HMS Dragon in Patagonia

Peek-a-boo, there’s a Dragon coming towards you…

With her huge motif on her port bow looking resplendent, HMS Dragon negotiates the natural path between the Pacific and Atlantic, the Patagonian Canals, on the latest stage of her second deployment.

Having already navigated the manmade waterway linking the two oceans when she took over Atlantic duties from HMS Iron Duke in Panama a month ago, the Portsmouth-based Type 45 made the return journey naturally – but avoiding the perils of Cape Horn and the potential ravages of Drake’s Passage.

It took 24 hours for the destroyer to negotiate the various channels between the islands at the foot of Americas with the help of two local pilots to guide them.

Given the narrowness of the canals, Dragon was ‘closed up’ for the 24-hour passage – meaning she had extra sailors on duty in key compartments to ensure safe navigation.

Those extra personnel on the destroyer’s bridge were treated to sights which were, says Dragon’s Logistics Officer Lieutenant Commander Andy Bray, “simply beautiful” – and “lots of random weather: rainbows, rain, sleet and fog”.

Images by LS Richard Parry