Sixty years ago, on June 16, 1959, the Cowichan Power and Sail Squadron was formed.
It joined other power squadrons that spread across Canada following the lead of the first Canadian power squadron founded in Windsor, Ontario in 1938. The most recent count of Canadian power and sail squadrons was 166 nationwide with more than 26,000. Members promote boating safety and volunteers help writing courses, instructing classes and giving practical boating training.
Every year, hard-working Cowichan Power and Sail Squadron members, who have many decades of boating experience between them, provide instruction and practical demonstrations to members of the public. In the past 12 months the dedicated volunteers have taught nine courses to 180 students ranging from the basic Pleasure Craft Operator Certification and Maritime Radio Operator Certification Courses to more advanced courses in navigation and radar. The pass rate for these courses is more than 90 per cent.
Why does it matter to you? The requirement to have a pleasure craft operator’s certificate and a Radio Operator Certificate is mandated by law. Failure to carry a PCOC while boating, or an ROC while using a radio can result in a fine. Transport Canada has recognized the CPS as a provider of PCOC and ROC training. Volunteer instructors are experienced and seasoned boaters who are enthusiastic about quality of teaching and provide advice. So, when you next see that blue, red and white sign by the side of the road advertising Cowichan Power and Sail Squadron courses in the fall and spring, think about how much more you would like to learn to be a safe, skilled and knowledgeable boater and enrol in a class.
Many who take courses go on to become Canadian Power Squadron members. Cowichan Power and Sail Squadron hosts many enjoyable activities — the recent Mother’s Day Pig Roast with pot-luck contributions is a good example. The Squadron also hosts on-water events with groups of boaters meeting at local marine beauty spots — the Todd Inlet outing with opportunities to view the Butchart Garden fireworks is another example.
“Come join us and share the fun!” the group urges.