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Replenishment

Written on: Thursday February 7th, 2008

A journal entry from: Februrary 2007

During deployment at sea, a ship can only carry a limited amount of supplies such as food, spare parts and even personnel.  In order for a ship to carry out prolonged operations away from shore it must conduct a Replenishment at Sea (RAS).  Today, HMCS VANCOUVER conducted a Light Jackstay RAS with HMCS OTTAWA off the coast of Vancouver Island.  This seamanship evolution commences with the rigging of the gear that will be used to pass supplies from one ship to another.  Once rigging is complete, one ship must skillfully drive up beside the other with a separating distance of approximately 50 yards.  This maneuver becomes increasingly difficult during inclement conditions as were experienced today with 6-meter seas and winds approaching 30 knots.  Not only is it difficult to navigate the ship in these conditions but the sailors working the lines are exposed to harsh elements, as was noted by the red faces and hands of the workers caused by an unexpected hail storm during the evolution.  The picture above depicts the Executive Officer, LCdr Mazur, driving VANCOUVER into position alongside OTTAWA.  On OTTAWA, the bridge team is out on the bridge wing, watching VANCOUVER?s approach and the RAS team is preparing to receive lines.  Although the weather did not cooperate with this morning?s seamanship evolution, it was carried out expertly and without error.  What the picture does not show are the smiling faces from the satisfaction of a job well done and all those out on the upper decks getting warm by the hot soup provided by the galley upon secure.