The littoral combat ship Little Rock is finally on her way to Mayport, Florida — after a three month port visit in Montreal, Canada.
Cold weather and ice kept the ship in Montreal from Dec. 24, 2017, until March 31. But the ship is now underway again, according to Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson told Navy Times.
“The ship was moored at the Port of Montreal until weather conditions improved and the Saint Lawrence Seaway melted enough for the safe passage of the ship,” Hillson said. “Keeping the ship in Montreal until weather conditions improved ensured the safety of the ship and crew.”
The Navy made the decision to keep the ship in Montreal until the ice broke was made in January. Upon departure, the U.S. Navy issued a statement from the ship’s commanding officer thanking the city.
At the time, the Little Rock was transiting the Saint Lawrence Seaway back to the Atlantic Ocean from Buffalo, New York, where she was commissioned Dec. 19 alongside her namesake, the retired cruiser and now museum ship Little Rock.
“We greatly appreciate the support and hospitality of the city of Montreal, the Montreal Port Authority and the Canadian Coast Guard,” said Cmdr. Todd Peters. “We are grateful for the opportunity to further enhance our strong partnerships.”
Hillson told Navy Times that the vessel is expected to arrive in Mayport sometime this month after making several port calls along the way.
According to the website boatnerd.com, the ship was equipped with temporary heaters and 16 de-icers designed to reduce ice accumulation on the hull, and the crew was provided with special protective cold-weather clothing during the stay.
But the website said that the ship’s departure was probably more of a relief to some Montreal condominium dwellers near where the Little Rock was berthed during her stay.
According to their report, the residents complained during the port visit about a “constant rumble emanating from the vessel’s generators.
The Port of Montreal made some concessions to the residents in February, the boatnerd report said. The solution, they reported, was to dim the lights around the ship at night and installing a better soundproofing, barriers to the walls surrounding the generators supplying the ship with power.