Cadets at sea

Cadet Hannah Tiemer from 100 RCSCC in Duncan charts a course aboard PCT Raven during the biannual Cadet Seamanship Deployments. Photo by Capt Jordan Holmes

Cadet Hannah Tiemer from 100 RCSCC in Duncan charts a course aboard PCT Raven during the biannual Cadet Seamanship Deployments. Photo by Capt Jordan Holmes

Capt Jordan Holmes, RCSU(P) ~

Sixty-four cadets from across Canada spent a week sailing in Patrol Craft Training vessels Orca and Raven.

Cadets filled a variety of roles including navigator, helmsmen, boatswain, and cook, all while learning general seamanship and small boat handling skills.

The two vessels were staffed by eight Cadet Instructors Cadre (CIC) Reserve officers and nine Regular Force members from the Patrol Craft Training Unit (PCTU). Among the staff in Orca was SLt Deryn Hotel, from Victoria. This was her third round instructing the biannual seamanship deployments.

“I was a cadet my first time on a PCT; there was so much to learn every day. I really thrived in the consistency and rhythm. It’s an opportunity unique to the Cadet Program for youth, and it’s so empowering. How many other teenagers get to experience a taste of life in the Royal Canadian Navy?” said SLt Hotel.

She has been a CIC officer for three years and fills a variety of roles in the Cadet Program. She is an instructor with 100 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Admiral Mainguy in Duncan and teaches at the South Island Sailing Centre, where hundreds of cadets learn the basics of sailing every year.

“Much of what happens at the Corps is in a classroom, whereas the seamanship deployments are practical and hands-on. I think it pushes cadets out of their comfort zone. They have to spend a lot of time building the trust of the Regular Force officers and NCMs (non commissioned members) on the ship, to show they are capable of running each exercise or performing a role, and they do. By the end of the week they know their ship, and are able to jump into any situation asked of them. They really love being on the ships and we are grateful we get to do this training.”

SLt Hotel is spending a week in November sitting in on the Fleet Navigation Officer Course to better assist future Cadet seamanship deployments.

“Staffing these deployments has given me a specialist skill set within the CIC, and we have such a positive relationship with PCTU. There is so much more to learn, but hopefully getting to audit this course will give me that much more knowledge to pass on to our staff and cadets.”

There are more than 7,400 cadets in 139 corps and squadrons across B.C., led by more than 1,100 adult Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (COATS) staff and volunteers. COATS comprises CIC Officers and former Regular Forces and Primary Reserve members with a particular interest in supporting the Canadian Armed Forces’ youth program; there are ongoing opportunities for adult staff throughout the province. Visit www.cadets.ca for more information about the Cadet Program and adult leadership opportunities.

Filed Under: Top Stories

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