PROTECTEUR arrived in Guatemala on Wednesday, under a veil of mist and rain. The temperature was right in the comfort range, it was just hidden under a blanket of moisture that was either falling or seemed to just hang in the air. With a busy and relatively short port visit expected, PROTECTEUR quickly settled into the preparations for the upcoming cocktail party to be hosted in the hangar and on the flight deck, which the following day would be the home of a long list of distinguished guests from the local community, national and local governments, National Defence and the international community. With HMCS ALGONQUIN and HMCS VANCOUVER outboard of PRO, and preparations completed, the gates were opened and the guests arrived. It was a resounding success, Cdr Tremblay welcomed the guests on PROTECTEUR with a speech that was followed by another made by Sebastien Moffett, Head of the Trade Mission from the Canadian Embassy. The cooks out did themselves again, putting out a fantastic meal for the guests, and the stewards and each of the volunteers at the reception made for an excellent time had by all of our guests. Despite the rain that did not let up during the party in the early afternoon, the event was a huge success. The guests were impressed with the ship and her crew, and each spoke highly of the afternoon.
The same afternoon and early evening brought a flurry of activity from all three ships as preparations were undertaken to bring relief and aid to families in a local community flooded by the recent storms. The rains and subsequent high water levels in the local rivers caused massive flooding and forced many to take to their rooftops in order to avoid the rising waters. Zodiacs from the task group were sent along with personnel and supplies in response to an unofficial request for support received from the governor of the San Jose area of Guatemala. The relief effort that afternoon was followed up with further food, equipment, and supplies on the following morning. The crews of all three ships put extraordinary effort into the project, and their enthusiasm for the task showed as they jumped at every chance to volunteer for any task that may have come up. As the Task Group sailed this afternoon from Guatemala, the sun came through the clouds and the hopes of the crew were raised that it may aid the drying and relief efforts of the locals as the Task Group continued on with its mission.