Trip of a lifetime for local sea cadet

Tracy Bussey heading to British Columbia for sailing adventure

Published on March 7, 2017

A member of the 285 Leif Erikson Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps, Tracy Bussey has been accepted to a selective program with the organization in British Columbia.

©Christopher Humby Photography - CHP

The Royal Canadian Sea Cadet QUEST program takes place from March 12-18, and one of the Northern Peninsula’s own is taking the plunge.

Tracy Bussey is the only sea cadet member west of Gander to be accepted to take part in this program.

She will head to British Columbia to sail on a tall ship.

The Petty Officer second class of the 285 Leif Erikson Sea Cadet Corps out of St. Lunaire-Griquet is well versed in sailing, and has her level three sailing certifications through cadet camp.

Getting accepted to the program is a big honor, said the 15-year-old.

“You go in and basically learn what life is like to live on a ship,” she said. “I applied for it because I’ve always wanted to get out of this town. And it’s a great adventure. It’s going to be a great opportunity and so many memories.”

During the five-day trip on the water, she will be learning life skills of someone who operates tall ships, including navigation and map reading, safety at sea and plenty about the daily life on a ship.

It’s an educational opportunity she is pleased to be a part of.

Tracy has received many awards over the years for her involvement with cadets, including a second place provincial speak off award for a tri-service competition between air, army and sea cadets. She has also been awarded cadet of the week, best all around cadet, top colour party cadet and others.

Surprisingly, before she became a sea cadet, Tracy was afraid of boats.

“When I was younger, I used to cry every time (anyone would) try to put me in a canoe,” she said. “But since I started sea cadets and sailing, I’ve become used to it, you can put me on the water and I’ll just go.”

Even though she initially didn’t want to join cadets, an agreement with her parents and brother — who were also cadets — led her to trying it out for one year. She is now in her fourth year as a member.

When asked what parts of cadets she enjoys, Tracy was quick to say all of it. But it’s a special relationship with the other members of the corps that encouraged her from the beginning.

“There’s a bit of something for everybody,” she said. “You have your band, you have your guard, you have your colour party, you have your seamanship.

“If you wanted to be in cadets, sea cadets for me would be the best option because, even in our little corps, we’re so close, we might as well be family.”

Bussey hopes to apply for more travel opportunities over the next few years. This is just one stepping stone for her.

“With cadets, there are so many great opportunities.”