Hundreds of navy sailors have descended on Seattle for Seafair's Fleet Week, which continues through Sunday.

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Sketched Aug. 2, 2018

Hundreds of sailors have descended on Seattle for Seafair’s Fleet Week, which continues through Sunday.

It’s a scene you don’t see every day, so I set out to make some sketches and meet some of the many personnel roaming around the waterfront in their pristine white uniforms.

I’ve sketched members of the U.S. Navy before, but this time it was just my luck that the first person I talked to, Petty Officer Douglas Holt, belonged to the Royal Canadian Navy. His suggestion to walk up to Pier 69, where the Canadian warships are docked, turned out to be a good one. The line for the public tours was short and the sailors couldn’t be more welcoming.

Commanding Officer Donald R. Thompson-Greiff said the crew was excited to be in Seattle after more than a month participating in RIMPAC, a joint military exercise in the Pacific that included 46 warships from 25 nations and a combined force of 25,000 personnel.

The nearly 100 service members of the HMCS Whitehorse and its sister coastal defense ship, the HMCS Yellowknife, are stationed at Esquimalt Naval Base in Victoria, B.C. Everyone I talked to agreed that a stop in Seattle felt a lot like being home.