HMS Grimsby all lined up

HMS Grimsby follows the German tanker – and flagship of this minehunting force – FGS Elbe in the restrictive waters of Norway’s Lysefjord, 26 miles long and never more than a mile wide, gateway to the port of Stavanger.

All seven ships of NATO’s Standing Mine Counter-Measures Group 1 conducted tricky manoeuvres in the fjord on the latest stage of their patrol around the waters and nations of northern Europe.

The group headed for Norway after participating in the second Joint Warrior war games of 2016 (Grimsby missed out on the fun undergoing a fortnight of maintenance, although she’s taken part in a few of the Scottish exercises down the years).

Much like the lochs of north-west Scotland, the sheltered waters of the west coast of Norway plenty of opportunities to hone seamanship skills and diving operations.

Key serials included: A towing exercise with one of Grimsby’s sisters Inverness, now flying the blue, black and white colours of Estonia as ENS Sakala and a close formation mailbag transfer involving the entire task group with the ships, no more than 30 yards apart, attached to each other by line simultaneously.

The highlight of the week was the combined passage of Lysefjord. The stunning scenery provided an ideal backdrop for a joint photograph before the group weekended in Stavanger.

The 300 or so British, German, Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Dutch and Belgian sailors lined up various adventurous training activities including hiking and kayaking.

The ship is now making its way through the Kattegat for the next phase of the patrol in the Baltic.