Education and Inspiration Aboard the MV Uchuck III

Education and Inspiration Aboard the MV Uchuck III

Story: Laura Bhamberdevoid
Illustration: Mikah Bhamberdevoid

I’ve told many people about our trip on the Uchuck. They all can’t believe they’ve never heard about it before and such an opportunity exists!  It’s one of those amazing adventures that inspire learning and imagination in a special way. We made the mistake of marking the day of our Uchuck trip on the calendar a month in advance.  Our seven year old had been counting down the days and you know how long a month is when you’re seven!  A month of counting down, and we were sure not disappointed! The trip exceeded our expectations in so many ways. It gave us a rare glimpse into a part of BC’s coast,  lifestyle and history that few people experience.  I felt like I’d seen BC for the first time.

In the month leading up to the trip, we read about the history of the Mowachat Tribe and the explorers that came on big ships. We traced routes through oceans and continent looking forward to sailing thru the same waters where they landed. The day on board was perfect. Seven hours flew by too quickly.  Of course, all my son’s stories about the Uchuck start with the home baked cookies hot out of the oven.  That’s a treat anytime, but while you’re floating by  some of the most beautiful coastline in BC, that’s hard to beat - especially when you pair it with the best cup of coffee anywhere in Gold River! We saw logging camps and fish farms.  It sure brings home the discussions on these topics when you see them first hand. Then there was the chance to watch a working vessel and it’s crew in action.  This is where a child’s imagination takes off, and I could tell he spent the whole day with the run of the ship in the world of the imaginary!  Meeting a captain for the first time is the other highlight he talks about.

Even though the trip is over, it has sparked so much curiosity to learn.  He came home with plans to take depth soundings and make charts of the local waters.  I’ve seen detailed drawings of a ship he wants to build for delivery to construction sites.   He wants to learn to build a rope ladder like the one we saw onboard and the list goes on. Best of all, when I dropped him off with his friends for school, I could over overhear them planning:  “Ok!  You’re in the engine room.  You’ll be operating the crane.   I’ll be captain.  You swabbed the deck yesterday, so today you’ll be look out” until the whole crew was “signed on”.  Then recess began with all of them, from kindergarden to Grade 3 running outside yelling “All Hands on Deck!”

This trip is a perfect blend of education, fun and imagination. Thank you to the Uchuck and her crew. From KJ, Laura and Mikah Bhamberdevoid

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