Upcoming First Aid Courses

A number of first aid courses are being sponsored by White Squall. Now is a good time to get that critical first aid training and certification, or to brush up on your skills. Once the ice is out it will be hard to find the time for all important safety instruction.

Wilderness Advanced First Aid – April 23-26, 2016
Bridge to WFR – April 27-May 1, 2016
Wilderness First Responder April 23 – May 1 (April 27th off)
Wilderness First Aid – May 7-8
Contact the White Squall Paddling Centre at 705/342-5324.

Boating Essentials Starting January 2015

Boating Essentials is the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron course that builds on the basic knowledge required for the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) and takes you to the next level in your boating education. Topics in this course include navigation, conning, plotting, course and local charting, GPS, anchoring, lines and ropes. The course is taught by qualified local instructors who have considerable knowledge and experience boating in and around Georgian Bay.

You receive a complimentary one-year Regular Membership in Power Squadron upon completion of the Boating Essentials course. Note: Boaters who do not currently have their PCOC may make arrangements with the instructor.

The course will be held one evening a week at the Parry Sound campus of Canadore College.

Course cost: $250.00 Students should register at Canadore Parry Sound for $165.00, seniors $144.70 The course materials costs, paid on the first night will bring the cost up to $250.00

Register by calling 705.746.9222, or through online at this link at Canadore College.

Seamanship Course Starting September 29th

The Parry Sound Power & Sail Squadron will be presenting the Seamanship course this fall starting September 29th.

Seamanship expands upon the CPS Boating Essentials course to provide the student with a more in-depth knowledge of tides, currents, wind, waves and weather.  Traditional navigation, aids to navigation, Collision Regulations, GPS fixes, running fixes, DR plot, way points, the introduction of Deviation and chart labeling in both True and Magnetic are among the many topics covered.

Circumstances such as crew-overboard, medical emergencies, and potentially life-threatening situations are discussed. You will also “learn the ropes”, by gaining proficiency related to knots, hitches, bends, and splices as you develop your Marlinspike skills.

Details about pricing, time and location are available by contacting Parry Sound Power & Sail Squadron Commander and Education Officer, John Mason (705.342.1315, or

Beware “The Man”

Aren’t you in awe of this ad from the Boater Exam people? I found it the other day when looking at the 2014 Ontario Fishing Regulations handbook.

Young, strong cop in shades who is a foot taller than the obviously guilty senior boater. It’s a good thing he just wrote him a ticket and didn’t punch him out. Check out the body language. Check out the gun on “the man’s” hip.

Wow – don’t take the course to learn anything, or become a safer and more courteous boater, take it to avoid being put in this type of situation. And with the recent reports of police abuses it becomes even more intimidating. At least they didn’t dress this ‘cop’ in a brown shirt.

Carrot or stick? The Boater Exam people seem to think the threat of the stick works much better. We don’t offer education, we offer protection. This is using Freudian intimidation in advertising at its best. Or is it at its worst?


JB – Communications Officer


The Stop

Are you ready for your OPP safety check on the water? Or, more importantly, are you prepared for an emergency?

A couple of weeks ago on a humid September day we had friends in town and decided to go for a cruise on Georgian Bay in our small power boat. Since it was calm we elected to circumnavigate Parry Island from Parry Sound harbour. While rounding Bears Head at the tip of Parry Island we were surprised to be flagged down by the OPP boat for a routine safety check. It was a pleasant encounter, all aboard my vessel were wearing inflatable PFD’s and since I am writing about it you might guess correctly that we successfully passed muster.

What struck me however, as I displayed the store bought kit with the mandatory items for my 17’ boat, was how wise in might be to routinely supplement the equipment on board. I had the mandatory paddle, but I also carry a substantial anchor and rode with chain, some extra lines (the stuff in the kit could pass for twine), a fire extinguisher, small air horn, flares, VHF radio, first aid kit, extra clothing, matches, compass (some items may be mandatory for your vessel – so check the regulations. I didn’t bore, or annoy, the officers by showing them my extra gear. But I was glad to know I had it onboard.

It is easy to be complacent out there – be prepared to help yourself and others.


The Emerald Isle in Parry Sound. A candidate for a Parry Sound Power and Sail Squadron Courtesy Check?


One Hand for the Boat. One for Yourself.

One hand for the boat; one for yourself. It’s a mantra repeated over and over by experienced boaters. Don’t let go of the boat. How many times I pointed out to Nat that he was standing in the dinghy with nothing in his hands; that he walked the length of the boat with little care to hold on.

Anchored in Regatta Bay, I was working down below while Nat learned to row the inflatable. I heard him come to the side of the boat, slide the oars into the cockpit, then little sound for a while until SPLASH!

By the time got my head outside he was swimming toward the boat. PFD holding him well out of the water; dinghy painter in his teeth, he was dog paddling – you couldn’t call it swimming – toward the boat.

After putting the oars into our boat he had planned to tie the dinghy to the boat. But he had let go and the wind had another idea. Now he was getting back to the boat the best he could.

We had another talk. But I think this experience might stick better. We will see.

Nathaniel Tows the Dinghy Home

PSPS - Nathaniel

JM – Commander (iPad sketch using Art Set app)

Training / Executive Officer’s April Update

On April 22, 12 boaters graduated from the Maritime Radio Course held at Lakeland. This is important for boaters since a certificate is needed when operating a VHF radio.

This is the time of year when boaters harass marina operators to get their boats into the water. Four or five calls per person is common. The local saying here is that the Sound is clear of ice within a week of April 21st. 2012 broke the belief with an early break up. Some boats were in the water on the first day of Spring. It looks as though 2014 will break it the other way.

So: Before planning on early season boating remember: The early bird gets the worm. The second mouse gets the cheese.

The early boater gets to boat alone. Silence and still water can be delightful but first boaters can be subject to the floating debris left after the ice is gone. This can range from planks and trees limbs to docks that have broken free.

The first mouse, the one who gets onto the bay before a strong wind has blown it clear of this debris, can have some dangerous experiences. Planks torn from docks, their four inch nails sticking up, can damage the smooth underwater hull of a boat. There is nothing like skimming along through an early Spring fog and having a tree, branches and all, loom out of the mist in front of you.

Then there is the ice. It doesn’t all melt overnight. An invisible skim of ice can do quite a number on a boat too. And if it does and your boat is sinking, who are you going to call who can possibly get to you any time soon? I do boat in the early season. My rules are simple. Carry the seven or eight items you must as demanded by law. Boat like you will never need to use them. Boat carefully, one hand for the boat – one for yourself, and make no mistakes. Or wait ’til things warm up some.

 Early Season ‘Boaters’ on the Big Sound – No WorriesParrySights-6905-2



ROC(M) / VHF Radio Course, April 15th and 22nd

This is a two night course being offered by the Parry Sound Power and Sail Squadron. Successful completion of the course will provide you with your Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime), including the DSC qualification for the operation of a marine VHF radio.

Note that the course is a month earlier this year than last and will be held April 15th and 22nd in the evening at the Lakeland Long Term Health Care facility, 6 Albert Street in Parry Sound. This two evening course is scheduled  for May 22nd and 29th.

This course includes instruction and the course materials (complete package with CD), and covers Digital Selective Calling (DSC).  This course will prepare you for the Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime) exam. The exam is administered on the second evening. Successful completion provides you with a Restricted Operator Certificate (Maritime), including DSC.

To operate a maritime radio, you need the certificate.  It is the law, and necessary if you operate a radio as part of a commercial operation. The Maritime Radio course teaches emergency radio procedures, as well as everyday operating techniques.

Register with John Mason or John Stothers at least a week in advance so course materials can be ordered.

John Mason: 705.342.1315 /

John Stothers: 705.389.1345 /

Cost: $75.00

That’s Not Open Water – Just Shadows (March 2013)


But at least the ice fishing shacks are gone. A hopeful sign.

Boating Essentials – Canadore College, Parry Sound

Boating Essentials

Prerequisite: Any Canadian Coast Guard accredited Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card (PCOC) — BUT

If you don’t have an operator’s card yet, tell us and arrangements will be made.

Whether you are interested in powerboats or sailing vessels, large or small pleasure boats, Boating Essentials is for you!  This course picks up where information to get ‘the Card’ leaves off.

Boating Essentials introduces proven plotting and navigation tools using compass, and GPS/Chartplotter.  With the course you will learn skills to make better sense of navigation with a GPS.  Included are practical charting exercises.  Other information essential to safe and fun boating included in the course are:

  • Anchors and Anchoring
  • Ropes and useful knots, hitches and bends
  • Towing
  • Environmental Responsibilities
  • Pre-launch and Annual Layup Checklist
  • Global Positioning and Charts
  •  An introduction to Electronic Navigation
  • A study of charts and strip charts in and around Parry Sound.

On passing the final exam you will automatically become a full member of the Parry Sound Squadron of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP, Canada’s largest association of recreational boating enthusiasts) and receive the benefits of membership for one year.  Boating Essentials provides the basis for the advanced training available from CPS-ECP, including Seamanship, Advanced Piloting, Junior Navigation and Navigation.

Course details: 10 Wednesday evenings, January 8th to March 12th (6:30 – 9:00 PM). Location – Canadore College campus, Parry Sound, Ontario.

Call: John Mason at (705) 342-1315 or e-mail for information.

Price: 2014 – $250.00 per person ($148.75 tuition cost paid to Canadore, $101.25 for course materials paid the first night), $447.50 for two family ($148.75 per student for tuition, $150 for (2) course materials).  Please register at Canadore, Parry Sound (course information link).

CPR Training Session Saturday, October 26th

Here is something that should be of interest to all CPS members.  As well-trained and  experienced boaters, we have a responsibility to assist those in distress. The most common emergency on the water is drowning, and here is a three-hour program of CPR that will answer the most basic need.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation in partnership with Parry Sound EMS will be running a training session from 9:00 to noon at the Bobby Orr Community Centre on Saturday, October 26, for which there is no charge.

To register for this very valuable program, e-mail or phone 705-746-8440. Final registration is at 8:30 on Saturday morning. Everyone completing the session will receive a Heartsaver (A) certificate. In addition, there will be a demonstration of an AED, otherwise known as an Automated External Defibrillator.

For more detailed information, visit

We recommend this very highly, as it gives us yet another tool for dealing with medical emergencies; and, even if you have done this before, much has changed in way of technique in the last few years.  In addition, not having to guess under the pressure of an emergency enables us to be far more effective, so please give this the deepest possible thought.

Steven Duff
Secretary, Editor, and Chief Port Captain