The 115-foot schooner Pacific Grace and its sister ship

Tall ships return with mix of new and veteran sailors

PORT HARDY - SALT schooners return to Hardy Bay during 10-day sail around Vancouver Island

PORT HARDY — The tall-masted schooners of the Sail and Life Training Society (SALT) were back in Port Hardy for their annual visit this week, with a mix of new and returning sailors onboard.

The Victoria-based Christian society annually invites young people from ages 13-25 to take part in five- and ten-day excursions aboard the 115-foot Pacific Grace and its sister ship, the 85-foot Pacific Swift.

This week’s port call in Port Hardy was part of a 10-day circumnavigation of Vancouver Island by the two twin-masted ships. They departed today for Ucluelet.

Crews of up to 30 participants per boat are taught both sailing and life lessons under five-member crews, with a focus on community and fellowship aboard the ships. The experience can be so uplifting that the young sailors often return to work aboard the ships on future trips.

“I first sailed when I was 13, with my Grade 7 class,” said Nicole Ames, who is serving as second mate aboard the Pacific Swift on the current voyage. “And I didn’t even want to come. But I came and just fell in love with it. It’s addictive. It’s just so freeing.”

The ships draw plenty of attention while moored at the Seagate dock, with residents and tourists dropping by to shoot pictures or chat with the sailors. Among the visitors early this week was Port Hardy’s Dave Mullett, whose son, Stephon, toured on the ships as a youngster. Like Ames, the young Stephon later returned as a volunteer crewman, and traveled to the shipyard in Victoria to do his work experience program with the ships as a Grade 12 student. He is now serving in the Canadian Navy, his father said.

“If they did an adult tour, I’d pay to go,” Dave Mullett said while admiring the tall, wooden ships.

 

Just Posted

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

North Island local elections face a number of acclamations

Alert Bay, Sayward, and Zeballos have unopposed mayoral elections

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Fishin’ Corner: Stand up for your fishing rights

“Don’t give in to DFO and their quota bureaucracy that the fish belong to everyone.”

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read