Vernon sea cadet, Simon Dufresne steering a tallship around the gulf islands on the coast. (Photo submitted)

Vernon sea cadet, Simon Dufresne steering a tallship around the gulf islands on the coast. (Photo submitted)

Vernon teen tells tales of hitting the high seas

Hitting the high seas

When Simon Dufresne joined the Sea Cadets four years ago, the 16-year-old Vernon student was looking for a challenge.

On March 11, he found it.

Dufresne, who is in Grade 11 at Kalamalka Secondary School, was one of 58 cadets from across Canada selected to participate in this year’s tall ship deployment on Canada’s west coast this month.

The five-day adventure, which Dufresne calls a “fantastic experience,” took him along the strait of Juan de fuca, and the Gulf Islands around Victoria. The experience, according to Cadets Canada, gives select sea cadets the opportunity to learn seamanship skills aboard a tall ship as part of the crew.

”I was able to live a life at sea for five consecutive days,” Dufresne marvelled.

“I loved the leadership, teamwork and citizenship aspects that cadets has taught me. As far as the trip, the thing I am loved the most about this deployment is the amount of comradeship that is currently being developed.”

Dufresne said he also enjoyed being able to put what he was taught in the classroom at cadets for many years, into practice.

The Sea Cadet program in Canada is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. For more information about the program and experiences sea cadets have visit www.grilse.ca