Behind the scenes with the Lookout staff

There are 200+ photos on our Esquimalt N

There are 200+ photos on our Esquimalt Navy 10k page that need tagging! If you crossed the finish line in 2010 go find your picture!


Myth debunked, newspapers are thriving

Sara Helmeczi Base PAO
Lookout Newspaper, Issue 19, May 9, 2011
I’m not sure about you but I was under the impression that technology was forcing print media out of business. After attending the recent Ink+Beyond Conference, I learned this is far from reality. It’s true the U.S. has seen newspapers closing up shop, but Canada has actually seen an increase in readership and subscriptions. What has changed is the necessity for newspapers to have a robust website and make use of a variety of social media tools.

Those in the know such as Suzanne Raitt, VP of Marketing and Innovation for Newspapers Canada, and Mario Garcia, CEO and Founder of Garcia Media, indicated that newspapers still enjoy a high level of reader trust for their content, and in-depth stories are more accessible in print form.

Surveys show that most people get their news from a variety of sources with print being the mainstay, and websites and TV a far second. But we can expect to see more and more newspapers developing complimentary websites and apps to stay current, interesting and keep us subscribing.

In order for a newspaper to be profitable they need advertising. Unlike TV ads, print ads are seen as part of the content, providing a different kind of information, but one that is expected and accepted by readers. Geoff Tan, Senior VP from Singapore Press Holdings, showed a glimpse into the future of advertising. Their 17 publications are on the cutting edge of new age ads that include 3D art, taste strips, scents, bizarre shapes, and even embedded video chips.

The highlight of the conference was the formal gala held in the River Rock Casino Resort Theatre where 98 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards were presented. The MC for the evening was author and humorist Arthur Black who kept the hundreds of guests from across the country entertained.

Our own newspaper Lookout was nominated in the category of Best Canadian Forces Newspaper, up against Halifax’s Trident Newspaper and the Shilo Stag from CFB Shilo. The Haiti edition from last January was submitted for judging and Lookout once again earned top honours. The judges said that “Lookout staff did a wonderful job creating a visually themed newspaper that draws attention to, rather than detracting from, the excellent editorial text.”

Personnel Support Programs Manager Dave Molinari accepted the award on Lookout’s behalf.

Winning two years in a row could not have been achieved without the support of the local Defence Team, especially the Base Commander who is the publisher, the talented Image Technicians, and personnel who contribute ideas and stories about their units. Congratulations to the staff of the Lookout and please keep supporting

A Kid Again

The title is slightly misleading. I spent last Friday with a group of high school students who were on a week-long Navy-experience with HMCS Malahat, Victoria’s Naval Reserve Division. Being around them for a few hours reminded me of the carefree attitude that comes with being that age – only five years removed from then it’s not like I was going way back.

But all these kids had endless possibilities before them, the Navy one of many viable options. The 14 students from high schools across the city all volunteered some of their spring break to see if a career in the Forces might be something they’d be interested in upon graduation.

They spent Monday through Friday experiencing some pretty cool things. Learning water survival, rappelling down towers, touring submarines and frigates, and just being around sea-faring people.

I spent the last of their afternoons with them onboard an Orca-class vessel, a smaller offshore craft used for training crews and day patrols. The students had a blast. They got to take turns steering the ship, taking lookout posts on the bridge, and just relax on the open water.

I think the week showed the diversity of what the Forces and the Navy in particular can offer someone career-wise. The one exception – the group seemed fairly uncomfortable when asked if any of them wanted to be submariners. I think being in a floating tube underwater may have pushed them outside their bubbles.

Whether or not any of the students enlist in the Regular Force or Reserves, the unique experience HMCS Malahat’s personnel provided them will surely make it an educated decision.

Great Job World! – Earth Hour 2011

Mar. 26 might have been the world’s biggest power outage, voluntarily of course. This year was World Wildlife Fund’s fourth annual Earth Hour, the global conservation event that sheds “light” on energy consumption.

Over 130 countries participated this year! Last year saw 10 million Canadians partake by turning of their lights for an hour. That’s almost one third of the nation!

B.C. Hydro is a big believer in the event and tracks British Columbian’s consumption during the hour. They released their findings on Sunday and said if we do what we did on Saturday for an hour every day, we’d save enough energy to power 4,000 homes for an entire year! Think about it. No power for an hour a day could do all that.

I saw some great news clips of the Victoria Parliament (which is usually lit up by lights year-round) going dark for the hour. The Eiffel Tower in Paris de-luminated, and even some local restaurants cooked and dined by candle light, something their patrons didn’t seem to mind one bit.

A big shout out to Pitt Meadows who led all other B.C. communities in their electrical reduction for the hour. Esquimalt, Colwood, View Royal, Sooke, and other Lower Island townships all reduced their consumption as well!

I think an event like this is fantastic. It’s something everyone anywhere can participate in with minimal effort and the benefits are huge. So instead of one hour one day a year, remember to flick those switches down and unplug as much as possible.

A day of firsts

Ben Green is embedded on HMCS Protecteur for the first leg of their current deployment. Along with the Vancouver and Winnipeg, Protecteur is making its way to the Hawaiian Islands to participate in a U.S. submarine course designed to help improve not only U.S. submarine officers but Canada’s anti-submarine warfare as well.

The darkness of night and a blanket of fog make it impossible to see if we’re moving, but my coffee swaying back and forth in its cup on the Wardroom table gives me a good indication.
I never drink coffee, although this is my fourth cup today; my shaking hand says I probably should’ve stopped at three. I’m not sure if I’m drinking it to stay awake from the early morning, or to calm my nerves as the day’s winding down, either way it seems to be working.

It was a frantic morning trying to pull HMCS Protecteur from her HMC Dockyard slumber. The supply ship seemed to be cranky in her old age as boiler issues pushed back departure time by a half hour. When she finally crawled out of berth, the two tugboats guiding her through the narrow inlet remind me of good Samaritans helping an elderly person safely avoid the dangers of an intersection. Gazing ahead, HMC Ships Vancouver and Winnipeg, the other members of our convoy, floated idly on the horizon impatiently waiting for us to catch up.
Like a child, curiosity tickled me with every new sound, smell, and sight: fuel mixing with salty air, horns sounding, loud speakers informing, and a constant buzzing of information that keeps the 40-year-old frigate afloat.

The fading view of Dockyard from Protecteur’s deck looked so familiar, yet so different; interesting what a change in perspective can do. As I headed back to my mess deck, a seagull circled the port side as if teasing the anchored .50 caliber machine gun to take a shot.
Space is not wasted on a warship and the mess decks are no different. Sardines lie in luxury compared to these sea dogs and I’m still a little suspicious that my 6’4” frame may leave a limb or two hanging down for a roommate to wake up to. The bunks in my quarters are stacked three in one area and two in another with lockers side by side. I measured the room six paces long and two wide and quickly decided my 10 days onboard are probably enough.

The ship itself is a labyrinth of offices, mess decks, hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, and hatches. To an outsider such as me it seems impossible to navigate. So far I’ve tried to familiarize myself with the vital areas (mess deck = sleep, wardroom = food, head = place to puke) and not fall into any open hatches. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, as soon as we’d hit open ocean it was clear I’d left my sea legs somewhere on C jetty. The three metre swells left me looking like I’d already had a few days of shore leave, but I was relieved to find a line of people already at the medic also wanting Gravol and Bodamine.

The crew has been fantastic. My jeans, sneakers, and sports jacket scream civilian in comparison to their black uniforms, hats, and boots, but I’ve only been greeted with smiles, firm handshakes, and helpful advice.
As the sun sets somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, it too sets on the Protecteur and my first day at sea. With so many interesting people, jobs, and tasks going on, I’m excited to see what I can experience and uncover. For now, keeping my dinner down is priority number one.

New museum exhibit coming to life

Spent yesterday morning taking photos  of the almost-complete exhibit at the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum. The work of LS Jarvis Rumbolt and four Fleet School hull techs is amazing. Look for the article in the next few weeks in the paper. The exhibit should be ready sometime in April so drop by Naden and check it out!

Big thanks to some of the base’s units

A big thanks to Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), Regional Joint Operations Centre (RJOC), Joint Deployable Communication Suite (JDCS), and the other units involved with their emergency relocation exercises this week! I had a great morning getting a unique behind-the-scenes view of the procedures these units go through to move their shop to a safe location should an emergency occur. Keep an eye out for the article in next week’s Lookout.