Friday 18 May 2012

Halifax-class Frigate HMCS TORONTO (FFH 333)

Here the sleek and slender Canadian frigate HMCS TORONTO (FFH 333) is moored along side a sister ship at HMC Docks in Dartmouth NS. In 1996, my son Drew (aka Chief Burkett) spent 6 week on the TORONTO as she sailed from Halifax to Lake Ontario and back, making a number of visits including Port Hope, Port Weller, Hamilton and of course her namesake, Toronto. While passing through the St. Lawrence Seaway, Drew, or rather Chief Burkett (that's him on the Quarterdeck) got permission to allow me to join the ship just below  Iroquois Lock, and travel with the TORONTO as it continued to make her passage through the Lock, the Thousand Islands and into Lake Ontario to Port Hope. Oh YAAA!! c):-D
What an experience that was for me. The Chief gave me a complete tour of his ship, including the engine room and I was on the bridge as the frigate manoeuvred through various narrow channels near Brockville and further up river. And then as we passed Prince Edward County and entered the open waters of Lake Ontario, the Captain opened her up to full speed. What a day that was - spending quality time with my son and fulfilling a dream I always had, sailing on a Canadian navy ship. c):-O
Later in the week, our whole family were guests on the TORONTO this time to view the Toronto International Air Show from out on Lake Ontario. Before we all got to view the main event from an unbelievable sight-line, the Captain and crew demonstrated a variety of manoeuvring features of the frigate including the ability to go from full speed ahead to dead stop in a matter of seconds. COOL!! c):-))
Built at St. John Shipbuilding in St. John, New Brunswick and commissioned into the Canadian Navy in 1993, the 440' Halifax-class TORONTO has a top speed of 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) and her armament consists of Mk 46 torpedoes, Sea Sparrow and Harpoon missiles, Phalanx and machine guns for anti-ship defences and as you can see in the snap of me here, her forward gun is a 57mm Bofors. The TORONTO can also carry a helicopter though there wasn't one on board during my son's St. Lawrence and Great Lakes tour. All in all, my time on HMCS TORONTO was the Thrill of a Lifetime for this boatnerd. Go NAVY!!
Passing Boldt Castle

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