Wednesday, 21 October 2015

HMCS SACKVILLE - Return to Dockyard 2015

Every year, HMCS SACKVILLE - the last Flower class corvette remaining from the hundreds that were built during the Second World War - spends the summer (June to October) on the Halifax Waterfront near the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, where she is open to the public. During the remainder of the year, however, she berths in the more sheltered HMC Dockyard where a closer eye can be kept on her. It is hoped that sometime in the near future she will find a home in the proposed Battle of Atlantic Place, but until then will continue to make her annual pilgrimage back to Dockyard.

As a fairly recent trustee of the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, this was my second year to tag along on this short trip.

SACKVILLE on her last morning on the waterfront.
Arriving on board before 9:30, I got to see all the preparations before the tugs arrived. 

The rails on the brow (gangway) are struck so that it can be hoisted and swiveled alongside.
Lines have to be readied to be slipped before SACKVILLE can leave the pier.
This year, sailors were shanghaied from several ships for the morning to handle the lines and help take SACKVILLE back.

A flag hoist is readied to indicate which Dockyard jetty SACKVILLE is headed to.

The 4" main gun reflects in a pool of water.
SACKVILLE's one remaining boiler and triple expansion steam engine have not seen service since the 1970s, and at any rate, her propeller has been removed. She therefore relies on two Navy tugs for motive power, typically one Pup (Ville class) forward and one larger Glen class at the stern. 

The smaller Pup, in this case Granville, can slide her way between SACKVILLE and the next pier.
Crewmember on Granville throwing a line up to SACKVILLE.

The larger Glenevis arriving.

Sailors handling a line from Glenevis.

Recovery of the brow.

SACKVILLE's Captain, Jim Reddy, watching all the preparations from the bridge.
Once all the preparations were complete and SACKVILLE was judged ready to go, the lines to the pier were slipped and Glenevis and Granville took up strain on their tow lines. Under their guidance, SACKVILLE backed out into the harbour, turned 90 degrees, and briefly headed south before reversing course and heading up the harbour.

Once the last line was slipped, the flag hoist went up the mast.
Flag hoist.

The view from the bridge as SACKVILLE backed out into the harbour.
With her bow headed in the right direction, SACKVILLE starts to move north.

While underway, a Navy pilot guides SACKVILLE back to the Dockyard, by radioing commands to the two tugs.

Panorama from SACKVILLE's bridge of the Halifax waterfront.
SACKVILLE's winter berth is near the south end of the Dockyard, not too far from the casino. We rounded the bow of HMCS FREDERICTON as we approached the jetty.


Once alongside the the first line from the jetty on board, the flag hoist came down once again.

Sailors were once again busy handling lines to tie SACKVILLE up alongside.

Rope being paid out to the jetty.

Granville remained alongside keeping SACKVILLE against the jetty until enough lines were fixed.

SACKVILLE's ensign flies in front of her new neighbours.
HMCS MONCTON, with FREDERICTON aft (background, left).
SACKVILLE's own gangway isn't used in the Dockyard, exchanged instead for this brow and stand.

As I left, sailors were still fixing lines to the jetty.
Keeping a 74 year old warship afloat is no simple task, and various maintenance activities will occur during the off-season while SACKVILLE rests in the Dockyard. SACKVILLE will return to the Halifax waterfront in 2016.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Nocturne 2015

I have meant for years to head over to Halifax for Nocturne (art at night), but in previous years I never managed. This year, after being spurred on by a friend, I finally made it. It had begun to rain around opening time at 6:00, but by the time we arrived at 8:30 it had stopped and did not start again. With no hope of seeing all the various exhibits, we started at Pier 21 and then headed north to see as many as we could. 

A lot of the art exhibited at Nocturne has a performance aspect, and still photography can not fully convey the experience, but it is still fun to get out and experiment. Where applicable, I will label the photos with the site numbers that appear in the Nocturne Exibit Map on their website.

Site 307: Sun Ship Machine Gun (Metallurgy I) at Fort Massey United Church. A movie was set to music. I would have liked to stay longer, but needed to keep moving.

Site 206: Nocturne at Pier 21. Two projectors lit up the elevated pedway with looped animations.

Pier 21: These chairs are showing signs of the rain earlier in the evening.
The statue of Samuel Cunard in the seaport.
Site 212: Nocturnes on Silk on the former helipad near Bishop's Landing. 
Site 212: Nocturnes on Silk. Artist Holly Carr and pianist Jennifer King partnered for this live art display.
Site 209: Sculpture Nova Scotia displayed in the parking lot at the foot of Salter Street all week preparing this and other sculptures. This particular piece is by Mark Herrington from Maine.
I would be remiss if I didn't throw in a photo of HMCS SACKVILLE lit up. Lens flare can be so annoying!
Site 106: Argyle Fine Art showcased artwork by Jan Davison and Kim Danio.
Site 300: The ferris wheel on Citadel Hill. The view must have been astounding, but the lineup was reportedly a one-and-a-half hour wait. We passed.
Site 300: Possibly due to the high demand, the ferris wheel stopped to load every car, so it was never moving for very long. It was a challenge to capture the wheel spinning in a long exposure, even some that were 25 seconds long. After several attempts, and with careful timing, I managed it with this 5 second exposure.
A light inside the Halifax Public Gardens lights up this spider's web on the exterior fence.
In the car on the way home, I tried some of my own "Art at Night". I think these were the lights approaching the tolls of the MacKay Bridge. 
That's it for my images of Nocturne 2015. Here's hoping I manage to make it out in 2016!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Cruise Ships and Cargo Vessel Traffic - October 7 - 14

Photos of some of the shipping traffic in Halifax Harbour this past week. First, some of the cruise ships:

Caribbean Princess approaching Pier 21.
Theodore Too and Saga Sapphire.
Saga Sapphire nosed in towards the terminal first, before turning away again.
Saga Sapphire eventually backed into Halterm.
And the cargo ships:

Zim Texas. Container ships approaching Piers B & C in the south end container terminal often back into the pier with the help of tugs.
Zim Savannah doing the same thing under grey skies.
CSL Argosy
ACL's Atlantic Conveyor. ACL has new ships ordered, and has started to scrap Atlantic Conveyor's sisterships. 

Friday, 9 October 2015

HMCS FREDERICTON in the harbour

This is a series of photos taken this week of HMCS FREDERICTON underway in the harbour. She has been underway, in and out of the harbour, for most of the week - presumably on workups.