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• Part II - The Timeline Begins...
The Imo
  December 3: The Imo arrived at Halifax from Rotterdam, Holland, cleared the submarine nets and was moored along the western shore of the Bedford Basin awaiting the coaling tender, to refuel. Leaving Halifax would also require clearance from the British Naval Authority under Commander Frederick Wyatt, who was responsible for regulating and authorizing all harbour traffic. The Imo was destined for New York to load relief supplies.
Commander Frederick Wyatt
Commander Wyatt received a telegram that the Mont-Blanc was steaming toward Halifax carrying explosives. As a result of the war, it was common for munitions ships to enter the harbour and shelter in the Basin. Prior to the war, precautions were taken by the Harbour Master, Captain Francis Rudolf, to off-load explosives to George's Island. No precautions or special arrangements were made for the anticipated arrival of the Mont-Blanc.
Nova Scotia Coast
  December 4: On its way to Halifax the Mont-Blanc was delayed by a gale. Otherwise the voyage was uneventful, no submarines were encountered, the crew of the Mont-Blanc were relieved to see the Nova Scotia shore, their estimated time of arrival, the afternoon of December 5th.
Bedford Basin Convoy
  December 5: During the afternoon Captain Haakon From received clearance to leave Halifax. Pilot William Hayes was already on board. Captain From was anxious to get back to sea, his intent was to leave on December 5th. Sailing was delayed because the coal tender was late, by the time coaling was complete the submarine nets were closed, requiring the Imo to remain in the Basin. Pilot Hayes went home for the night, to return in the morning.
Mont-Blanc at McNab's
  At 4:00pm Harbour Pilot Francis Mackey, a veteran of 24 years, boarded the Mont-Blanc at the mouth of the harbour from a ship headed out to sea. He met Terence Freeman, the examination officer whose job it was to inspect the Mont-Blanc for entry to Bedford Basin. The Mont-Blanc passed the inspection. By 4:30 the submarine nets were closed, the Mont-Blanc would have to anchor off McNab's Island Lighthouse until morning.
Ships at Anchor
The Mont-Blanc sheltered over night in the cove of McNab's Lighthouse,
outside the submarine nets, while the Imo anchored in the Basin.

Pilot Francis Mackey remained on board to guide the Mont-Blanc into the Basin in the morning.

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