My apologies for my uncalled for rant concerning the Canadian PCOC. I should keep my feelings to myself.
I suppose any sort of qualification, no matter how rudimentary, is better than nothing. At least it shows some sort of exposure to rules of the road in a marine environment
and perhaps the opportunity to at least watch some one with boat handling skills.
Far and away the most profound learning
experience I ever encountered was working with and watching the old salts in the PNW who had driven ships across both oceans during WWII and lived to tell the tale. One old geezer back in the 60's would regale us with stories of the Murmansk run in horrible weather
with questionable but floating equipment
. He was one of the last guys alive who who done the Horn in a square rigger to San Francisco
when he was a cabin
boy, younger than I at the time I went to sea. A picture of his old vessel still hangs on the wall of the 'Red Sails' restaurant in San Diego
. These old dogs
could handle any ship in any weather
long before there were such things as weather reports. They were all wonderful teachers, knowledgable, patient, but unforgiving. You learned quick or got a cuff up the side of the head
They are all gone now but I often wonder how the newer crew coming up would fare under the conditions they sail in.
I measure a man's seamanship against these guys and hope I could stand in their shadow. I feel very fortunate I had the chance to sail with and learn from them. Phil