The Barnacle team will be away at sea for the month of July, check back in August for our next print issue!

Howdy, Neighbour! Meet Gabe St-Denis

(Photo contributed)

Space. Science. (Tall) Ships. Gabe St-Denis, Bluenose II Second Mate, is a fan of all things starting with “S”. His insatiable curiosity was fueled in childhood with a wall full of books and the incentive to read, as it meant he didn’t have to participate in chores. 

If you’ve ever taken visiting friends or family aboard our sailing ambassador, you’ve certainly seen the smiling face of Gabe. He’s one of many important people keeping the ship afloat and safe.

Gabe’s fascination for the sea came from watching White Squall, a 1996 film where a group of older teens learn how to sail aboard a brigantine. It’s an odd choice to watch and set course a life on water because, spoiler alert, not all crew and passengers make it home safe after a freakish storm. 

Nonetheless, Gabe insisted on learning more about how wind and sails work, so his mom helped him enroll in Class Afloat. From land-locked Hawkesbury, Ontario, Gabe was finally going to set sail on the open ocean. After the experience, it was Lunenburg that stuck out as a place he would one day like to settle.

(Photo contributed)

Gabe has done his time on land, trying out art school in the Yukon and NSCAD in Halifax, but ultimately the sea was calling and he took a job with Picton Castle.

“The rest is history,” he says.

When asked what a young person considering a career in sailing should do, Gabe says, “My advice to you, put that on the back burner, you don’t wanna be a sailor, being a sailor sucks.” He suggests going to school first before committing to the lifestyle. “The thing is now you have a land occupation plus the sailor thing… It can always be your gate out. If you really want to be a sailor, then you know.”

Gabe sometimes spends his winters in the Caribbean or Bermuda, but this winter you’ll find him fixing up a home in Riverport.


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