Generally i was pretty happy with fleet week, for a first event. The ship selection could have been better, and it would have been better if the week, was actually a week, and not just 4 days.
The American Ship had a not so long line, that took forever to get through, and some signage indicating it was the line for the US Ship only would have been Helpful. (also there was no shade, and the line looked to be around waste containers, and a transformer vent made part of the line quite loud.
Beyond that, Freddy was disorganized, and the Moncton’s gang plank was way to steep.
HMCS Margaret Brooke was open for public tours today as part of Halifax Fleet Week. This marks the first public tours of an AOPS in Canada (HMCS Harry Dewolf was open to the public in Boston earlier this year.)
I have to say, she is a very nice ship, and it seems lessons from the Asterix were incorporated in the design of this ship.
With the first ever fleet week taking place later this week, we have some updates. Yesterday saw the arrival of HMS Portland to the dockyard. USS Porter is due tomorrow.
The Halifax Fleet week tour schedule has been Released, with ships open 9-4 Friday and Saturday. Note that HMS Portland is currently scheduled to only be open Friday. Access to the dockyard is via HMCS Scotian, next to the Casino
HMCS Fredericton @ Tall Ships Quay. HMCS Moncton @ Sackville Landing HMCS Glace Bay @ Alderney Landing USS Porter @ HMC Dockyard HMS Portland @ HMC Dockyard HMCS Margaret Brooke @ HMC Dockyard.
I suspect there will be more then 2 foreign vessels participating in the Cutlass Fury exercise, as the original release indicated French and German vessels, as well as USS James E. Williams. If the Tour list is expanded, I will keep this post updated.
Sunday Noon to 1300 is the Sail Past as the ships head out for Cutlass Fury.
UPDATE: Additional Cutlass Fury arrivals Friday morning 0830-0900 at Pilot station: Destroyer USS James E Williams and Supply ship USNS William Mclean, both heading for the dockyard. An unnamed USN nuclear submarine is also due for shearwater.
the USNS William Mclean (Above) is a Lewis and Clark dry supply ship, and is named after the Navy Physicist who developed the sidewinder missile.
The exercise will conclude on the 22nd, and some ships will return to Halifax then.
Yesterday it was announced that the first Halifax Fleet week would be taking place Sept 7-10, coinciding with the biannual Cutlass Fury Exercise.
The week will feature a number of ships open to the public on Friday and Saturday Including an AOPS, HMCS Margaret Brooke as well as Naval vessels from the US (USS Porter and USS James E. Williams both Arleigh Burke Class Destroyers), UK, France and Germany.
The event will end on Sunday at noon with a Parade out to sea to mark the start of the Exercise.
More Details can be found at hfxfleetweek.ca
** why does the fleet week logo use a Battle Ship? UPDATE: I spotted this Amazing Fleet week patch on IG. so much better.
The dockyard saw two visiting vessels this week. The FS Garonne is the 4th and Final Loire Class BSAM vessel. They are designed to support divers and submarines, and also server a towing and supply role. the first vessel of the class, FS Rhone also visited halifax in 2018
the second visitor is USCGC Forward. the ship is a famous class cutter, commissioned in 1990. Homeported in Portsmouth VA, the type is a frequent visitor to Halifax, though the Forwards first visit (since 2008)
Both Vessels are likly taking part in Op Nannook, the Canadian forces annual arctic exercises. HMCS Harry DeWolf was noticed earlier at the ammunition jetty. FS Garonne Moved to anchor in the Bedford Basin, and is scheduled to sail Wednesday morning, with USCGC Forward.
The General cargo ship Pijlgracht arrived on the 25th from jacksonville Fl and tied up at pier 9. The next day, the ship discharged a shrinkwrapped cargo directly onto a barge. What made this operation Unique, is that the barge belonged to the Navy, and was handled by naval tugs.
The ship is now owned by Spliethoff. It was built in 2011 as Beluga Progression. when Beluga failed, it became HHL Lagos. Spliethoff bough Hansa Heavy Lift in 2021, and the ship took its current name.
Pijlgracht moved to anchorage in the Basin, where it remains. I have been told the cargo that was unloaded is a sonar array.
One one submarine based in Halifax is out of the water again for a work period. HMCS Windsor has been up on the Synchrolift for the past couple of weeks. The Shed behind the synchrolift is specifically designed to accommodate a submarine, so its unclear why the boat is not inside. This might suggest minor maintenance, rather then something more serious.
The French Marine National patrol vessel Fulmar put into port yesterday for a visit. The ship is the French Naval presence in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. The ship is a regualr visitor to Halifax, Usually tieing up at Tall Ships Quay next to Nova Scotia Power.
AOPS #4, the future HMCS William Hall was moved onto the boa barge 37 today, and ready for its impending launch. the barge will be towed to the Basin, where it will be slowly submerged, until the William Hall floats off.
After launching, the ship will be moved along side Pier 7 at the ship yard for completion.