Sunday 10 November 2013


The daylight saving requirement to turn back the clocks by hour arrived once again last Sunday morning, but despite the shortness of light and a daytime high of only 3.5C, my brave and faithful dog, Tanner and I made the best of a beautiful fall day along the St. Lawrence searching for new potential 'Carlz Boats' posts. We lucked out. At Brockville I snapped the oil tanker ALGOEAST as she effortlessly glided by upbound and then soon after, the tug W.N. TWOLAN pushing two grain barges lashed side by each continued to make her way towards Lake Ontario. Further downstream, I got a few good snaps of the laker-saltie CEDARGLEN transiting Iroquois Lock but the treasure of the day was what caught my eye in the distance, a red hulled vessel that didn't show up on any of my usual ship-search websites. Kind of 'off everyone's radar' or 'only those who needed to know', knew of her intentions and whereabouts. But as she got closer I began to realize the reason for the 'cloak & dagger' movement of the mystery vessel. It was the Canadian Coast Guard Hero-class patrol ship, CAPORAL KAEBLE VC.

CAPORAL KAEBLE VC is one of four Hero-class patrol vessels that are used in a joint program with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to enhance maritime security along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system. A total of nine ship of this class were built at Halifax Shipyards and the KAEBLE, was launched in 2012. Each are 140'x23.3', and have a top speed of 25 knots or 46k/h. They also have a combined crew of 14 (8 CCG+6 RCMP or Fisheries) personnel and each can launch or retrieve rigid-hull inflatable boats while in motion. CAPORAL (French for 'Corporal) KAEBLE VC is the second of the nine mid-shore patrol vessels that are being named after RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard, Department of Fisheries & Oceans and Canadian Forces personnel who are credited with performing exceptional or heroic acts during their service.
This sleek and impressive looking ship is named after Joseph Thomas Kaeble who near Arras, France, with the 22nd (French Canadian) Battalion in 1918, and being the only one of his section unwounded, leapt from the trenches with his machine gun and single-handedly repulsed some 50 attacking Germans. He was fatally wounded and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, which is the highest and most prestigious award given in the British Commonwealth for gallantry in the face of the enemy. It indeed was a proud moment to photograph myself next to a bust of Caporal Kaeble at the Valiants Memorial at Confederation Square in Ottawa. He truly, 'Stood On Guard For Us'. Where would be be today without brave service people like Joseph Thomas Kaeble. Tomorrow, November 11, is Rememberance Day here in Canada, the day that not only marks the end of First World War but also a day for everyone to take moment and remember those Men and Women, Moms and Dads, Aunts and Uncles, Sisters and Brothers, Cousins or just Friends, who put their lives on line for the freedom we have today in conflicts before WWI and since.

So as the CAPORAL KAEBLE VC  gracefully started picking up speed to help get her a little closer to her next destination in Hamilton, Ontario, I will remember her not for just her impressive look and unique task, but also because of this ship's namesake 'Joseph Thomas Kaeble', a True Canadian Hero!  'Lest We Forget'.

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