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The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Back To School

Barb Peck & Bjarne Hansen

Hoku Pa'a
Niagara 35
November 30th, 2021

November 21, 2021 marked the return of students to the classroom. This first BCA post-COVID in-person event was the Electrical Skills for Cruisers class, instructed by Bjarne Hansen and attended by about a dozen members from the Island region. Lots of hurdles, such as the previous week’s record-breaking rainfalls, created high barriers to attending. Some road routes were closed and others were operating on an essential-travel basis. One student had woken up at 0330h to catch a ferry to get to Sidney in time for the course. Such enthusiasm!

Our VI Education Watchkeeper, Brent Alley, arranged for a large classroom in the Shoal Community Activity Centre in Sidney, and this proved to be a good venue. In addition to all students being double-vaccinated, we were able to work in small groups of 3-4, physically distanced and wearing masks. One week after the event, no COVID outbreak has been announced as a result of the class, so we’ll count the precautions a success.

The format of this class included lectures covering topics such as basic electrical theory, wire and connector selection, and troubleshooting techniques. To provide a break for the instructor’s voice, after each section the students practiced their newly-learned skills using sample circuits laid out on plywood. In addition to sizing wire and crimping connectors to construct the circuits, intentional faults had been introduced to sabotage the boards, which the participants diagnosed using their multimeters and then fixed.

By the time we wrapped up that afternoon, no one had been electrocuted, and only one drink mug was misplaced. Thanks for enabling this successful event go to Brent Alley for arranging the course, to Barb Peck for cheerfully assisting during the practical exercises, to Chris Stask for delivering some of the audio-visual aids, and definitely to the students for their enthusiasm (and perseverance in getting to the venue!)

Photos credit:  Barb Peck


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