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  • Writer's pictureNova Scotia Sea School


The Nova Scotia Sea School is seeking experienced sailors to begin our paid captain/head instructor candidate program this summer, with the intention of obtaining the rank of Sea School Captain, followed by regular seasonal work.

As Captain, you will take command of our 30’ open spritsail ketch-rigged pulling boats on coastal

adventure expeditions of 5 to 14 days with crews of 10 teenagers. Instructors and teenage crew live in the open boats and explore the coast. Emphasis is on teamwork and personal growth in a context of traditional seamanship. June - August. Excellent traditional seamanship and strong teaching skills

required. Must navigate without electronics, and have experience in youth leadership and development.

Reporting to the Sail Candidate Coordinator, the Captain Candidate will be required to complete the Sea School’s instructor candidate program which includes the following:

1. Multiple instruction days in June, including a 4-day training sail: (June 15- 18, 2023).

2. Capsize drill and other safety practice sessions

3. A minimum of one 7 day sailing expedition as a candidate (Dates are in August 2023)

4. Attend NSSS Staff Training weekend - May 27 -28 (Lunenburg) - Includes NSSS Pedagogy, Risk

Management and Job Orientation sessions.

5. Instruction and assessment in the Sea School Captain/Head Instructor technical and leadership


6. Wilderness First Aid (if not already obtained)

NOTE: Depending on experience, a captain candidate may complete the program and begin work as captain after a single summer or during a second summer.

Captain/Head Instructor Duties on Expedition

● Support with fleet prep, gear prep and maintenance

● Take command of the boat, teach youth to sail, navigate and take command, look after the

well-being and safety of the crew and manage all aspects of the challenging voyage, including

the behavioral, health, and social needs of the teenage crew.

● Train and support assistant instructors and candidates

● Maintain daily log entries and produce trip summaries and reports.

● Provide comprehensive evaluations for each student and staff after each trip.

● Maintain gear and fleet maintenance manual.

The Nova Scotia Sea School takes a proactive approach to safety by going beyond the required Transport Canada standards for boat safety equipment and maintenance. We train each of our staff in our high safety standards and procedures during our staff candidate program, with hands-on training during sailing expeditions, and through other certifications.

Prerequisites and Assets

● Certifications

- Current Standard First Aid, Advanced Wilderness First Aid or equivalent

- Pleasure Craft Operators Card

- Marine Radio Operators’ Permit

- Small Vessel Operators Permit, Marine Emergency Duties A3 an asset

Other sailing or youth worth certifications or trainings

● Youth work experience

- A minimum of 2 years experience working with youth ages 12 - 19, including but not limited

to vulnerable youth, in an outdoor setting

- Experience guiding multi-day trips with youth

● Sailing background

- Significant coastal cruising experience in command of small craft under sail

- Ability to navigate close to shore in fog without electronics

- Sail Canada Keelboat and Cruising Instructor experience an asset

- Small dinghy instructing an asset

- Boat building / maintenance experience an asset


In addition to extensive training described above, the Sea School will arrange for you to obtain the

following certifications

● NSSS Captain standards certification (Value of $1500)

Contingent on completion of NSSS Head Instructor Standards, candidate would be funded to obtain the following:

● Small Vessel Operators Proficiency (Value of $1000)

● Marine Emergency Duties A3 (Value of $500)

Total Certification Value = $3000

Total Cash Remuneration = $1200

Total training coverage = $4200

Return of Service Agreement

Upon successful graduation to Captain, the candidate will sign a Return of Service Agreement and

commit to future program work as the Sea School and the candidate mutually agreed. The minimum

expectation is that the candidate will commit to five trips as an instructor over a period of three years.

TO APPLY: Submit resume and cover letter to the Nova Scotia Sea School by Monday April 17 2023.

Address email to Heather Kelday, Executive Director:

(902) 423-7284; fax 423-7241.

Do not hesitate to call for clarity on the application.

About the Nova Scotia Sea School

The Nova Scotia Sea School takes advantage of the Maritime tradition of boats and our environment to help young people discover the values that the sea has taught for generations: courage, leadership, teamwork, generosity, humour and respect. We teach hands-on skills in boat handling, navigation and wilderness survival, and above all give teenagers a chance to live and work together in a challenging situation where each of them has a turn at being in command. During the summer the Sea School runs sailing expeditions lasting up to 16 days. The program operates out of Halifax and Lunenburg.

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