Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Brandon McKay and Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Angelina Potornay arrive home in Prince Rupert after a shift on the HMCS Calgary. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Brandon McKay and Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Angelina Potornay arrive home in Prince Rupert after a shift on the HMCS Calgary. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Prince Rupert Sea Cadets sail with Royal Canadian Navy

Duo spent days aboard the HMCS Calgary gaining valuable seafaring experience

The HMCS Calgary had a pair of special passengers on board when it docked in Prince Rupert on Friday.

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Brandon McKay and Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class Angelina Potornay of Prince Rupert’s 7 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps (RCSCC) Captain Cook have been on the boat since it set sail from CFB Esquimalt earlier this week. They were part of a group of nine cadets gaining experience with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) on board one of its reliable Halifax-class frigates.

The HMCS Calgary arrived in Prince Rupert on Friday, and remained docked overnight. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The group assisted with watch patrols, and spent time getting to see what life is like as a member of the RCN. Both McKay and Potornay came away with positive thoughts.

READ MORE: Navy frigate docks in Prince Rupert

“It was a very good experience. We got to get a bit of familiarization with the lifestyle of the Navy,” McKay said after disembarking from the vessel.

The Calgary was commissioned into service in the Royal Canadian Navy in 1995. It stretches 134.2 metres long, and weighs anywhere from 3,995 to 5,032 tonnes, depending on what it’s carrying. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

“I loved the experience on the Calgary,” Potornay said. “I liked it because I learned more about being on a ship. I’d been on a ship before, but this was a whole different experience.”

“I really love being on the bridge. It was a really good experience, I’d do it again if I could.” Potornay added. She hopes to pursue a career with the Coast Guard in the future.

The forecastle of the Calgary holds a 57 mm calibre gun. The vessel boasts a number of other torpedoes, missiles, machine guns, and even has space to land a helicopter. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

READ MORE: Prince Rupert sea cadets voyage into a new chapter at their Annual Ceremonial Review

Back in June at the RCSCC Annual Ceremonial Review, McKay received the top award for Dress and Deportment, as well as the Legion Medal of Excellence. He added to his accolades while on board the Calgary, being promoted from CPO 2nd Class to CPO 1st Class.

The Calgary will continue on its way on Saturday, stopping in Haida Gwaii before heading back to Victoria.

(Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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