At 8 a.m. sharp the Canadian Naval Ensign went up to a two-tone whistle — it’s the symbolic beginning of a workday for the 40-odd crew of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Moncton.
The Moncton is visiting Montreal as part of a one-month tour of the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River in an effort to increase public understanding of the varied missions of the Royal Canadian Navy.
The 55-metre vessel is open to the public Tuesday afternoon, offering people a view of life on the water.
“In the case of the Moncton, this ship has been everywhere from the Canadian Arctic to the west coast of Africa,” said Lt. Cmdr. Russell Hodgson, the commanding officer of the Moncton.
The ship was built 20 years ago as a minesweeper, and since then its mission has changed to encompass varied duties such as law enforcement — the ship was recently used in the seizure of more than 800 kilograms of cocaine in the Caribbean, Hodgson said.
The Moncton will be open to the public until 4 p.m. at the Old Port Tuesday.
It leaves Wednesday for Trois-Rivières, after which it will call in Quebec City and eventually return to its home port of Halifax.