by Lt Sheila Tham
Sailor 1st Class (S1) Nicolas Graham is a Marine Technician on Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Summerside which recently deployed to the Central Caribbean for Operation CARIBBE. The only crew member from Prince Edward Island, S1 Graham grew up in Charlottetown and has many connections to the ship’s namesake town of Summerside, P.E.I.
Before joining the Navy, S1 Graham was an apprentice electrician and a sailing instructor at the Summerside Yacht and Curling Club.
“I started sailing at 12 with 23 Kent Sea Cadets – I just joined one summer and loved it so I kept doing it,” he says. “I ended up teaching sailing for two years and became the head sail instructor.”
After going to Holland College’s Summerside Waterfront Campus for electro-mechanical technology, joining the Naval Reserve as a Marine Technician just made sense.
“You get choices with the Reserves,” he says. “You can choose what coast, what length of contract, when you want to work, and what type of ship you want to sail on.”
And variety is part of the appeal.
“After this, I would like to sail with the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships next.”
S1 Graham took the opportunity during Operation CARIBBE to finish his B-ticket package, one of the qualification levels for Marine Technicians. “Sailing in a Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel gives junior ranks a lot more responsibility, because the crew is smaller,” he says, “It also introduces you to sea states and we get to…