Making Waves! Emma Charles

Alumni Profile - Emma Charles (age 31, started with the in 1997, at age 14)

Emma started out on a 7 day trip with Sea School and there met friends she stays connected with today.  'My first Sea School experience left me with a strong feeling of accomplishment, it was such a unique challenge and gave me tools to endure hardships and work through my own judgments of others’.  Her second trip was a two week exchange with the Toronto Brigantine Tall Ship followed by more experiences on the Sea Schools' vessel Dorothea and on tall ships 'True North and the 'Niagara' for 2 week to 2 month trips.   'As a teenager it was really exciting to have that much freedom, I was able to get over my shyness and develop mechanical skills that have been valuable for so many aspects of my life.'  

Emma continued to pursue sailing opportunities with Sea School for her teen years including weekend field trips, overnights on the ‘Acadia’ on the Halifax waterfront and eventually she moved on to other tall ships in California, Florida, on the Concordia with Class Afloat, crew on whale watching cruises in BC and many more.  This passion for sailing and the sea led Emma to the NSCC Nautical College and currently to her work as a Watchkeeping mate on the Halifax/ Dartmouth Ferry.  

Having just completed her staff training with Sea School in 2014 to become a Sea School Instructor, Emma remarked that despite her many travels aboard tall ships that the Sea School boat and the approach to teaching provided more grit and a challenging environment for character building and still remains a very important experience for young people.  

Why come back to the Sea School?

'I am grateful for the direction that Sea School provided me with for my life path and I want the opportunity to give back.  I feel confident on the boat and have the skills to offer young people new perspectives and learn from them as well.’  

Plans for the future?

Apart from becoming an Instructor with Sea School, Emma is currently completing her 150 tonne Captains licence to become the first female Captain on the Dartmouth/Halifax ferry. Congratulations Emma!