As our busy summer season winds down, we say goodbye to our seasonal dock crew, the guys (all guys this year) who guide boaters safely into the harbour, tend the check-in booth, dispense tourist information, and process payment. Before they left, we shadowed them for a day at Causeway Marina in the Inner Harbour, and got a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into this indispensable role at GVHA.
Dock crew member Trace Meers told us that the job requires excellent communication skills and the ability to work with people, as well as a good knowledge of boating. Crew also must hold a Pleasure Craft Operator Certificate and a VHF Radio certificate. He says that problem solving is a big part of the job. “We are constantly rearranging boats to manage departure and arrival times,” he says. “It’s a bit of juggling to make sure that nobody gets blocked into the marina.”
“The best part about working as dock crew is talking to the boaters,” says Trace. “They’re on vacation and super relaxed. Some boaters have travelled all around the world by boat and are full of good stories.”
The check-in kiosk at Causeway is used during high season, always busy in summer with boaters arriving and departing. Often, the crew, highly visible in their GVHA uniforms, are stopped by tourists with questions as they come and go from the docks.
On arrival, the crew members guide vessels safely into the harbour, check safety procedures on the docks, and make sure boats are secure.
Dock crew member Michael secures a customer's boat to the docks at Causeway.
Boaters Terry, Chuck and Ted from Port Angeles recently spent a night at Causeway Marina, one of many boating visits they've made to Victoria Harbour. Their vessel, a Chris-Craft Commander, has been in the family since 1953. "We like Victoria because there's lots of action downtown," Ted says. "There are lots of great restaurants and it's nice to walk around the harbour and the city."