Yellowknife has sea legs
Parts of our fair city grace the decks of the HMCS Yellowknife

Dane Gibson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 31/99) - They've been as far south as the equator and as far North as Skagway, Alaska.

And at each port, crew members proudly field questions about their ship's namesake -- HMCS Yellowknife.

"We carry part of the city with us so people can learn about the North and Yellowknife," Master Seaman Dale Warren said.

"The crew itself is very proud of what they receive from Yellowknife and people notice it when they see the ship."

The HMCS Yellowknife Commissioning Committee, launched here in 1996, are mostly to thank for contributing to the ship's Northern character. The committee, co-chaired by Col. Pierre Leblanc and Mayor Dave Lovell, is still active.

Visitors who board the ship can view authentic Northern artwork, muskox and grizzly bear hides. Legacy items like quilts, sewn by Yellowknife women, are also displayed on the ship.

Warren and Lieutenant John Wilson manned a tent at Caribou Carnival, where information about what duties they perform in the Pacific and a model of the ship were on display.

"(Our ship) has been particularly fortunate because it is represented by a strong commissioning committee," Wilson said. "

"There's a definite Northern atmosphere on the ship and I think that's reflected in the moral of our crew members."

Warren added that the ship's motto, "I Endeavour in Difficulties," is tied in with the strength of Northern communities.

"Just because we're at sea, things happen quickly. There's an unpredictable nature to the sea and we respond to those situations accordingly," Warren said.

The HMCS Yellowknife is 55.3 metres long, has a range of 5,000 nautical miles and operates with more than 30 crew members. Since being commissioned in 1996, it has travelled 18,000 nautical miles. The next order of business is organizing a trip for the majority of the crew to visit Yellowknife. Everything's on schedule for them to arrive June 17, just in time for Raven Mad Daze.