A large crowd packed the Halifax waterfront Sunday to wave goodbye to their loved ones as HMCS Charlottetown departed for a mission in the Mediterranean Sea.

The navy frigate has a crew of about 250 and will be gone for seven months.

Commander Wade Carter told reporters the Charlottetown would be joining the NATO mission Operation Active Endeavor, known as Operation Metric in Canada.

It's a counter-terrorism mission in the sea that borders Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

"We're going to be patrolling the Mediterranean looking for weapons of mass destruction or constituents that could be used to design such things," Carter said Sunday.

That could include boarding vessels, but Carter does not anticipate a high level of risk for his crew.

"Most of the seafarers in that area are law-abiding," he said.