Sweet songs on the Sea

Petty Officer First Class Meghan Worsnop

Petty Officer First Class Meghan Worsnop as she practices her violin on HMCS Montreal. Photo: Corporal Jadin Gaudett
, Canadian Armed Forces Imagery Technician (OJE)

Capt Trevor Young, 
Public Affairs Officer, HMCS Montréal

Petty Officer First Class (PO1) Meghan Worsnop finds it easier to play her violin on the frigate than on solid land.

Tucked away in a small room clad in metal pipes and endless wiring, PO1 Worsnop has claimed it as one of the only places on Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montréal she could find to play her violin in relative peace.

“Dvořák is one of my favorites to play; he travelled the world, you know,” she says.

Swaying in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, in a sea state that could turn even the strongest of stomachs, she cites the freedom she has away from the daily tasks of shore life such as commuting, cooking, and cleaning.

PO1 Worsnop has served with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) for 20 years and three months as a Marine Technician. She first joined after having been laid off from her civilian job. It had never occurred to her to join the military until she saw a job post for a Marine Electrician and gave the number a call.

“A grouchy old man answered,” she said, “and he told me ‘you’ll never make it in the Navy!’ So, anyways, I applied in person and got the job right away.”

She knew early on she had found her place. She loved the training style as it was more dynamic and interactive than she was used to in civilian jobs.

“Serving in the Navy has given me a different perspective. It’s hard to imagine what I would be like otherwise,” she says.

PO1 Worsnop loves Canada’s North, which she explored during her time with HMCS Kingston. Along with Defence Research and Development Canada, Kingston and its crew were tasked with mapping new passageways opened by global warming while simultaneously searching for HMS Terror. This ship was lost along with the crew in 1845 in an attempt to navigate the Northwest Passage. While they didn’t find the wreck, HMCS Kingston went further north than any other Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel (MCDV) in history – a grand accomplishment for her and the crew. Shortly after that, however, they were unceremoniously beaten by another MCDV conducting the operation with them – a record that stood far longer than that of HMCS Kingston. She was soon transferred from HMCS Kingston to HMCS Ville-de-Quebec (VDQ) in a management position.

PO1 Worsnop initially brought her violin aboard VDQ in 2019 as a means of comfort in her new position.

Back home, she had begun a Suzuki Program, a parent-child way of learning where the two begin together, and when the child has picked it up and is confident, the parent eventually drops out to leave the child to their own devices. However, when PO1 Worsnop’s daughter lost interest, she continued learning.

The melodies of her violin tend to drown out amid the clambering of the ship’s watertight doors. However, she still carves out the time to indulge in her artistic passions while the frigate makes its way through six-metre waves and across the frigid North Atlantic.

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