Life at Sea

Imagine waking up for work and walking to the dockyard. You are greeted by the call of seagulls, the smell of crisp sea air and the sound of crashing waves on the rocks. You board a ship, and spend your day with a tight-knit group of coworkers. Imagine traveling around the world, experiencing new cultures, climates and customs-- and getting paid for it.

SLt Jason Wychopen

HMCS Calgary sailor completes qualifications at sea

It’s not every day a naval warfare officer can complete the Naval Officer Professional Qualification (NOPQ) while at sea. In fact, in the Royal Canadian Navy’s West Coast fleet it’s quite rare, and that’s why it was a big deal for Sub-Lieutenant (SLt) Jason Wychopen.

LS Kayla Ruiz and Lt(N) Miguel Perez

Patrolling the straits and narrows: how HMCS Nanaimo is ready to help

The sweep deck is a hive of activity as the key players step into their roles. The boat coxswain delivers her brief to the boat crew. The mission: Nanaimo’s RHIB will conduct maritime domain awareness (MDA) patrols in the narrow inlets of the remote areas of the British Columbia coastline, those parts inaccessible to the ship itself.

FDU(A) members

Canadian divers train in sub-zero waters

Royal Canadian Navy divers participated in Operation NANOOK-NUNALIVUT in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut from March 2 to 18, 2020, along with divers from Finland, France and Belgium.


PO1 Curtis Penton

At Christmas, “A ship’s crew … maintains the traditions and atmosphere that members would receive while at home”

“Our mess dinner is always a special gathering, placing operational requirements aside for a few minutes to listen to the padre’s blessing prior to devouring some delicious turkey and stuffing.”
December 27, 2019

Lt(N) Eric Dignard

How the “brain of the ship” thinks – the Ops Room demystified

“When you think of a ship, the Bridge is the eyes, the Machinery Control Room is the heart and the Operations Room is the brain,” explains Lieutenant Commander Will Chong, HMCS Ottawa’s Operations Officer.
December 24, 2019

PO1 Jeff Carter

Sailor discusses being deployed during the holidays

HMCS Ottawa returned to Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, B.C., on December 18, concluding a four-and-a-half-month deployment in the Asia-Pacific region, so PO1 Carter will be home this year with his family for the holidays.
December 20, 2019

PO2 Sebastien St-Pierre

Junior Sonar Operators learn how to hear and track a submarine

For Sonar Operators, listening is an art form. Not only do they have to listen, but interpret what they hear to determine what is occupying the surrounding waters – particularly if the “what” they hear may be an enemy submarine.
December 19, 2019

LS Guyeon Kim

A community forged in shared culture

HMCS Ottawa currently has aboard six members born in the Republic of Korea, many with close family still living in Pyeongtaek, Incheon and Busan – three of the ports visited during the deployment.
December 11, 2019

CSE teams loads the CWIS

Combat Systems Engineers ensure HMCS Ottawa is ready to fight

When most people think of the engineering department on a ship, they think of the engine room.  However, engineers have other vital functions they must be able to perform like ensuring Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa is able to ready to fight.
December 9, 2019

Lieutenant (Navy) Brendan Ryan

Guitars and battleships

During a 2008 Standing Naval Force Mediterranean deployment aboard HMCS St. John’s, I managed to stow away my mandolin. Likewise, other crew members had managed to bring along their instruments, and we were able to form a band (aptly named Crash on Deck, or COD).
April 25, 2016

Ordinary Seaman David Lescombe

Does the navy sail on its stomach?

Nearly everyone has heard Napoleon’s expression that “an army marches on its stomach”, but what about the navy?
April 25, 2016

Nicholas Pike

Generous sailors reach out to local charities

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is a professional war-fighting service, but its sailors have a generous side that is well known across the country and manifests itself in the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised each year for charity.
April 21, 2016