Campbell River Sea Cadet off to England to hit the high seas

A Campbell River cadet is hitting the high seas in a tall ship next month

RCSCC Admiral DeWolf PO2 Emily Castro will deploy on the tall ship Royalist off the coast of England next month.

A Campbell River cadet is hitting the high seas in a tall ship next month.

Petty Officer 2 (PO2) Emily Castro, a member of 54 Royal Canadian Sea Corps (RCSCC) Admiral DeWolf located in Campbell River, has been selected to participate in a tall ship training deployment on board TS (Training Ship) Royalist in the United Kingdom (UK). PO2 Castro is one of 12 Sea Cadets from Canada who will train with 12 Sea Cadets from the U.K.

From April 24 to May 14, six female and six male Royal Canadian Sea Cadets will sail aboard TS Royalist, which is a square rig brig owned and operated by the Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC) of the United Kingdom.

TS Royalist deployment takes place aboard a square-rigged sailing ship 32 meters in length. The ship is under the command of a qualified captain, with a permanent crew who instruct, year round, the embarked cadets on a weekly basis. The ship will sail off the south coast (English Channel) of the United Kingdom for a period of 12 days. During this deployment, cadets are involved in every part of ship board operations (helm, lookout, husbandry, cookery, seamanship, safety, etc.) and sailing evolutions (hoisting, lowering, furling and unfurling sails, on deck and aloft in the rigging, etc.) in a 24/7 watch system. Cadets will also be climbing masts using harness type safety gear. Accommodation and messing is basic and based on an open mess deck plan where Cadets sleep in individual racks with sleeping bags and have extremely limited storage space.

“Selection for these deployments are a great honour,” says 54 RCSCC Commanding Officer Lt(N) Dan Richard. “Only top rated cadets from across Canada have been chosen, and it means extra work as there will be time away from school. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The Royal Canadian Sea Cadet program is a youth program for Canadians aged 12 to 18. Jointly sponsored by the Canadian Forces and the Navy League of Canada, the aims of the program are:

To develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership; to promote physical fitness,and to stimulate interest in the sea element of the Canadian Forces and civilian maritime affairs.

The national Sea Cadet Training Program provides a wide range of course instruction and supporting activities to meet the interests of cadets.

New recruits begin their training with Drill and General Cadet Knowledge, giving them an introduction to the origin and development of the cadet movement; an understanding of the military/cadet rank structure; and an appreciation for the wear and care of the uniform. Cadets then move on to subjects such as Citizenship, Physical Fitness, Sensible Living, Drill, Seamanship, Maritime Identification, Marksmanship and Range/Shooting.

All cadets are required to participate in community service activities, fundraising, field exercises, sports, and citizenship activities throughout the year.

In addition to mandatory training activities, cadets are encouraged to participate in optional programs of interest to them. These can include:

  • Guard First Aid
  • Colour Party Seamanship
  • Drill Team Range/Marksmanship

Cadets also have the opportunity to experience both powered and sail boat familiarization training. Annually there are two weekends of Sail Training at the North Island Nautical Site located in Comox.

Sailing is considered part of the mandatory training program and the cadet must attend at least one sailing session per year to complete his/her training level. Dates are scheduled during the spring and fall of each training year to accommodate this requirement.

“Although we are training Cadets, fun has to be part of the program,” says Lt(N) Richard, “if we aren’t having a good time doing this, why are we here?

“And we are always open to young people who want to join and take part in a dynamic program. We meet on Thursday nights from 6:30 through to 9:15 p.m. at the Navy League Hall located at 911-13th Avenue in Campbell River.”