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15 June 2015


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Hey, what's that on the port side of the upper left photo, near the French flag? Oh, never mind, I see it's just a Russian MiG buzzing our NATO ally.


Shouldn't L’Hermione be flying a white flag (maybe with a gold fleur-de-lis) instead of Le Tricolore?

The Twisted Genius

You obviously don't realize the significance of l'Hermione.

Patrick Bahzad

You're right,

If it should be flying the royal White banner. I Guess for domestic political reasons, as well as because of international sea law, they had to use the current French flag. Shame as the White with golden Fleur de lys would have looked more genuine.

Patrick Bahzad


Thx for the pictures and the report ;-)

I wonder though, where was the crew ? They all gone ashore ?
And did you get onboard the ship ?


she's coming to Portland Maine I hear. Soon


Thanks for the report and the pictures. I am glad that you got to experience this and consider me jealous. We get some old sailing ships coming to Port Canaveral now and then and it is always a joy to see them. I got to see the replica Kalmar Nyckel in Lewes, DE once too.

The Wasa museum in Stockholm is also a worth a visit.

William R. Cumming

Tall ships often built and registered outside countries that they are most significant to for purposes of history. What was her battle record?

Johnny Reims

Did the L’ Hermoine bring Patrick Bahzad to our shores? They both seem to have arrived at roughly the same time.

First go round, it was Lafayette. And this time?

Patrick Bahzad

Johnny Reims,

Unfortunately I'm stuck on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and probably won't be able to see l'Hermione on your shores. I'm an occasional visitor at Annapolis, but afraid I've never gotten along very well with Navy personnel.

I got some additional info for you on Trinquier. Hadn't forgotten, but was a bit short on time. Trinquier was part of the first coup attempt in 1958. After that, he remained very sympathtic to officers and generals who planned the April 1961 overthrow attempt of de Gaulle. Trinquier was quite close to General Salan in particular.
Because his view got known in Paris, he was called back to mainland France, as a preventive measure. In order to keep him still further away from what was in the making in Algiers, he was assigned a mission in Zaire (Katanga region), where he was supposed to create an insurgency with the help of French and Belgian mercenaries (they would make a name for themselves as "les affreux").
When the coup started in April 1961, Trinquier was on his way to Africa. He was called back to France and remained there without interfering in the coup, although he was probably supportive of the officers involved in it.

Charles Dekle

Thanks for the pictures. I walked down and met my wife for dinner and got a few shots with my iPhone on Thursday. She is very impressive up close. I missed seeing her come through the drawbridge. That must have been an impressive sight.

Even though L’Hermione is equipped with twin diesels crossing the Atlantic must have been quite an adventure. The cannons were a nice touch as well. Jimmy Buffett's lyrics from "A Pirate Looks At Forty" popped into my mind, "Cannons don't thunder, there's nothin' to plunder, I'm an over forty victim of fate." Of course it has been a long time since I was even close to forty but I still love the song.

We are very fortunate to live in Alexandria and can walk down to the river whenever we want. Old town has some great restaurants and bars and we go out at least once a week. I hope that they don't over develop it. It would be a shame to loose the history and character of a great town.



PL, strange that you should post this today. 30 years ago I worked with a rigger friend of mine converting a brigantine to a 3 masted barque. I had not seen him since, as he now lives in the States, but he came over this week for a short visit to Cornwall and I spent most of Saturday night talking to him about the work he had been doing recently. One of the jobs he had been working on was L’Hermione which has substantial work done on both its standing and running rigging.


Charles Dekle

If you like this town the way it is I suggest you vote for Alison Silberberg for mayor in November as well as some new City Council members who are not in the pockets of the developers. As for the restaurants here they seem to have generally declined in quality. I hosted a New Year's Eve party at the Morrison House hotel this year. That was fine. R.T.'s Restaurant is very dependable but the rest of them seem to me to have gone to the tourists. pl

The Twisted Genius


I saw a few of the crew down on the gun deck. My guess is that a lot of them were touring DC while we were touring the ship. Unfortunately I didn't get onboard. The free tickets were given out at 8:00 in the morning. I might be a fanatic for wooden ships and boats, but I was not going to fight rush hour traffic on I-95 to get a boarding ticket. I got a good look through the gun ports anyways.

The Twisted Genius


The Kalmar Nykel came to Alexandria every year when I worked there. I often saw her at dawn and had her all to myself. The morning sun in the rigging spurred all sorts of daydreams.



Good post. I spent Friday afternoon visiting
the Hermione and then stayed for the departure
at midnight.Had a great time.I was surprised
to learn it was a civilian crew not French Navy.
Two crew members gave their highly stylized interpretation
of a "special sea and anchor detail" by "making out"
in a gunport as the ship got underway. It gave the
departure a somewhat gypsy caravan flavor. A bit like
what I read of the modern US Navy except it was boy-girl
and the ship handling was good.

USMC 1965-1972
FBI 1972-1996



“I'm an occasional visitor at Annapolis, but afraid I've never gotten along very well with Navy personnel.” Ouch! Obviously you are dealing with those men who hold our navy traditions are influenced by Horatio Nelson not those of us who look a further back – to Jean Bart. Cheers.

The Twisted Genius


In addition to the reasons you mentioned, I wonder if the royal white banner was nixed to avoid those "cheese eating surrender monkey" jokes. I don't recognize that American ensign being flown. It's similar to the Serapis, but not quite it.


Enjoyable article, thanks for sharing the photos.

Patrick Bahzad

I don't know, but wouldn't think it had anything to do with it. Most French Navy officers are still very proud of the Royal White Banner. They would have gone for it if they had had any choice I suppose, which is also a reason I don't get along with Navy in general (in particular French or British Navy) ... They have a chip on the shoulder the size of an oak tree !

Patrick Bahzad

TTG, I can certainly relate to the idea of avoiding traffic jams early in the morning :-)


Beautiful ship, I envy anyone for being able to see that beauty at sea.

The French built some really beautiful ships anyway. Duncerque und Strasbourg were IMO among the most stylish battlecruisers ever built.


A pity they are gone.

French cruisers of the WW-II era also were beautiful ships.


Or the magnificent steamer SS Normandy.


None of those are as historically significant, but anyway.

Patrick Bahzad


It's actually a more general feeling against anything wearing a white navy uniform, regardless of the country ! As I mentioned to TTG, I noticed officers in the Navy tend to have a bit of an attitude. I don't like that.
Regarding traditions, I'm more sympathetic to Jon Paul than Nelson, obviously, and I have visited the crypt and his sarcophagus several times. Annapolis is quite nice as a small city BTW, I like it there !
There used to be a great bar and crab place on Main Market Sq, opposite Spa Creek ... Has now disapeared. All that's left seems to be these franchised restaurants and cafes, shame really ... Hope they still have these small crab restaurants further up the Bay ! If anybody knows a good one, please let me know !

The Twisted Genius

I know what you mean about Navy officers. I spent several weeks on an LPD in the Philippines. My platoon slept in a compartment that was flooded with two feet of water when we boarded. The quonset hut they had on Subic (upper MAU camp) was worse. I ate in a wardroom with silver napkin rings and linen napkins. Naval officers still think the enlisted are filthy rabble.However, fighter pilots (Navy or Air Force) have bigger chips than any Navy line officer I've met. Maybe cocky is a better word for it.

The Beaver

Thank you for the pics TTG.
Too bad, they are stopping only in Nova Scotia and we are getting to Maine on July 18th.

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