Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
September brings back-to-school time, even for us on the Picton Castle. The Bosun School has been in session for two weeks now and students are starting to settle in to the daily routine of classes, projects and work.
The Bosun School is a land-based skills development for young people ages 18-30 who have some experience going to sea and want to advance their skills in a focused environment. Distractions naturally occur at sea, so it can be difficult for one person to see a project through from start to finish. By taking away that distraction, students have the opportunity to focus on the task at hand, learning it through demonstrations and lectures, then practicing hands-on several times so they gain familiarity and confidence in each skill.
The first few days focused mostly on orientation and familiarization as the students got to know the ship, the warehouse and the Dory Shop, our main classrooms as well as get a start in the many small boats we keep. We did full safety training and drills, including getting the students aloft in Picton Castle‘s rigging for the first time.
An incredible opportunity has come our way in the form of a 33’ Tahiti ketch called Symphony, donated by Richard and Sharon Orpin, to be used to get young people sailing. The Bosun School students are working on this boat, which had been sitting in the Orpin’s yard, at the Dory Shop, getting it ready to go back into the water. Once the preparation work is done, the vessel will be launched and it will become another classroom for the Bosun School students, learning to handle yet another kind of vessel. They’ll also be rowing as crew and as coxswain, and learning to drive the skiff. Small boat handling is an essential skill for a bosun, one we intend to spend some time developing.
Keep your fingers crossed for good weather so we can be out on the water and working in the rig as much as possible this month.