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Monthly Archives: December 2022

Winter Wonderland in Canary Wharf

It might be a little early for Christmas but the snow has arrived in London, to enjoy the winter scenes, I took a stroll around Canary Wharf .

Jubilee Gardens has been decked out with artificial Christmas trees but the snow really adds to the effect.

The snow on the real trees add to the Christmas scene.

Cabot Square offers a mixture of statues, fountain and large Christmas trees.

People have been busy in Westferry Circus building snowman of different sizes.

But this chap has taken things more arty with a wonderful head sculpture made of snow.

The cold spell is due to last for a while, so have a look around before the snow disappears.

HNLMS Groningen (P843) and HNLMS Van Amstel (F831) of the Royal Netherlands Navy in West India Dock

Friday saw the arrival of a couple of ships from the Royal Netherlands Navy into West India Dock, another ship the HNLMS Karel Doorman is moored in Greenwich.

The HNLMS Groningen is a Holland-class offshore patrol vessel operated by the Royal Netherlands Navy. The vessel was built in the Romanian shipyards in Galati, by the Dutch firm Damen Group. The ship was laid down in 2010, launched in 2011 and commissioned in 2013.

It has a length of 108.4 m (355 ft 8 in) and beam of 16 m (52 ft 6 in). It has a crew of 54 and carries helicopter on board. The ship has been used counter-drug operations and coast guard duties in the Caribbean and off the coast of Somalia, as part of the EU anti-piracy mission Atalanta.

HNLMS Van Amstel (F831) is a ship of the Karel Doorman-class of multi-purpose frigates (also known as “M-fregat” class) of the Royal Netherlands Navy. Built by the shipyard Koninklijke Schelde Groep in Vlissingen. The ship is named after the Dutch Captain Jan van Amstel.

The ship was laid down in 1987,launched in 1990 and commissioned in 1993. The ships has a length of 122 m (400 ft 3 in) and beam of 14.4 m (47 ft 3 in). It carries a crew of 154 and helicopter.

The ship has been deployed in 2005 to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2012, Van Amstel apprehended 11 Somali pirates off the Somali coast. In 2016, Van Amstel joined Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2). In October 2022, Van Amstel along with HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën deployed to conduct drills with the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford.

There seems to be little information as to the reason for the visit but this is not unusual for NATO ships.