My Fane and I have seen many seas together, but it's always more fun with my children. Learning about safety at sea has been paramount in their lives. Rules of the road. Docking manoeuvers. Piloting a course. Port, starboard, fore and aft, bow to stern. How to tie knots. Identify dangers, and handle the seas safely. All of it has been covered, little by little, here and there on each of our trips out on our quaint 1946 Fane.
But where does a parent start? What if you have no sea experience? Growing up the way I did, it takes me a significant shift to consider these questions. What would I start?
There are some great courses out there. Here are some resources:
Government of BC - Licensing of a pleasure craft in BC
At this site you can learn all about if a license is required for what you would like to do on the water, depending on what type of water craft you are thinking of purchasing.
Canadian Power and Sail Squadron
At this site you can get some great information on the Pleasure Craft Operator's Card, resources on the VHF Radio Operator's Course and a ton of other great information. I highly recommend it.
My best advice is passed down to me from my father. He always taught me to have a healthy respect for the sea. It's bigger than you, no matter what boat you are on. Being hyper vigilant about safety at sea, is of paramount importance. If you are a person who is just learning about the sea and wants to share it with your children, take a class together.
Start small, rent kayaks or take a canoe course down at the water's edge. Learn from the instructors on the smallest of water craft and then work your way up. Trade the kayak for a canoe. Master a canoe and move up to a small boat with an outboard. Learn everything you can about that, before moving up again. Spend time at the marine supply stores and talk to them there. Those salty dogs are a wealth of knowledge. They will tell you the best places to fish, gear to take, and maybe even will slip you a few names of people to talk to about getting out there.
There is so much knowledge out there, but in the end, the sea will always be bigger than you. Never lose your respect for it.
HI, I'M KATE
A Captain's daughter, who became a Captain's wife. I remain always, a mermaid out of water looking to get straight back to the sea, whenever possible.