Crew Exchanges

Throughout the years, especially since the introduction of the Deep Sea Awards, many of Toronto Brigantine officers have done exchanges with other tall ships around the world.

In Summer 1964, the Christian Radich came to Toronto, offering an opportunity to exchange officers and information, as well as have first-hand interaction withthe program that first inspired the creation of Toronto Brigantine’s program.   Toronto Brigantine later sent an officer to Europe for an exchange in 1970.

Doug Hunter was a TBI Alumni from 1965-1969.  He went on to sail on the NONSUCH in 1970-71 as part of the HBC tercentennial of the first fir trade trip on the original Nonsuch.  A part of history.

1970, was the first year of the Deep Sea Awards. John Clinton,  TBI’s very first Deep Sea Award winner, went on an exchange sailing with a British Sail Training program and also had the opportunity to sail on the Norwegian Windjammer Christian Radich.

In 1971, TBI Alumnus and Deep Sea Award winner, Greig Cooke when on an exchange to the Norewegian Sloop, TS Larvik??

The TS Royalist was a frequently selected exchange experience for TBI alumni.   The TS Royalist is a brig, owned and operated as a sail training ship by the Sea Cadets of the United Kingdom. It was launched in 1971 by HRH The Princess Anne.  She is 37 metres long and has a tradition square rigged brig layout.  It sails every week with 24 Sea Cadets and 6 permanent crew. It participates each year in the Tall Ships Races.  They have a great alumni club called the Square Rigger Club.

  • In 1972 and again in 1979 , TBI Alumni and Deep Sea Award winner, John Hamer went on exchanges on TS Royalist.
  • Andrew Knight did an exchange on TS Royalist as well.
  • And in 1992,  Steve Dennis, TBI Alumni and Deep Sea Award winner, sailed aboard the TS Royalist from Gosport (Portsmouth) through the English Channel around Land’s End and into Cardiff.

In 1973, Richard Birchall first came to TBI on an exchange from the UK – and in 1977 he later moved to Canada and had many years more with Toronto Brigantine.

Amanda Slade, TBI alumni  from 1980-81  and now Safety Superintendent with Fred Olsen Marine Services in Oslo Norway, went to sea on Concretia,  renamed Onaygorah in 1980, from Kingston. It was made out of concrete!

In 1986, Seann O’Donoughue won the Deep Sea Award and went on an exhange with the SS Spririt of Massachusetts – a three week experience that included whale watching, fundraising activities in Boston, winning in the Great Schooner Race out of Gloucester, MA and lots of lobster.

Liz Greflund is a Toronto Brigantine Alumnus from 1999 to 2003. She was also a Deep Sea Award winner in 2001.  As a Deep Sea Award winner she went on an exchange with a Danish Tall Ship Jens Krogh .  Rhys Weed, former Playfair Captain and TBI Alumnus had gone on exchange with Jens Krogh the previous year.

Several Officers from the Ocean Youth Club in the UK came to participate in Toronto Brigantine’s program to get experience on the square sails.

  • The Ocean Youth club was founded in 1960 and celebrates their 50th anniversary this year taking over 100,000 young people (age 12 to 24) to sea.  Since 2000, the club now operates under for separate regional Ocean Youth Trust charities within a national charity, Ocean Youth Trust UK.  The Ocean Youth Trust has a program that is eligible towards criteria for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award.  In 2010, Toronto Brigantine is excited to have our program approved for the Duke of Edinburgh program as well.

And over the years, many of our officers have come from and gone on to crew other tall ships. Some examples include:

  • Rhys Weed crewed on Sisters of Sail’s Unicorn, who is also going to be at the Great Lakes United Tall Ship Challenge 2010.
  • Someone has gone on to crew Bluenose II.
  • R Bruce MacDonald was a former captain on STV Pathfinder  captain as well as officer on TS Playfair and Trident II. He now lives with his family on an Arctic Schooner the North Star. What an interesting history that vessel had being build in 1936 for trading in the Western Arctic.  The MacDonald’s bought the vessel  in 1996 from Sven Johanson, who had bought the boat in 1967 from the original owners James Wolki and Fred Carpenter.   Some history of the North Star  of Herschel Island is provided here.

And of course, over the years, there has been many of exchanges of crew with our sister ship, St Lawrence II.

During various Tall Ship events over the years, TBI officers have also done exchanges with other Tall Ships including the Pride of Baltimore II and the HMS Bounty. Both of these ships are returning to the Great Lakes this summer as part of the Great Lakes United Tall Ships Challenge 2010.  We look forward to seeing them on the Great Lakes and in the port events in Toronto, Bay City and Chicago.

We look forward to learning more about the exchange experiences of other TBI Alumni.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: