Lokwing Wong and Ethan Jewell, two cadets from Campbell River’s sea cadet corp, travelled down to Victoria and spent five days onboard a tall ship. Photo submitted

Campbell River cadets experience life onboard a tall ship

Two cadets from Campbell River’s sea cadet corp spent five days onboard a tall ship

By Lokwing Wong

For a week in mid-March, two cadets from Campbell River’s sea cadet corp travelled down to Victoria and spent five days onboard a tall ship (a traditionally rigged sailing vessel).

For those five days, Ethan Jewell and I learned how to steer the ship, do basic navigation, tie specific knots, and adapt to life on the ship.

We travelled down to Victoria on a Sunday, and we spent the night at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt. The next morning, we packed up and boarded the Pacific Grace and the Pacific Swift. Both Ethan and I were on the Pacific Swift, and as soon as we boarded, we met the crew, went over safety, and were put into watches, which are groups that take turn sailing the ship, cleaning, and have meals together.

There was a lot to get used to on the Swift. Instead of regular flushing toilets, we had to pump our toilets to flush them and anytime someone wanted water from the sink, they’d have to pump for it too. There were no showers or Wi-Fi either. The sleeping quarters were below decks, and they were cramped, with three tiered bunks arranged in a staircase style. The quarters also doubled as dining rooms and class rooms.

The first few days were fairly uneventful, with classes, watch, and meals. In the evenings, after supper, we would anchor with the Pacific Grace to play games, sing along to guitars played by the ship’s crew, and have mug up, which consisted of a hot drink and dessert. Then there was night watch, which was keeping watch over the anchor for an hour with another person. Everyone took turns doing this, and it was a good time to get to know other people better.

The third day was perhaps the most interesting day. In the morning, people from the Grace and the Swift were together, and we got to jump into the ocean. Although there were no showers, most people referred to this experience as refreshing and invigorating. In the afternoon, we learned how to launch the dories (these are the ships rowboats used to get to land) and we rowed them to Russell Island, an island settled by Hawaiians who thought it reminded them of home. Russell Island had beautiful beaches and a historic homestead.

The fourth and fifth days were the “goodbye” days where everyone was starting to say goodbye. We sailed back to Victoria Harbour, and on the way, we saw a US naval submarine. We were all excited but we weren’t allowed to get that close.

Friday evening was full of tearful goodbyes – spending five days in close quarters with 20 other people made for close bonds. We left on different times on Saturday, sad to go and leave our new (and some old) friends.

The tall ship deployment is only one of the many unique experiences offered by the sea cadet program. As well as giving the opportunity for cadets to travel and spend time on different vessels, the program teaches youth leadership and teamwork skills, discipline, and confidence. Perhaps the most valuable thing offered by the program, however, is the opportunity to meet youth with similar and different interests from all across Canada.

RELATED: Youth forum treated to rowdy session of the House

RELATED: Campbell River cadet learns skills, teamwork and her own potential at camp


Just Posted

Campbell River’s Brind’Amour reflects on year one as NHL coach

Hurricane legend speaks about the season, the Storm Surge and life in Carolina

Georgia Park students keeping their heads up after another case of vandalism

Bird and bee houses torn off the trees and smashed, but the kids bounced back and put more up

Brind’Amour/Nugent-Hopkins golf tourney in Campbell River raises $122,000

Fundraiser for cystic fibrosis has raised roughly $1.8 million since it started 24 years ago

Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Local ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Campbell River gallery provides taste of Syria for many senses

Afternoon event features music, dance, food and more from the Middle Eastern Country

Campbell River gallery provides taste of Syria for many senses

Afternoon event features music, dance, food and more from the Middle Eastern Country

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read