From Port Moody to Jamaica
James Anderson has always been a bit of a wanderer.
So when the 22-year-old Rocky Point Sailing Association instructor wanted to find a temporary job to beef up his resume, he took a spray-and-pray approach with his applications.
He invented his own job posting and then sent 60 resumes around the world to sailing clubs in Abu Dhabi, Bristol, Guyana, Saint Martin, Barbados and beyond.
One fifth of the 60 targeted clubs responded.
Of those 12, half said, “No thanks.”
And so Anderson came to choose from the other six Jamaica, where he’s now conducting a learn-to-sail program for kids at the Montego Bay Yacht Club.
“I didn’t want to get paid. I just said, ‘I’ll come down, as long as you provide me room and board,’” the Rocky Point sailing instructor and University of BC student said. “They have no youth sailing program, so I’ll model their program down in Jamaica off of Rocky Point because we start off with a program called Wet Feet that’s geared towards children that are four, five and six years old.”
Anderson’s aim is twofold: Promote sailing among Jamaica’s youth, thereby strengthening the competitive edge of its adult programs; then applying the coaching skills he learns in Jamaica to strengthening the sailing program at Rocky Point.
Teaching and travelling, Anderson said, are two of his three “life passions” — the third is learning — and all three have taken him to some rather remote locations and odd situations he said have prepared him for his Jamaica trip.
There were the times he spent coaching elite marathoners in Kenya and teaching English in Germany. He has also been held captive at a Tanzanian chicken farm, sailed in Rwanda, travelled to Zanzibar to deliver a message and found himself near the front lines of civil war in Uganda.
It was in the latter situation that the fourth-year kinesiology student encountered what he believes could be his career destiny: the United Nations.
“I really like teaching but I’m not like a nine-to-five, sit-in-a-classroom kind of guy,” he said. “But I think I’d eventually like to work in health promotion for the UN.”
Anderson credits sailing at Rocky Point with fostering an independent streak in him that he said transformed him from a shy Port Moody kid to an experience-hungry world traveller.
“It’s enabled me all these opportunities to travel all over the world and it all started with the Rocky Point Sailing Association,” he said.
“Sailing’s definitely a problem-solving sport. Maybe you’ll be on the boat and all of a sudden the wind will pick up a lot and you need to know what to do to adjust your sails because often there’s no one else there to help you.”