After completing her refit at the Maaskant Shipyard in Stellendam, The Kingdom of The Netherlands, Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship (HMBS) BAHAMAS departed The Netherlands on October 4 arriving at Coral Harbour Base on Saturday, October 27.
The 24-day journey took the ship’s company from The Netherlands through the English Channel, and west of the coasts of France, Spain, and Portugal to the former Portuguese colonies of Madeira, near Morocco, and Cape Verde, near Mauratania; both small archipelagos off the west coast of North Africa.
After making port of calls in Funchal, Madeira, and Mindelo, Cay Verde, the 200-foot HMBS Bahamas made the trans-Atlantic voyage covering over 6,000 nautical miles. The first trans- Atlantic voyage by RBDF patrol craft was made 40 years ago when the 103-foot HMBS Marlin and Flaming were purchased from Vosper Thornycroft in England in 1978.
Since that time all four of the 140-foot Legend Class vessels built by the Dutch shipbuilding company, Damen Shipyards, have made the ocean crossing between 2014 and 2016.
The RBDF flagship is under the command of Commander Gregory Brown. It has a maximum crew capacity of 60 Officers and Marines; however, a skeleton crew of 31 crewmembers, along with 3 Dutch advisors made the trip. Upon arrival at Coral Harbour Base, the ship will undergo final assessment prior to being officially handed over to the RBDF and returned to service.
On hand to welcome the ship’s company back to The Bahamas were their families, the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Tellis Bethel, his Executive Command Team, heads of departments, and the RBDF’s Command Warrant Officer and Master at Arms, Mr. Oral Wood and Randy Mcfall, along with other members of the RBDF.