Saturday, October 5, 2019

Saturday Round Up

Saturday began and ended (for me) with the arrival adn departure of MSC Meraviglia, the giant lead ship of MSC Cruises Vista Project class. The 171,589 grt behemoth can carry 4,500 passengers and 1,536 crew stacked in 15 decks.

Built in 2017 by Chantier de l'Atlantique in St-Nazaire, it lacks the grace and distinction of other big ships, granted it is a full 25,000 grt or so larger than, for example, Queen Mary 2.

It tied up at pier 21-22, turning and backing in unaided,  leaving just enough room for Viking Sun at pier 20.

On departure a bit of low level light improved the looks somewhat as the ship sailed for New York.

Saturday provided a bit of a break in traffic along the waterfront allowing a quick snap of HMCS Moncton MM 708 in its commemorative paint scheme. 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of the declarations that began World War II. As in World War I navies tried a variety of camouflage schemes to make ships difficult to target at sea. Much thought, experiment and even science went into developing the schemes, which had mixed results at best. Often called dazzle, they were intended to confuse the human eye from a distance, particularly naval gunnery and U-boats.
The Battle of the Atlantic, the longest running campaign of the war waged right through to the end, with extremely heavy losses on all sides. The advent of radar may have meant the end of camo for ships as a defensive mechanism.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the battle of the Atlantic in 2020, Moncton, on the east coast and HMCS Regina on the west coast will wear what is correctly termed Admiralty disruptive pattern paint scheme for about a year. They will participate in several events in 2020, as wide spread as the Great Lakes and Hawaii. (Disruptive paint schemes would be inherently different for Atlantic and Pacific deployments due to differences in atmospherics and thus the colour of the seas. It will be interesting to see if that is the case with the current commemoration.)

Many of my photos are taken from a position not far from the location of the wartime Halifax Harbour gates, and within sight and sound of some of those losses.

The English language portion of one of several memorial plaques in Halifax.

Preparations are underway to start sea trials for the next new ship to join the RCN. AOPS 1 (Harry DeWolf) is expected to leave Halifax Shipyard mid-month to make way for the "launch" of the AOPS 2 (Margaret Brooke). That ship will be transferred to the semi-submersible Boa Barge 37, floated off in Bedford Basin and returned to the shipyard for fitting out.

AOPS 1 in the water, and AOPS 2 almost ready to take its place.

In Bedford Basin it appears that the bulk carrier Bulk Newport may be getting a hull cleaning below the waterline. The diving tender Lady Georgina could be seen in the area of the ship this morning.
With its hatches cracked open, the ship appears to be getting an inside cleaning too.

On the Dartmouth side of the Basin, I can now acknowledge that my recent comment about Hydra Mariner (ex Cape Mira, Geo. T. Davie, 1963) was incorrect (based on info received on the internet). The old side trawler is still at anchor in the same spot in Navy Island Cove that it has occupied for ten years. One of several side trawlers languishing in backwaters of Nova Scotia, it has not been abandoned however, so is likely to be there for some time yet. As I stated in my September 27 post:
 there are few reminders of Halifax's history as a fishing port, this vessel is one, but is well hidden.


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