Sebastian Bodine (left) sailed the English Channel with 11 other Canadian cadets last month. Photo submitted

Sebastian sets sail

Nelson cadet Sebastian Bodine journeys across the English Channel

The TS Royalist was approaching the French port of St-Malo when petty officer Sebastian Bodine was ordered to climb out onto the ship’s jack and hang a Canadian flag.

The Nelson sailor complied, but lingered on the jack as the ship entered the port.

“As we were coming in, the bridges were opening up for us because we are so tall,” said Bodine. “There were hundreds of people taking pictures of us as we come into the port. And I’m just sitting there at the very front. I thought that was an awesome, very cool thing to do.”

Bodine returned last month from a nearly three-week trip to the United Kingdom and back that included a 12-day deployment on the English Channel aboard the TS Royalist.

The Grade 11 student at L.V. Rogers and sailor with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Hampton Gray VC was one of just 12 Canadian cadets given the opportunity to make the trip. The ship, which is nearly 32 metres long, was also run by one Canadian officer, 12 other British cadets and four more British officers.

The Royalist set sail from Portsmouth and visited other English ports before making the 17-hour journey across the Channel to France. Bodine would rotate through watches every two hours during the trip, which was far more windy than his trips out onto Kootenay Lake.

“The real difference is there’s 30-knot winds that you’re in everyday in the Channel,” said Bodine. “Then you get back here and there’s maybe two knots.”

The trip became interesting when the Royalist was passed by a fleet of cargo ships about two hours off the French coast.

“Everyone got woken up because the waves were so high they were halfway up the mast. They were coming in the boat,” said Bodine.

“I was sleeping. I took some sea sickness meds for the first week or so because I had to get my sea legs first. I hadn’t taken them yet and I just wake up to this huge crash and the door flings open and water poured in on me.

“I got woken up by this sea water, I was like ‘oh my god’ and the boat’s just rocking back and forth and I was like, ‘I’ve got to get outside right away.’”

Bodine has been sailing since he was 12 years old. He’s tried a lot of activities, including singing in Corozón, figure skating, baseball and even competing on LVR’s rugby team. But sailing has stuck.

“My mom gets me to do a lot of stuff,” he said. “She likes me figuring out what I want to do and she wants me to try everything. Then when I find something she’s like, ‘Oh you like that? You got this. You can stay in that.’”

Sailing appeals to Bodine because it’s not easy. It takes work to sail, and he says the payoff is greater for it.

“You feel everything that’s happening in the sail boat while you are doing it,” said Bodine. “You really control how fast, how slow, how tipped over, how heeled you are in the boat.

“When you are sailing in the boat, you can go pretty fast. You’re in the boat sailing along and you hit a gust of wind and the whole boat tips over. You get such an exhilarating feeling when the boat tips over and then you have to let out your sails or pull them in or whatever you have to do.”

Bodine is eyeing an application to Royal Military College in Kingston so he can continue with sailing. Failing that, he is also considering joining sailing clubs in Vancouver once he graduates from LVR next year.

The sailor’s life is the life for him.

 

The TS Royalist was built in 2015, replacing a previous boat of the same design that was commissioned in 1971. It’s used by the British Sea Cadets as a training brig. Photo submitted

Bodine (third from the right) is seen here during a sightseeing visit to London with his fellow Canadian cadets. Photo submitted

Yes, Bodine did get to steer the ship. Photo submitted

Just Posted

LETTER: Message to dog owners on Mountain Station Trail: Clean up!

Dog owner says she wants to be part of the solution

Genelle ‘vehicle incident’ under RCMP investigation

Regional firefighters respond to car fire Sunday night

Nelson commits to 100% renewables by 2050

This makes Nelson the sixth city in Canada to join the worldwide initiative

RCMP: Mailboxes being targeted for theft

Nelson RCMP say several thefts have occurred in the last week

School district backs Nelson Tennis Club’s plans for multi-sport complex at LVR

The ambitious proposal still needs Columbia Basin Trust funding to go forward

Ryan Cooper steals spotlight for Nelson Leafs at KIJHL Prospects Game

Cooper was named the Kootenay Conference’s MVP

Nelson CARES reaches $690,000 fundraising goal

The three-year campaign will help renovate Ward Street Place

Kootenay Music Awards set to go, with changes

There will be new categories, a new voting method, and a new venue

COLUMN: MP Stetski says stop the attack on workers’ pensions

MP Wayne Stetski says not enough is being done to protect Canadians’ pensions

LETTER: Former candidate takes aim over Site C decision

Controversial decision draws criticism

LETTER: A poetic plea for pets from a cat owner

Poetic support for the small pet population

Canada excludes Kinrade from Olympic roster

The Nelson native took part in tryouts for the Winter Games hockey team

Nelson Sports Council to hand out $33K over three years

Max grants of $1,000 are available three times per year through 2020

Most Read