Cadets embark on training adventure

Members of Parksville’s 296 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps will be sailing — by ferry — to Hornby Island early next month. The reason they’re going, said padre Brian Kirby, is to participate in an adventure training weekend on April 1 to 3 at the Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre on Hornby Island. Kirby said the cadets will learn kayaking skills, climb the high ropes course and develop basic leadership techniques while on their weekend.

• Looking for something to do over spring break? Why not consider a trip to the west coast to take part in the Pacific Whale Festival’s Storytime at Sea event? Participants will board the Leviathan II at Jamie’s Whaling Station to take part in the launch of Rosemary Philips’ new book, The Whales’ Secret. The book tells the tale of a pod of orcas as they swim deeper and farther than ever before. Storytime at Sea runs on Monday, March 21, from 11 a.m. until 12 noon in Tofino and again and on Tuesday, March 22, from 10 to 11 a.m. on board the Lady Selkirk in Ucluelet. For information about the Pacific Rim Whale Festival visit

• Admiral Yanow 169 Navy League cadets are packing their bags in anticipation of a trip to Saanich, next month, where they will participate in a first aid and range competition. The competition, slated for April 2, will take place at NLCC Admiral Martin. The local cadets will field two first aid teams in the competition and will observe the range competition.

• The last two races in the Schooner Cove Yacht Club’s Hot Rum Series of races were run Sunday, March 6 in ideal 10-knot winds from the northwest. Peter Milne reports that even though it was Brian Robinson and his crew on Flight who took first place in both races, it wasn’t enough to dislodge Richard Hudson on Island Fling from first place overall in the series. Hudson held on to the series crown by securing third in the first race and a second in the last race. Meanwhile, Tim Rann on Amazing Grace took second in race one while Neal Berger on Shingebiss tied down third in race two after recovering from an inglorious first race, when his crew managed to override not one winch but both primary winches at the same time.

Wreck of the week

When SS Suevic ran aground off the south coast of England on March 17, 1907, it sparked what at the time was the largest maritime rescue operation in history. The 172-metre, Jubilee class steamer with the White Star Line was launched in 1900 and set up to carry third-class passengers on a regular run from Liverpool to Sydney, Australia. However, she was pressed into service as a troop ship during the Boer War. On the day of her first demise, she was inbound to Liverpool with 382 passengers and 141 crew when they ran aground on sharp rocks in thick fog off Lizard Point, Cornwall. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution quickly began a rescue. Manning lifeboats with volunteers, they were able to rescue everyone, including 70 babies. Unable to back the ship off the rocks, White Star engineers used dynamite to blow the bow section off the ship. The watertight compartments held and the aft half of the stricken vessel was floated free. A new bow was made for her and she was once again put in service. Renamed SS Skytteren, she was scuttled in April 1, 1941, to prevent her falling into Nazi hands.

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