Students at Carihi have the opportunity to get out of the classroom and gain skills through the Nautical Sciences program.
Teacher Sylvain Chabot heads the program. He says all the students are motivated. The application process required them to put together a resume and cover letter as well as go to an interview. Now that the program is underway, incentive comes in the form of sailing. If students don’t fix a dinghy they won’t have a boat to sail in.
The program is based out of the workshop at the Robron Center. For the first part of the semester they focus on fixing sailboats that have been donated and learning complementary skills such as scuba diving, snorkeling, cooking, woodwork, business and financial management. They will get certificates showing they have earned these skills, as well as a First Aid certificate and a pleasure craft operator license.
“We are learning skills so that when we go sailing we can be out for many days and be self sufficient,” said Colton Masales, a participant in the course.
Later, they will sell the boats that they don’t need, raising funds to put back into the program.
Come spring, students will begin to sail dinghies in the passage between Campbell River and Quadra Island. Once they have learnt the ropes they will take out larger vessels, building up to a five-day trip.
Despite the large amount of fieldwork, students are also keeping up with academics, taking at least one course through e-blend, a program based out of the Robron Centre. It offers courses comprised of online and text resources, and support from Robron staff. Participants in Nautical Sciences can take the courses at Robron or at home.