Test driving Eagle and Osprey

Naval Fleet School Pacific hosted a naming event for their two newly acquired Sail Training Vessels (STV) with RAdm Christopher Robinson, Commander, MARPAC, in attendance the boats were officially designated STV Eagle and STV Osprey. 

Michael McWhinnie, 
Public Affairs Advisor, NTG 


When Juliet declares, “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, she argues that Romeo’s name is irrelevant to his character.

In the same vein, Shakespeare fans might be forgiven for concluding no tangible change resulted from the Sail Training Vessel (STV) naming ceremony hosted by Naval Fleet School Pacific (NFS(P)) staff on March 26. But they would be wrong.

“Naming these two boats is not merely symbolic,” explained Lieutenant (Navy) Ellery Down of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Sail program. “It represents an important milestone on their path to operational readiness.”

STV Eagle and STV Osprey.

Since taking delivery of the second Bavaria C45 in late November, NFS(P) has progressed work to particularize their configuration, including installing critical safety equipment.

“We completed initial cadre training and continue to enlarge our pool of qualified skippers and instructors. We have established operating conventions and created necessary training plans,” added Lt(N) Down.

The ceremony was conducted in two phases. To start, staff and invitees gathered on the small boat floats adjacent to building N126, where they heard remarks from the guest of honour, Rear-Admiral (RAdm) Christopher Robinson, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific.

As the Canadian Armed Forces Patron for Conseil International de Sport Militaire (CISM) Sailing, it’s no surprise that RAdm Robinson strongly advocates for the sport.

“The RCN has long recognized the value of sail training amongst its personnel,” he explained. “From fostering teamwork to better understanding the maritime environment to mastering specific sailor skills such as navigation and planning; the benefits are many. We are in great shape and these vessels will help ensure our sail program remains viable and vibrant for decades to come,” RAdm Robinson said.

After a brief pause for dramatic effect, small fabric covers were pulled back to reveal the newly-declared monikers: STV Eagle and STV Osprey.

“Just like warships, these boats now have identities that will foster crew cohesion and esprit de corps for competitions,” Lt(N) Down said.

Everyone was allowed to step aboard and tour the boats. Before long, the rumble of diesel inboards signalled the start of the sea phase. Some departed, while others were transported under power away from the jetty to the harbour entrance, where the crews of RCN Sail instructors conducted manoeuvres under sail.

“We never really had room to sail with guests onboard Tuna and Goldcrest,” said Lt(N) Down. “The added size of Eagle and Osprey not only allows us to offer larger classes and participate in longer races, but they will also greatly enhance our outreach ability. Nothing can replace HMCS Oriole, but I am eager to start promoting the Navy with Eagle and Osprey.”

The weather was cooperative, and a brisk wind made for lively cruising. The two boats and their crews performed flawlessly, and for just over an hour, guests enjoyed what few are privileged enough to experience: the sheer happiness of being carried by the wind on water.

“It’s an occupational risk that, over time, a sailor can grow accustomed to the sight of boats,” stated RAdm Robinson. “But being out on the water today with Eagle and Osprey brandishing their custom RCN sails was inspirational and helped build awareness of the RCN Sail program amongst the other mariners we share the water with.”

STV Osprey during a short cruise in the approaches to Esquimalt Harbour.

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