Petty Officer First Class Cosmo Brunsch-Rendek spent a full week aboard a Canadian Armed Forces’ vessel learning seamanship alongside Royal Canadian Navy sailors.
Brunsch-Rendek is a 17-year-old sea cadet from Williams Lake, and the trip was his first deployment with the cadets.
“I didn’t think I would be the one to get accepted for deployment,” said Brunsch-Rendek.
“I thought I would try it and then lo and behold I got accepted. It made me realize the cadet program … will offer you a lot of opportunities, a lot of really cool opportunities.”
The cadet was one of 64 cadets from across Canada to take part in the seamanship deployment in October.
During the day, the ORCA Class vessel RAVEN would conduct excersises through the Gulf Islands. At night, they would dock at one of the many communities throughout the Straight of Georgia.
Starting in Victoria, the crews docked in Gibsons, Vancouver, Nanaimo, and Salt Spring, as well as the CFB Esquimalt Pacific navy base.
Docking is harder than you might think, said Brunsch-Rendek.
The cadets also learned men-overboard drills, rapid response and attack teams to help with fires on board: “You have to attack it so we put on all the gear and we have the hoses ready and brought them down. So that was really cool,” he said.
They also took turns as lookouts, helmsmen and engineering.
“It was basically an opportunity to apply the seamanship skills that you learn at the core and during your training and you can apply them to actual actions.”
Brunsch-Rendek has been a cadet for the past four years.
He hopes to bring the skills he learned back to his corps.
“I think it was a really, really valuable training experience,” he said.
“Being able to experience shipboard life and apply the seamanship skills that we learned during the cadet training was my favourite part, as well as making friends.”
Being a part of the 202 Chilcotin Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps has taught Brunsch-Rendek many different things, he said.
“Responsibility is a big one. Confidence is a really big one, because now I have a lot more confidence than I would have ever had,” he said.
He’s glad that he put his name forward for the deployment.
“It’s a really awesome experience that it isn’t unachievable by anybody. If somebody were to want to have experiences like that it wouldn’t be difficult for them to have one, if they joined cadets.”