Today, July 28, was a busy day in the harbour with both civilian and military shipping activity. Among the arrivals were a US Coast Guard cutter and a Danish frigate.
USCGC Bear WMEC-901 is a Famous class, medium endurance cutter, based in Portsmouth, VA.
The famous previous vessel after which it is named had a Halifax conneciton. The US Revenue cutter Bear was a "wooden wall" built in 1874 as a sail/steam sealer, that served in Alaska for many years.It then worked for Admiral Richard Byrd in Antarctica and for the US Navy in Greenland during World War II. After the war it was acquired by Shaw Steamships of Halifax for use as a sealer. In 1963 "Pop" Shaw sold the ship to a restauranteur from Philadephia. It departed Halifax March 16, 1963 in tow of (the first) Irving Birch but sank 90 miles south of Cape Sable after the tow line parted and the ship wallowed out of control.
The current USCGC Bear, fitted with sophisticated sidescan sonar, located the wreck in 2019 and it has since been confirmed and exensively mapped and photographed from an ROV in 2021. (Sea History Issue 178, Spring 2022 has more detailed information.) Since the wreck is in Canadian territorial waters discussions are underway between Canada and the US on how to protect it.
There were two much larger ships in port today - both in the 140,000 gross tons range, and both in excess of 300 meters in overall length.
First in was the Royal Caribbean Cruises ship Adventure of the Seas with a calculated gross tonnage of 138,193 tons and an overall legth of 311 meters. To cater to its 3,807 passsengers and to operate the ship, there is a crew of 1,185. The ship was built by Kvaerner Masa in Turku, Finland and delivered in late 2001.
On sailing this evening, the ship made an impressive sight even though there were no nearby objects to give a sense of scale.