During our last week in NS before leaving for Alberta, Kay and I had the chance to wander through Halifax a bit, following the harbour trail from Pier 21 along the waterfront. We thirstily passed the Garrison Brewing Company (I’m going to miss their beer as well as Propellor, another excellent Halifax brewery) and found ourselves in front of HMCS Sackville, Canada’s World War Two maritime memorial..

Sackville is the last of over two hundred small warships, called corvettes, built by Canada as a response to the German submarine fleet. They were made famous by the British sailor and writer, Nicholas Montsarrat, whose novel, The Cruel Sea, was mde into what for my money is one of the top ten WW2 films ever made.

For a small fee, you can board her at the dock and tour the ship, guided by recorded comments in most compartments.

A corvette as she would have appeared in wartime.

Sackville at rest in Halifax today. The blue and white paint pattern was a surprise to me, as I expected a neutral navy gray, but a young sailor in charge of ticket sales (nice PAT job) explained to me that it was a disruptive (camouflage) pattern, similar to the dazzle ship idea of the First World War, to make it hard for UBoat captains to judge direction and distance of their targets.

The interior of the Sackville is incredibly cramped and highly efficient, with no space wasted. The introvert in me shuddered to think of living and working with a hundred other men for long weeks on end, even though I would jump at the chance to work as a shipboard padre before my CF career ends.

The tradition continued. HMCS Athabaskan berthed nearby Sackville. Regrettably she wasn’t open to visitors during our time there.