Aug 23, 2018

80th AnniversaryThank you to the thousands of Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons Volunteers!

From CPS-ECP Halifax’s Fog Horn newsletter, “CPS-ECP is an organization that depends on thousands of dedicated volunteers to achieve its objectives to increase awareness of marine safety and provide training in safe boating practices. Volunteers are involved because they believe in the CPS-ECP purpose and enjoy a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction from their contributions working with others. Who are our volunteers? They are people with a variety of skills and talents who share a common interest in boating and want to promote safe boating to others while enjoying the benefits volunteering brings.” Please see (

Simply stated once a CPS-ECP member has earned 20 Merit Marks (representing twenty volunteer hours per year for twenty years) they become a CPS-ECP Life Member and their CPS-ECP membership fee is waived (read free.) Every year, across the country literally tens of thousands of volunteer hours are donated by CPS-ECP members if these hours were to be monetized the contribution would be hundreds of thousands of dollars – dare I say a million?

Speaking of volunteer hours – from the Niagara/Fort Erie Power and Sail Squadron I learned that CPS-ECP volunteer effort is not limited to teaching courses on safe boating either in the classroom or online. In fact, thousands of CPS-ECP volunteers also provide marine interest seminars, cruises and rendezvous, water and environmental clean-ups as well as many local social events large and small – including CPS-ECP’s 80th Anniversary celebrations. Thousands more also participate in and benefit from CPS-ECP’s Community Awareness Initiatives that including; free Recreational Vessel Courtesy Checks [Having a Safety Inspection Sticker could save you hundreds of dollars,] the new Safety Equipment Education and Pyrotechnic Flare Disposal program in partnership with Transport Canada and C-I-L Orion Dealers [Note: Tens of thousands of expired pyrotechnic flares have been recovered by CPS-ECP volunteers for disposal in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.] the Safety First Marine Program, the Start Boating program and the new Project Life Preserver. To learn more about these boating community initiatives please contact your local CPS-ECP squadron.

The CPS-ECP volunteer effort also extends to vital leadership roles at the Squadron, District and National levels all working in concert to making all types and sizes of boating in Canada a great deal of fun as well safer and making a family’s day out on the water much more enjoyable. CPS-ECP volunteers are a dedicated group contributing many hours of their valuable time and skills to ensure that Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (137 squadrons) across the country continue to be recognized as vital community links to Canada’s premier boating organization.

Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons offer a wide variety of boating safety and navigation courses 95 different categories) and many marine-interest seminars both online and in classrooms all across Canada. Please search for a boating course of interest to you by location, category or course name at the website (

One thing for recreational boaters to know before operating a VHF marine radio, the operator must hold a Restricted Operator Certificate – Maritime ROC(M) card. The ROC(M) card is proof of competency that indicates the operator has a basic level of knowledge required for the proper operation of a marine radio. There are very substantial fines if someone is found using a marine radio without an ROC(M) card. To operate a maritime radio, you need the Restricted Operator Certificate. It's the law!

Courses for the ROC(M) certificate are developed and delivered by private examiners and/or instructors associated with CPS-ECP. Application for this certificate can be obtained from CPS-ECP, and certificates are issued by CPS-ECP. CPS-ECP’s ROC(M) course is offered in via self-study or in a classroom. A complete ROC(M) package will prepare you for the ROC (M) with DSC endorsement exam. (Please note the exam must be taken in person.)

In the spring of this year, Mr. Jeff Lehman, the Mayor of the City of Barrie recognized the Barrie Power and Sail Squadron and proclaimed, “during its 80 years of existence, the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons have increased awareness and knowledge of safe boating by educating and informing members and the general public, thereby contributing to safer recreational boating in Canada and encouraged everyone to learn more about safe boating practices and always engage in proper and responsible conduct while on the water.”

By the way, in January the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) celebrated the 20th Annual Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBA), that recognize the efforts of the public, volunteers, professionals, agencies and organizations who have distinguished themselves in the fields of boating safety and environmental stewardship. This year CPS-ECP members (Carolyn Reid and Norm Dyck were the recipients of the Top Volunteer Dedicated to Boating Safety and the Best Boating Safety Initiative.

ICOM Canada’s Eric Meth was posthumously awarded the Best Boating Safety Initiative. Norm and Eric worked together for several years to come up with a VHF DSC radio set up that could be safely used at our Maritime Radio courses. In the past there were VHF Maritime Radio set ups that Squadrons used but you could not demonstrate a DSC Distress call without the Coast Guard receiving the distress signal.

It is easy to see how in so many ways the passion and commitment of CPS-ECP volunteers come through again and again. In closing I encourage you to read Don Butt’s The Meaning of Life Membership in CPS available online from the Gabriola Island Power and Sail Squadron (

One other thing I would like to draw every reader’s attention to is the CPS Foundation Affinity Pin Program ( )

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We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set for a close reach out of a harbour guarded by a necklace of tiny emerald islands decorated by palms that dance in fifteen knots of wind.

Our boat, “Tropical Escape II” (perfect name for both the boat and our adventure), is a 44-foot Robertson and Caine catamaran, chartered from Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour base on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island.

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