HMCS ORIOLE’s Great Lakes Deployment Has Ex-Cadet Connection

“Every once and a while the Navy gives us little rewards”

Article by 25366 Anna-Michelle Shewfelt

If you’ve been following the news lately you’re probably aware that HMCS ORIOLE just wrapped up a Great Lakes Deployment. 25406 Jordan Hope (RMC 2012) joined the ship as Navigation Officer for the trip back to Halifax. She recently responded to a request for an interview “from the upper decks while on anchor watch off the coast of Anticosti Island in the St Lawrence.” As she went on, “I’m attach posted here because they asked for another Bridge Watch Keeperto augment them to sail back to Halifax from their Great Lakes Deployment (GLD).”

Hope is currently posted to HMCS FREDERICTON (right now in shore office) as the Communications and Information Systems Officer but she’s got around since graduating from RMC. As the Belleville, ON, native explained, “After I graduated, I went to NOTC Esquimalt for a couple years to do my NWO training. Once I finished that, I got posted to HMCS MONTREAL as a Bridge Watchkeeper Under Training (BWK U/T). After sailing with her for a summer preparing to sailing on a live missile firing exercise off the coast of Scotland, I got the opportunity to do Operation REGULUS in Ireland. Op REGULUS is an exchange the RCN does with other countries for junior officers. I went for 3 months and sailed on the LE JAMES joyce which is an offshore patrol vessel. It was such an amazing experience and I sailed with the most amazing crew. When I sailed back to Ireland last year I actually got to meet up with some friends from Op REGULUS. I got my Bridge Watchkeeping ticket from my Commanding Officer on the return trip from Ex FORMIDABLE SHEILD which took place off the coast of Europe. After some brief sailing to the States, I passed my Naval Officer Professional Qualification Board at Easter and got promoted to Lt(N). Right after that, I completed the CISO course and became the first female CISO on the East Coast.”

She credits RMC with getting her ready for such a demanding career. “RMC helped prepare me for the challenges I faced by teaching me to be determined and stick with it,” Hope said. “Sometimes it’s easy to want to quit or give up, but persevering is worth it and we eventually get rewarded for hard work. NWO training isn’t easy, but neither was RMC. Although I do wish I had paid more attention in my math classes!”

“I’m sure everyone says that they remember their friends the most, but it’s really true,” she went on. “I’m rarely posted to the same place as any of the friends I had at RMC, but I still keep in touch with a lot of them. Two of them (from 10 SQN) and I get together as much as possible and talk almost every day. The cool thing about RMC is that even if you weren’t there at the same time as someone else, it’s still a way to bond and become friends. I’ve sailed with so many people that went to the College either before or after me that I’ve become really good friends with.”

As for her time with HMCS Oriole, she wouldn’t trade that for anything. “This crew is really amazing and has made me reconsider some plans I had for the future. I’d love to come join her next year on her GLD and maybe even come back as Executive Officer (XO) after I finish my CISO tour on HMCS FREDERICTON. HMCS ORIOLE is the oldest commissioned ship in the RCN and is used now as a sail training vessel and for public outreach/recruiting. Sailing on a tall ship is very cool and a once in a lifetime experience. Being part of her crew has made me a better watchkeeper.”

“I like to think that every once and a while the Navy gives us little rewards for working long, hard hours and being away from home so much,” she said by way of closing. “Ireland was one of those experiences that came at a difficult time in my career. Oriole, I believe, is one, too.”


  • Darin Cowan (16078)

    October 1, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    I remember a number of trips on Oriole in support of Navy familiarization at RRMC… out in the Juan De Fuca strait, one in particular tossing and bobbing in the inclement weather, while nearly everyone on board turned greener and greener…

  • Laurence Sianchuk (8581)

    October 1, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    A pleasant surprise to see the Oriole still going strong! I particularly remember the 1968 Victoria – Maui Yacht Race. Although I was on the pilot list, I happened to have a spare summer and my naval classmate Graham Peck talked me into joining the crew. Nineteen days and four hours under sail finally got us into the Lahaina Roads…we didn’t win but mainly that was due to Oriole’s relatively high hull speed, which essentially meant that you needed a storm to win against the lighter competition. There was a storm and we went from last place to second place in 24 hours but then the winds died… Even tho’ I went on to a flying career, the memories of that summer, only my second year in uniform, still stand out amongst many other memorable events!

  • Graham Peck (8564)

    October 1, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    I remember that race with Laurence as the highlight of my time at Royal Roads. No GPS or Radar. We navigated by sextant and a portable RDF set we brought up on deck. There was heavy fog on the return and our first landfall was Race Rocks. I stayed on board after we returned to Victoria and did a trip to Astoria OR for a sea festival. With the skipper being the only officer on board, he designated me the XO for a cocktail reception. Pretty heady stuff for a cadet with 2 years in. The following year I was on board for the Swiftsure Race, and then the skipper invited me to stay on for a trip to the Portland Rose Festival. I have been an active sailboater ever since. In 2002 I was the only civvy on board for the Swiftsure Race and the week training before the race. I visited Oriole last summer in Charlottetown and Summerside. It has been maintained well and is equipped with GPS and Radar, but still no winches. I think experiencing a storm on Oriole teaches you a respect for the sea, and a confidence that you can’t get on a frigate.

  • Andrew Knapper

    October 2, 2018 at 5:11 am

    I remember our day trip out on the Oriole when I was at RRMC in ’83/84 – the sun was shining and all us cadets wanted to do was lie down on the deck and sleep. I don’t think the crew were that sympathetic but we still had a nice cruise on her. Glad to hear she is still sailing strong.