I’m a Sailor, this is what I do.
There is one common question that every seafarer is asked, “what drove you to become a sailor?” Most sailors often have a similar response. To them, becoming a seafarer was the only opportunity to make enough income to give their families back home a comfortable living. Even though this means being away from their loved ones, missing birthdays, holidays, and sometimes even their own weddings, shipping away to sea was the only option for them. We are so lucky to live in such a great country that has so many professional opportunities to make livable incomes. A majority of the population aren’t as fortunate to have occupations that support a strong middle class.
So being from the great country of Canada, my response to this frequent question is quite different. My father has been a Master for many years, and from a young age I have always admired his position and professionalism as a Captain. I also love the beauty and power of the ocean, the sheer size and engineering of ships, the practice of marine navigation, and the responsibility. I think many people can relate to loving the ocean. Coming from the West Coast, the Pacific is always right at your door step and the allure and beauty of this massive body of water captivates us. Boats, ships, vessels, or whatever you call them, most people have traveled on one before and can appreciate the engineering and physics behind them. The practice of marine navigation is dynamic, ever-changing and yet the fundamentals date back to early civilization. But, it’s the responsibility that I love the most. As I explained in my article Ultimate responsibility : becoming a navigation officer, responsibility gives us purpose and makes each and every individual person an integral part of a team or crew. Being a Navigation Officer or a Captain, you are given a lot of responsibility. While responsibility can be stressful, there is an immense sense of purpose and satisfaction.
With all that being said, my advice to the students of BCIT and elsewhere, make sure you choose a study and profession that you truly love. We are so lucky to live where we do, making it truly possible to do anything you like. My calling is being a sailor, this is what I do. Everyone should pursue their calling in life, we all have one. Sometimes you just have to listen.
By Dylan Fowler, BCIT NS18 Graduate
Dylan is a 4th year Nautical Sciences Cadet who graduated from BMC this past August. We are so glad he was able to pursue his calling and wish him all the best.