Got the winter boating blues?
Can’t decide between getting a tattoo or fighting to pass the time?
Here is how the writer Douglas Adams describes this time of neither here nor there: “this terrible apathy which begins to settle around 2:55 a.m., when you know that you have taken all the baths that you can usefully take that day there… and that as you stare at the clock, the hands will move relentlessly until four o’clock, and you will enter the long, dark tea-time of the soul.
Now is a dangerous time for idle hands. For lack of distraction and fear of a drastic haircut to show off a new tattoo, that’s usually when I decide to take a boating course and learn (or relearn) something new instead. .
Leslie Giebelhaus is the Education Officer for Cape Lazo Power and Sail Squadron.
“COVID has certainly reduced Cape Lazo Squadron’s in-person training activities, but our instructors have successfully adapted to conduct Zoom-based training, particularly for the all-important VHF radio course, ROC-M (Restricted Operator Certificate-Maritime),” says Giebelhaus. . “We are about to begin a blended learning version of the Beyond the Basics / Introduction to Navigation course where students will study independently and meet with instructors using Zoom on a weekly basis. This allows students to have time with our experienced instructors to gain important local knowledge beyond what is on the page. We hope to have in-person sessions again soon, but our instructors are ready to continue virtually.
Boating Basics was one of the first Canadian Personal Watercraft and Sailing Squadron (CPS-ESP) courses I took at Cape Lazo Squadron. Before COVID, their classes were held at Mark R. Isfeld High School; at halftime we mixed in the hallway, where we rookies traded our nautical hopes and fears. Although the same course was online, I knew there was no better teacher than someone who could add lived experience to the rules and safety books. When one of the instructors told the class about his time in Malibu Rapids at Princess Louisa Inlet, the memory of admiration and reverence still crossed his voice. They were just tables of tides and currents until an inspiring story translated those numbers into a reason to learn even more.
Further course information can be found on the Cape Lazo website www.capelazocps.ca and on the SPC national website www.cps-ecp.ca or email [email protected]
Barb Thomson is a boating enthusiast who regularly writes columns for the Comox Valley Record.