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Captain’s Log – Bosun School Begins

Bosun School is officially in session!

Monday September 19 was the first day of classes for this session of the Bosun School.  We have a small class this time, which makes for lots of individual attention for each student.  Bosun School is designed for young mariners who want to learn skills to advance their careers.

While actually sailing is the best way to gain experience, we have often found amongst Picton Castle professional crew applicants that the amount of sea time they have doesn’t always line up with the skills they have.  We’ve noticed that they simply don’t have the skills we might have expected based on their seagoing experience.

Bosun School is our effort to remedy that situation.  By taking away the distractions of being at sea, where work projects are naturally put on hold to tend to the immediate needs of the vessel, students have the opportunity to delve into those skills with focus.  They’ll start and finish projects, seeing them the whole way through.  But it’s not just seeing, Bosun School is based on Captain Moreland’s belief that “practice makes permanent.”  By not just seeing it, or seeing it and doing it once, but seeing it and doing it multiple times, students are able to learn, understand and apply those skills.

So, what is a bosun?  As Captain Moreland describes in this video, the word bosun comes from boat swain, which basically means the boat’s boyfriend.  The bosun usually reports directly to the chief mate and is responsible for the ship’s maintenance.  That doesn’t mean the bosun does all the work him or herself, the bosun coordinates the deckhands and works along with them.  As Captain Moreland points out, many people think of the bosun as being a rigger.  There certainly is some rigging work involved, but that’s only a part of looking after the ship.  It’s also vital that the bosun can keep the ship clean, tidy and in good nick.

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