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On one foggy day aboard the HMCS Porte St Loius

Legion Magazine

January/February 2010

On one foggy day in May 1989 when I was sailing aboard the HMCS Porte St Loius, we were sailing in formation with the Porte St Jean about 500 yards behind us.  I was on lifebuoy sentry duty and heard the following transmission come across my Personal Radio Communicator (PRC):

“Lifebuoy sentry, this is the Bridge, over.”  I acknowledged the transmission and was told that a large tanker had been spotted on radar, astern of our position and closing.  I was to keep an eye out for it and report when I saw it.

Five or ten minutes later, I heard once again over the PRC, “Lifebuoy sentry, this is the Bridge, over.”

I acknowledged and the person on the other end asked me if I could see the tanker.  I replied, “Negative.”  “Are you sure you can’t see it,” the voice asked, somewhat exasperated, “It’s right behind us?”  I replied, somewhat insulted that they were implying that I was blind, “Negative, all I can see behind me is the Jean!”  There was no reply from the bridge after this.

Then it dawned on me; the person that I had been talking to was a woman.  We didn’t have any women on our bridge crew.  But the Porte St. Jean did!  Just then, I turned towards the bridge and saw the Yeoman of Signals walking towards me on the starboard bridge-wing, laughing.  I asked him, already knowing what he was going to say, “Who was I talking to?”  The Yeoman replied, “The Jean.”

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/on-one-foggy-day-aboard-the-hmcs-porte-st-loius/

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