Cadets SALTy sailing adventure


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Cadets from across Canada embarked on a sailing adventure aboard two tall ships of the Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS) earlier this month.

Fifty-seven Royal Canadian Sea Cadets returned from their five-day voyage in and around the Southern Gulf Islands on March 13.

Each year the Victoria-based SALTS program reaches approximately 1,700 young people between the ages of 13 and 25 with the intention to develop both their sailing and teamwork skills.

Lt(N) Shawn Stewart, Information Management Officer with the Regional Cadet Support Unit (RCSU) Pacific, was one of two escort officers for the sail. He says SALTS is exactly the type of programming many cadets are looking for because it engages them in real-life challenges.

Cadets and four adult team leaders became the working crew of tall ships Pacific Swift and Pacific Grace under the guidance of SALT’s professional crewmembers. Each ship’s crew was divided into three groups to perform around-the-clock duty watch, which included spotting water hazards and other vessels and anchor watch at night. Other responsibilities included navigation, radio monitoring, sail handling, galley duties, and small boat handling for trips ashore.

“This was an opportunity to be crew on a ship, run and maintain the vessel, learn and study seamanship skills on board, go places and explore a coastline that the vast majority have never seen before,” said Lt(N) Stewart.

SALTS booking manager Sherilyn Thomson says cadets have sailed with SALTS on a west coast tall ship deployment for the past four years and the reviews have been very favourable. The cadets are always eager to put the skills they’ve been learning with their Corps into practice, she says.

“The purpose of our program is to provide an opportunity for young people to be challenged personally and as a group, to take on responsibility, and stretch themselves in a supportive environment,” said Thomson. “We are all about teamwork and cooperation; encouraging them to build strong relational and listening skills. A tall ship provides an ideal environment for teaching both life skills and seamanship.”

It’s a perfect fit for the Cadet Program, which aims to produce self-sufficient young Canadians who are community leaders that make friends across the country.

Future sails for SALTS are currently suspended due to precautions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, but administrative staff continue their fundraising efforts, particularly through boat donations and boat sales to support their programs.

For more information visit their website
For more information about the Cadet Program visit


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