Friday, December 1, 2023

Naval Manoeuvres - UPDATED

 Today (December 1) there was some non-typical naval activity in the harbour. The HMS Kent F78 sailed after a short courtesy visit, after arriving on November 27, and tying up at Jetty B. It backed out into the stream and turned with the assistance of the civilian tug Atlantic Willow, and made for sea.

A type 23 Duke class frigate, it was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders and commissioned in 2000. While in port its AIS signal sometimes identified it as HMS Dauntless and once out to sea this morning it morphed into HMS Daring. It is certainly a revolutionary development in naval technology when frigates can be turned into destroyers by satellite.

 Update HMS Kent is due back in Halifax tomorrow (December 2) with possible mechanical issues.


 Once the Kent was clear Canada's Naval Memorial the Sackville left its summer berth at Sackville Landing, and returned to HMC Dockyard for the winter. It was under the control of navy tugs, and the pup tug Merrickville retrieved pneumatic fenders for redeployment at its winter berth.

While at HMC Dockyard, the Sackville will undergo routine maintenance. It is due to return to Sackville Landing and re-open to the public in May.

Named for the town of Sackville, New Brunswick, the vessel's summer berth in Halifax is coincidentally near the foot of Sackville Street. Both are named for a British soldier and politician of dubious repute, the First Viscount Sackville (once Major-General) George Germain (1716-17850. The main tributory river to Halifax Harbour is the Sackville River, which flows through the communities of Upper, Middle and Lower Sackville. Near the river's mouth in Bedford Basin, was Fort Sackville, built in 1749 to protect the settlement of Halifax, founded the same year. It was used as a base for many military operations against the indigenous Mi'kmaq population and later during the American Revolution. 

Sackville, the man, was widely vilified for the the loss of the Thirteen Colonies due to his bungling as Secretary of State for the American Department. He had previously been court martialed and discharged from the miltary for life, for his refusal to obey orders in the Battle of Minden in 1759, but he continued to interfere in miltary matters when in Lord North's cabinet, 1775-1782. Largely forgotten by history, his name, at least, lives on in Nova Scotia. (The town of Sackville, NB was amalgamated into the newly formed town of Tantramar in 2023, but the name is still used by the community.) 


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