A summer job like no other

NCdt Marc Mahadeo takes his turn cranking the winch on board STV Goldcrest.

NCdt Marc Mahadeo takes his turn cranking the winch on board STV Goldcrest.

2Lt Chelsea Howard, CFB Esquimalt PA Office ~

When you think about a typical summer job in-between a school semester, you probably think fast food or retail.

However, for a few Royal Military College (RMC) students the ocean was their workplace and learning to sail in Sailing Training Vessel Goldcrest was their job, and they got paid to do it.

“We run a program through the International Sail and Power Association, so they’re doing a explains course that shows up on their Military Personnel Record Resume (MPRR),” explains John Haggis, second officer in charge of Royal Canadian Navy Sail, and the skipper of STV Goldcrest. “They get qualifications they can use to move up the different sailing tiers such as crew, day skipper, coastal navigator, coastal skipper, then offshore navigator,”

But it isn’t all work and no play.

“They get to do what people pay a lot of money to do, and that’s tour the Gulf Islands,” says Haggis. “We do port visits in places like Ganges, Sidney, Thetis Island, Port Browning and Poet’s Cove, and these are all sought-after places for people to go visit.”

The program is open to RMC students and personnel awaiting training. It provides a platform for junior military members to learn basic principles of leadership and how to function at sea. Having this kind of hand’s-on experience early in one’s career provides a considerable jump on further training, especially for future Naval Warfare Officers such as Naval Cadet Ken Yim.

“We’re learning a lot on the sailing vessel and really familiarizing ourselves such that when we get on the actual frigates, we will have lots of experience already,” says NCdt Yim.

Some of that experience includes navigating through a difficult area of the Gulf Islands: Enterprise Channel.

“We were learning how to sail through the eddies and the swirls and we noticed at one point that our boat wasn’t moving at all,” says NCdt  Yim. “We were just moving into the current, stationary in the water. With the help of our coach we kind of found the proper way to go through the swirls so that we were actually going with the current instead, and that’s how we sailed through that area.”

According to Haggis, there is much more than just functional training at sea for these students – they are getting a glimpse into what it means to integrate the military ethos into everything they do.

“The biggest part of this whole program is not just that they get a qualification that shows up on their MPRR. It provides an opportunity to show leadership and teamwork, and that’s what the military is all about,” says Haggis.

Students will return to school in a few weeks after having completed their course. Not bad for a summer job in the navy.

“Yeah it’s been really cool,” says Yim.

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  1. emily says:

    wow what a handsome guy

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