It’s been a busy month for TS Nimrod with new cadets joining, weekend training and preparation for the South Island Regatta. The regatta sees the four sea cadet units from the Southern Area come together in Christchurch to compete in activities which test a wide range of the skills and knowledge taught at unit level. Events include pulling, sailing, seamanship, navigation, first aid, drill, rope work and range shooting.
TS Nimrod put in a quality performance, coming first in the pulling (rowing) event and placing well in other events. The team unfortunately didn’t place overall, but some of the younger team members had the opportunity to shine; particularly in the sailing events where less experienced team members must try their hand on the tiller.
Our focus as winter terms approach will be on polishing our ceremonial skills for ANZAC day and swatting up on areas of improvement identified at the regatta. As always, we will be accepting new recruits at any time of year and interested persons are most welcome to visit us at Back Beach in the summer or the WIC hall in winter.
We are off to a good start for 2015 with plenty of activities planned to make the most of the remaining summer term. Sunny Thursday evenings have us out on the water so we can give the new cadets a taste of all the different water activities we do: sailing (of course), pulling, swimming, jetty jumping at high tide, power boating and, a favourite, tubing – towing an inner tube behind the powerboat.
In the warmer months we also take advantage of weekends to have some fun. Weekend activities include things like a day sail, camping, expeditions and sailing races. Our favourite day sail routine is to sail out from Back Beach, play cricket or football on the sand bank, anchor at Aramoana Spit Beach for a picnic and beach games and then sail back again.
Boot camp for the new cadets is a good excuse for us to plan training and fun for a whole weekend. Staying overnight means we can do night-ex such as a good game of Spotlight, and having whole days to play with allows us to get in some orienteering and other land based training as well as getting out on the water.
This year we also hope to revive some of the traditional sailing races with HMNZS Toroa, TS Waireka and other local groups.
Although cadets only parade during the school term, the summer holidays still hold plenty of activity for TS Nimrod. We have courses to attend, equipment to maintain and administration to attend to, just for a start.
Two of our cadets attended (and one senior rate staffed) the Coxswain’s Course in Auckland these holidays to gain qualifications to be in charge of a sailing boat. This means they’re spending the week in and on the warm waters of Army Bay having a great time and will come back ready to help us teach new cadets how to sail. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for pictures.
The Unit Support Committee has been busy as usual organising funding, activities and equipment to give the cadets the best experiences possible for 2015. This involves meetings and paperwork, of course, but its well worth the effort to see young people having such fun on the water.
The other administrative activity happening over the break is the admin officer working to improve our communications. This means we are building proper contact lists and streamlining the way we contact cadets, families and the community. We now have various ways for people to connect with the unit:
NEW Mailing list: sign up for our alumni/community mailing list by visiting our Facebook page and going to the “Email Signup” tab under the main photo. You don’t have to be a member of Facebook – it will just act like a normal web page.
TS Nimrod was involved this week in a special series of parades to celebrate 150 years of Cadet Forces in New Zealand. Each unit sent a representative to the main parade in Wellington as well as participating in a local parade at the same time.
An account of ABCDT Tristan Howard’s trip to Wellington will be published in his school newsletter – details here: Park Press
October has been a great month for us because we’re back on the water. Our first attempts at sailing “321” were a bit premature – we decided to give it a go despite there being very little wind. Luckily 321, a 17-foot fibreglass Crown sailing dinghy, is just as suited to pulling as to sailing so out came the oars and we made the most of a beautiful evening at back beach. It also meant we got the chance to check all the rigging, and of course the cadets took the opportunity to have a swim.
Being out in the Crown also means running a safety boat, so we got to give Echo 1 a good run as well. Echo 1 is a 4.5m Naiad we have on loan from the Area HQ until we can raise enough funds to replace our old Smart Wave which doesn’t meet our needs as a safety vessel. Echo 1 is great fun, and we were able to take her near to the basin to view Oosterdam from the water. The cruise ships look even bigger from a Naiad than they do from the shore!
The summer season doesn’t mean forgetting about the more formal aspects of being Sea Cadets though. Preparations for the Parade of National Significance went on behind the scenes all month – more on this event in the next issue.
Lastly we would like to welcome aboard LWEF Barry Harwood of HMNZS Toroa Naval Reserves, who is now parading with us as an instructor and brings his much appreciated Naval expertise to our training.
The end of term 3 means summer season approaches. Being the end of the term, it also means fun night, and this term’s activity was bowling. Officers managed to hold their own for a while but a mixture of strikes and gutter balls was not enough to hold off some of the NCOs. A good time was had by all.
Also on the agenda at the end of each term is a thorough clean ship. Having kept the hall as tidy as possible over the winter, this meant we could put some elbow grease into getting the boat shed ready for the start of summer. A flurry of activity overseen carefully by the Petty Officer and Leading Cadets means that we return to swept floors, tidy boat gear and everything in its proper place. A few adjustments to routine and this should be maintainable for the whole season.
Over the holidays two of our number attended the Junior NCO course at Burnham. ABCDT Bellamy passed the course with flying colours (metaphorical colours this time) and I survived my first appointment as Course Director. The course included training and assessment in squad handling, drill instruction, leadership and public speaking and was attended by 14-17 year olds from around the South Island. There is no Senior NCO course run during the September break.
August is often a relatively quiet month for us, with winter training well underway and some wild weather to keep us on our toes. This month we have started a project led by CAPT Weir, of Dunedin Cadet Unit, to mark both the 150th anniversary of Cadet Forces in New Zealand and 100 years since the beginning of the Great War. The project involves cadets getting to know more about their own family history, which is lots of fun, and we’re lucky enough to have the great resources at Port Chalmers Library available to us on Thursday evenings.
The Unit Support Committee has been hard at work as usual, with raising funds, liaising with other community groups and keeping the unit ticking over smoothly. The national body of the organisation, SCANZ, is undergoing a few big changes so we enter into exciting times for Sea Cadets. Now would be a great time to contact us if you’ve been thinking about getting involved, whether on a small or large scale. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We also love to hear from Nimrod’s ex-cadets and officers so if you’ve been involved with the unit in the past please drop us a line or head to our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/tsnimrod – you don’t have to have a Facebook account to view our most recent news and photos of our adventures.