Master Seaman Nicole MacInnes

Sailor Profile / October 1, 2013

I am a naval electronic sensor operator on board HMCS WINNIPEG. We deal with electronic warfare, fire control (firing the main armament and missiles) and intelligence. I spend most of my time operating CANEWS (a large radar detector).

I have a seven-year old son, Alex, and I play rugby with Velox.

We've been doing maritime interdiction operations, but the highlight of the past two or three weeks was definitely the BBQ on the Flight Deck-miss those BBQ'd burgers.

We refer to our days as "Groundhog Day"; every day is exactly like the one before. Ship life is very different from home. Privacy is non-existent, and I never get to sleep in, even on Sunday. When I get home, I won't be able to sleep for more than four hours at a time.

I miss my son terribly. I spend a lot of my off-watch time working out to relieve stress and writing e-mail home to keep in touch with Alex. There's always someone around to talk to when you're homesick-after all, "we're all in the same boat".

The rewards? I get to see parts of the world I would never get to see on my own. I've made some of my closest friends on deployment-the people you work with have to be more than just colleagues. It's nice to do something real for a change, instead of training, training, training.

I want Canadians to realize that our job is not easy, and that we do our best to keep Canada safe. It's very difficult to be away, but I do it so that my son can grow up to live in a country he can be proud of. It's for the Canadian people that we are here, and it would be nice to be recognized for the good things we do instead of just focusing on the bad things that happen now and then. There really is a lot of good.