I sailed this summer in RRS Ernest Shackleton as Assistant Ice Navigator during her escort of MV Crystal Serenity during that ship’s historic transit of the Northwest Passage. Shackleton is a “Type A” icebreaker under Canadian rules that is usually employed in logistic support of the five scientific bases of the British Antarctic Survey. During the southern winter she is available for charter in the norther hemisphere, and thus was available to provide logistic and expedition support to the largest ship to transit the NWP to date. For this role, Shackleton embarked 15 zodiac-type boats, two Eurocopter AS-350 (“A-Star”) helicopters and contingency gear such as damage control supplies and oil containment booms. She also carried a supplemental expedition complement of some 30 boat drivers, pilots, divers, photographers, naturalists and Inuit guides to manage excursions for the Serenity passengers. The landing barge carried in Shackleton was also instrumental in enabling re-provisioning across the beach halfway through the voyage. Sailing from St John’s NL in early August, Shackleton met Serenity in Ulukhaktok (Holman) NWT on the west coast of Victoria Island and then escorted her back through Cambridge Bay, Bellot Strait, Beechey Island, Croker Bay and Pond Inlet, finishing with visits to Ilulissat and Sisimiut Greenland.
About the Author: Nigel Greenwood
Nigel Greenwood completed a 37-year naval career as the Commander of Canada’s Pacific naval forces. In this role he was responsible for: defence of Canada’s western maritime approaches; generation of ready forces for deployment to international maritime operations; Search and Rescue in the Pacific Northwest and over the landmass of BC and the Yukon; assistance to civil authorities for domestic emergencies and law enforcement; and maintenance of Canada’s maritime defence relations in the Pacific.
October 29th, 2015 | Comments Off on Designing a command development scheme to suit a 21st century Navy