 

The overall rigging in the first image above is simplified into a detail of a furled sail hanging from one of the yard arms, which is further simplified into the image below of the pleats in a furled sail.

I will finish off with some colour images of hull details.


The cannon barrels are all wrapped and sealed to prevent the ingress of water while at sea.

A final shot of L'Hermione alongside at the Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

L'Hermione in Lunenburg - Part 1

L'Hermione is a replica of a French Navy frigate built in 1780, constructed between 1997 and 2014, and currently at the end of her North American tour. After leaving France three months ago, she sailed to the US and has been visiting ports up the eastern seaboard. Lunenburg (arrived July 18) is the only Canadian stop, and she will be leaving on July 19th to head for St. Pierre et Miquelon. 

Due to the shear number of photos I took of her arrival today, I am breaking this blog post into two parts, Part 1 covering her arrival and Part 2 covering detailed photos of the ship from the wharf.

Bluenose II led the way, followed by L'Hermione, HMCS GOOSE BAY, and CCGS Samuel Risley.
We headed out just before 9:00, and after rounding Battery Point outside Lunenburg Harbour we were greeted with the sight of the four ships already on their way in.

Bluenose II leading the way.
Bluenose II had four sails up, and there was enough wind to fill them and heel her slightly to starboard.

With the light winds and unhelpful direction, L'Hermione had her sails partly unfurled for show only, and arrived under power.

L'Hermione with CCGS Samuel Risley in the background.

Lunenburg Harbour isn't terribly big, and with all the private boats moored off the waterfront, space was somewhat limited. CCGS Samuel Risley peeled off early and kept to the Feltzen South side of the bay, while HMCS GOOSE BAY followed L'Hermione in as far as Battery Point before turning around. 

HMCS GOOSE BAY, L'Hermione, and CCGS Samuel Risley.
Lens distortion aside, Bluenose II had her sails hauled in tightly.

Bluenose II continued on past the harbour entrance to allow L'Hermione to enter first, and circled around to follow her in before proceeding to her own wharf.

L'Hermione with the Lunenburg waterfront in the background.

L'Hermione provided a little show of force by firing off cannon on both sides of the ship. Here, I managed to catch a muzzle flash from one of the port cannon. At 11 frames per second, I still managed to miss several of these.

The second of two muzzle flashes that I managed to catch (that were in focus).

Cannon fire complete, L'Hermione is enveloped in smoke.

L'Hermione running along the waterfront.
L'Hermione was greeted by horns from many of the fishing vessels along the waterfront, so much so that the crew was unable to hear commands from the captain and they had to request that the horns be silenced.
L'Hermione pulling up to the Fisheries Museum Wharf.
Unfortunately, L'Hermione was not open to the general public, and I didn't manage to gain access. My next post will therefore feature detailed photos taken from the pier rather than the onboard tour I had been hoping for.

A full gallery of my photos can be found on my Smugmug page.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

HMCS PRESERVER: Jungle Deck and Cargo Handling

Replenishment vessels (AORs in RCN parlance, which stands for Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment) are the quasi-cargo vessels that keep the fleet at sea for extended periods, by providing the necessary fuel, munitions, supplies, and other consumables that Navy vessels require to remain combat capable. In some better funded navies, the fuel and munitions are delegated to different classes of ships, but the RCN can only afford to maintain and man a single small class of such vessels that must combine these functions. 

The first of the RCN's dedicated AOR fleet was HMCS PROVIDER, built in the early 1960s as a one-off design. She was built with three "goal posts" (the single one forward of the bridge was later removed) for transferring fuel and supplies to ships at sea, and also incorporated a helicopter landing deck and hangar for three Sea Kings, which could also be used for transferring supplies at sea through a process known as VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment). PROVIDER served the RCN well for over 30 years (she was my father-in-law's favourite ship), but she did have her shortcomings, notably her open "jungle deck" which made service on the North Atlantic rather unpleasant (hence her transfer to the West Coast for most of her career).

At the end of the 1960's, two more ships were built along the same basic lines of PROVIDER, but with various improvements based on the lessons learned with PROVIDER. A larger bridge superstructure up front, and an enclosed jungle deck were two of the more obvious visual cues. PROTECTEUR and PRESERVER both ended up serving for more than 40 years. 

Which brings me to the subject of this blog post: having covered some of the other internal spaces, I should probably spend some time reviewing their raison d'ĂȘtre, the cargo handling areas within the ship (I will cover the goal posts and other above-deck hardware in a separate post). 

The first area to cover is the "jungle deck" on No. 1 Deck. The largest tenant of the internal volume of the ship is the vast tankage below the jungle deck, used for storing the various bunker and aviation fuels required to keep the fleet underway at sea. The "jungle deck" sits above these tanks, one level below the main deck, and its footprint covers the majority of this tankage. The number of non-tankage internal spaces that go deeper than the jungle deck within the ship are limited to the engine and boiler rooms, a pump room, the various spaces ahead of the jungle deck, and the dry stores hold (aft) and ammunition hold (forward) that are situated in the middle of the tankage area. 

The forward end of the jungle deck, looking to starboard. This space is located under the forward end of the bridge superstructure.
The photo above shows one of the few areas of the jungle deck that runs uninterrupted from the port to starboard sides. This particular space apparently was used as a temporary morgue during the Swissair 111 disaster recovery in 1998. The circular hatch near the centre of the photo is the top of a blackwater tank, with the hatch for JP5 Tank #1 towards the back right of the photo. The hatches are about the only visible indicator in any of my photos of the vast tankage below this area. Fuel tanks and electronics do not mix, so I wasn't offered the change of taking photos down into any of the tanks. 

Whereas PROVIDER's jungle deck was completely open, PRESERVER's access to the open air is limited to these openings which have covers that can be closed when not required to be open:

One of PRESERVER's starboard side jungle deck hatches.
Looking aft in PRESERVER's starboard jungle deck.
A multitude of piping can be seen in the photo above, all necessary to transfer the various fuels up to the hoses of the goal posts, and then on to a receiving ship. Some more tank top hatches can be seen, such as the one on the right of this photo for FFO Tank #3. 

Situated along the centreline of the jungle deck, between the bridge superstructure and hangar, is the dry cargo handling stores, and one deck above that (Main Deck level) is the Holding & Dispersing Area.

Looking aft in the Holding & Dispersing area. Behind the firefighting gear is the ammunition hoist, one of two hoists in the ship. The Stores lift is to the left in the background of the photo. 
The Stores lift on No. 1 Deck, one deck below the photo above. The hatch for No.4 tank (on the starboard jungle deck) can be seen through the hatch to the right of the photo.
Dry stores lift winch on No. 1 Deck. 

Dry stores (looking down the Stores lift).
Dry stores. The green netting presumably keeps everything in the racks when at sea.
I should probably show a photo of PRESERVER's exterior to help people visualize where some of these spaces are.

PRESERVER at anchor. One of her two cranes is deployed over the helo deck, and several jungle deck ports are open below the main deck. At main deck level, one deck above those open ports, the Holding & Dispersing area can be seen along the centreline between the bridge and hangar superstructures.

Bluenose II - First Arrival in Halifax

After an extensive rebuild (e.g. complete reconstruction to new plans), Bluenose II made her first port call to Halifax late this afternoon, and tied up at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Bluenose II passing the light on George's Island.

Though her sails were up, they were slack and the engine was running.

Bluenose II dropping her mainsail.

Bluenose II tying up alongside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic's Chester C class Whim went out to welcome Bluenose II and escort her back to the museum.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Queen Mary 2: Cunard first voyage 175th Anniversary

RMS Queen Mary 2 arrived in Halifax from Liverpool this morning, retracing the voyage of Cunard's first steamer RMS Britannia, 175 years ago. She left this evening, headed for Boston: Theodore Too and Atlantic Oak led her out of the main harbour, while HMCS MONTREAL followed astern and escorted her out to sea.

Shipfax has a good account of her sailpast.

I had another commitment earlier in the evening, and only managed to make it to the waterfront for her final run down the Halifax waterfront and out to sea. Some photos from her visit and sailpast today:

Scheduled for an 0730 arrival, QM2 was already alongside before 0630.
A three shot panorama as she cleared the Svitzer pier. Sometime panoramas are necessary when you just don't have time to put a wider lens on the camera. 


HMCS MONTREAL escorting QM2 out to sea.

A lit up QM2 heading out to sea as the light fails. HMCS MONTREAL is noticeably smaller in this image.
Next stop, Boston!