HMCS Vancouver anchored at the mouth of Kealakekua Bay, Hawai`i
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My name is Lt Clayton Erickson of the Royal Canadian Navy. I am the Communications Officer aboard HMCS Vancouver.
In August 2012 we had the opportunity to visit the Captain Cook Memorial in Kealakekua Bay, Hawai`i and spend two days fixing up the area in commemoration of our commonwealth link to the great explorer, as well as to continue the great tradition of commonwealth warships visiting the monument to keep it from falling into disrepair.
On August 28th and 29th many members of our ship’s company volunteered to help clean and repair the monument. After collecting supplies in Pearl Harbor we travelled to the monument where we tidied up the surrounding vegetation, cleaned up the monument itself, stripping the old paint and completely repainting it including the black lettering.
We refurbished the cannons and added a fresh coat of paint. The chains were all repainted, and we replaced a link that was lost so the area is now properly surrounded by chain once again. We also cleaned up the other commemorative plaques that were near the monument and polished the various ship crests and mementos left from previous visits, including HMCS Vancouver’s previous visit five years prior.
We, finally, repaired a small portion of the jetty including placing another ship’s crest in concrete marking our visit. I took many photos of the event, and have included a few to show our activities.
Lt Clayton Erickson RCNCommunications & Information Systems OfficerHMCS VANCOUVER Originally published in Cook's Log, page 38, volume 35, number 4 (2012).
The party of volunteers from HMCS Vancouver before work started on the Memorial
Removing the old flaking paint prior to repainting the monument
Master Seaman Hussey covered in flakes of white paint from his work on the monument
Chief Petty Officer Fairfex, ship's coxwain, prepares one of the 32-pounders for re-painting
Before leaving, the crew left a traditional "visiting card" by cementing one of the ship's plaques near the jetty
Three of the dozen cannon that mark the site’s perimeter. They were brought here in 1876 from Vancouver Island
Once the old paint was removed the concrete monument was given a new coat of paint
The lettering at the base of the monument was refreshed with great care
We had a great time during the two days repairing the monument and hopefully it will remain in good condition for years to come with no recurring vandalism or theft.Our Commanding Officer. Cdr D.E. Mazur, is hoping that we may be able to return again in the years to come with an even larger level of materials and manpower. Our ultimate goal is to completely repair the jetty structure, which of all parts of the monument is in the greatest level of disrepair. Once again, we had a great time working on the site and it was a great honour to be able to pay tribute to such a great individual and explorer.
Hope for the future
Very nice work. You noted "HMCS Vancouver’s previous visit five years prior," ergo, 2007.At http://www.nauticapedia.ca/Articles/Cook_Memorial.php, dated 2011, it states, "When contacted none of the representatives of these navies [Canada, Australia and New Zealand] and the British Consul General in Los Angeles were able to state when the last time this work had been undertaken or what their policy was for carrying out this work. Apparently there has not been any Royal Navy monument maintenance conducted at this site for many years." Those people must have had very short memories!
Visited the site on October 28; was amazed at how well maintained the site was.
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