Chance of a lifetime for would-be ship’s pilot on marine educational course
A Bermudian whose ambition is to qualify as a ship’s pilot is now halfway through a unique school year on the ocean waves.
Chance Anthony, who turned 20 last Friday, said he was looking forward to working towards a career at sea after he completed his studies with the Class Afloat programme.
The West Island College International programme, headquartered in Nova Scotia, Canada, takes students around the world’s seas on board a tall ship, where they also study for academic credits.
Anthony, from St George’s, said he discovered a love of sailing and the sea aged only six.
He aims to work as a deck hand for Class Afloat, as a ship’s captain, or “working in Bermuda as a pilot to navigate ships through Bermuda’s narrow passages”.
The Class Afloat year was postponed from the scheduled September 2020 until 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chance, a qualified rescue diver, joined the programme after years on the water, from the Bermuda Sea Cadets to a stint as a crew member aboard the Spirit of Bermudasail training ship.
He remembered a stormy passage from Bermuda to Maine aboard the Spiritof Bermuda two years ago.
Anthony said: “Despite the 25ft waves we encountered, it gave me even more incentive to join Class Afloat.”
He added that his experience on Bermuda’s own tall ship taught him “how to assess situations at critical moments, and to solve problems as a group instead of dealing with situations by oneself”.
“My most memorable part of the voyage was when I had woken up for my morning shift and was able to see the coast of Maine,” he said.
“It felt like a great accomplishment to me as I assisted in sailing a ship hundreds of miles in high seas with a group of people I had only just met on the first day of the voyage.”
Anthony made the most of the unplanned year off before he joined Class Afloat by working – and gained new experience and contacts in the maritime industry through the Endeavour Programme.
He joined Class Afloat’s tall ship Alexander Von HumboldtII in Europe last September.
The vessel sailed to ports in the Caribbean and made a stop last month in Bermuda.
Anthony said he wanted to bring a positive attitude to learning at sea.
He added: “I believe this experience will be an opportunity to further develop my skills in sailing, teamwork, independence and leadership.”
Anthony said he had a “strong passion as a mariner and a thirst to learn more” and the Class Afloat experience would be invaluable “in the future when choosing a career based on the ocean”.
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