CAF Story | This naval cadet got to sail on a 96-year-old sailboat

Video / February 2, 2018


I never thought that I would actually work on a sailboat. It was an opportunity actually that RMC gave me. And I have to say I wasn’t sure at the beginning, but I’m really glad I am on the Oriole.

My name is Chrystelle Cloutier, I’m a Naval Cadet, a member of the HMCS Oriole crew. It makes me feel really, really proud giving tours and having people who were working on it, like 30 years ago or so, and coming here showing us pictures of them on the boat, and them having like goosebumps when they’re talking about it. I was proud of being on this boat. I’m happy I’m on it.

My job is either a lookout or like the second of the helmsman. So the man who’s on the helm. If he needs a coffee or if he needs something, he can’t just like leave the helm, so I have to go and get it for him. And as a lookout you’re just like making sure that he doesn’t miss anything that’s going on up front.

Being in Québec City, being able to see my family made me really happy because I miss them, and that’s for sure. My parents, they’re so proud. They wanted to make like the groupies this year, and like watching me, they’re always there to support me. Every time they can come and see me somewhere, they do.

I joined the Canadian Armed Forces because I was interested in living something different. I wanted to go and travel the world and I got the chance to go to Germany for a semester. The Military College from Germany, France and the United States, they exchange students with the Military College in Canada. So, I got the chance to go to the one in Germany. And I would say that that was the experience of my life.

When I’m travelling, I’d say I feel really… like really happy to be where I am. And sure, sometimes I miss my family. Or sometimes I wish I could, you know, talk to them more. But what we’re doing, and I mean being up on the deck when it’s a very sunny day and the wind is just like really nice, I don't think there’s anything really much better than that.

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