The Royal Canadian Navy is in the blood of many Maritimers.
“My father kick-started my desire to join. He was in the Navy and just retired last year so he was definitely my inspiration to want to join,” said Leading Seaman Miranda Barron, the medical technician on board HMCS Charlottetown.
HMCS Charlottetown is one of 12 Canadian-built multi-role patrol frigates.
More than 200 people call the warship “home” when they’re at sea.
“We think about the ship not as a machine but as a community and it’s the people. I love the sailors on board and they’re just the greatest bunch of people to work with,” said Commander Andrew Hingston, the ship’s commanding officer.
Hingston says being at sea is like being part of a well-oiled machine.
Everything that’s done on board is well executed and planned for safety purposes.
“We do a lot of different things throughout the day, different operations from navigating the ship in tight waters to launching boats so we make sure that we plan everything down to minimize the amount of risk to any of our sailors out here. Because it can be pretty dangerous sometimes at sea,” Hingston said.
Many of the sailors lean on each other for support during long deployments away from home.
“Your friends are going through the same thing you are so they can help you out. Let you know it’s going to be all right, we’ll be in port you can call home,” said Master Seaman Anthony Sykes, a boatswain onboard HMCS Charlottetown.
Sykes is married with two daughters. He says long months at sea make time spent at home feel priceless.
“When you first see your kids, when you first get home, it’s amazing. I’m not going to lie to you it’s amazing, I don’t even know how to explain it. Soon as I see them I’m instantly happy,” said Sykes.
One place that never shuts down onboard is the galley.
“The galley’s running 24/7. It’s long hours but it’s an amazing opportunity. You get to see the world, you get to make good money, you get to meet great people and you’re helping your country,” said Leading Seaman Matthew Thornhill, one of the cooks on board.
It’s a way of life that almost 10,000 Canadians make their careers.
“I’ve been all over the world from Spain to Singapore, you know I’ve seen all sorts of stuff and then you do all sorts of things that you normally wouldn’t get to do in civilian life,” Hingston said.