Bonne Chance and welcome to the Conch Republic
French Floreal-class frigate (“frégate de surveillance”) Germinal (F735) of the French Marine Nationale moors to the Mole Pier in Key West 17 June, 2016.
She is roughly the size of Key West’s normal “naval” presence– the 270-foot medium endurance cutter USCGC Mohawk, though marginally better equipped and about a decade newer.
Commissioned 17 May 1994, she is one of a class of six lightly armed (a 100mm CADAM mount re-purposed from retired destroyers, a couple of Exocets and a couple of 20mm cannons) sentry ships designed to patrol French overseas territories and dependencies such as Tahiti, French Guiana, etc.
Equipped with an all-diesel powerplant, she can cruise forever, just not very slowly and is built to merchant specs (dig the marking for the bulbous bow and thruster).
Basically, she is the modern concept of a “peace cruiser.”
Germinal is based at Fort-de-France, Martinique, which actually makes the Keys part of her “beat.”