Two members of the Captain Cook Prince Rupert Sea Cadets will set sail on the voyage of a lifetime this spring.
Sea cadets Amber Ly (16) and Zach Wesley (16) were selected from 1,200 Sea Cadets across B.C. to live aboard a tall ship with the ship’s crew and enhance their sea craft. During their sails, both Ly and Wesley will be a part of all the ship activities including lookout, safety, navigation, being at the helm, rigging sails and taking part in the 24-hour watch rotations.
“I’m excited and honoured,” Ly said. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“It feels great,” Wesley said. “I really love being on the water, it calms me down and it’s going to be a great experience.”
A tall ship is a large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel, which is propelled without the use of an engine and requires extensive teamwork and discipline to sail correctly.
While neither Ly nor Wesley have any experience on a tall ship, both have spent an extensive amount of time learning the ins and outs of sailing smaller boats through their time with the Prince Rupert Sea Cadets. In order to be selected, both had to write personal essays detailing their experience and provide recommendation letters from their commanding officers.
Tannis Calder, commanding officer for the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps (RCSCC) #7, said she could only recall one other cadet from Prince Rupert being selected to sail on a tall ship for training.
“To have two of them go this year from our corps is exciting,” she said.
Wesley will depart for his trip on March 11 to begin his voyage in Victoria, B.C., where he will sail on either the Pacific Grace or the Pacific Swift along with 10 other specially selected cadets along the B.C. coast. Both ships are owned and operated by S.A.L.T.S. (Sail and Life Training Society). He said he looks forward to meeting new people and reacquainting himself with friends he has made through cadets over the years. He also said this will be a good way to prepare himself for a potential career on the water.
“I’m hoping to work for the coast guard eventually so this will be a good experience,” he said.
Ly will travel to the United Kingdom on April 23 where she will be a crew member aboard the Royalist. The crew will set sail off the south coast of the English Channel for a 12-day voyage. The training ship is owned and operated by the Marine Society and the Sea Cadets of the United Kingdom. Only two sea cadets in B.C. are chosen to join the training voyage each year.
Ly said being in a different environment for an extended period of time will be a challenge for her because it is completely different to what she is used to, but she is looking forward to the experience.
“I just get to sail,” she said.