Master’s Orders and
Pilot’s Advice

David Patraiko, FNI

Three cheers for the British Columbia Coast Pilots. In an age when the general public knows little of marine matters and many of us spend more time sulking than being proactive, the BC pilots have created a DVD/video documenting the good work they do. This 53-minute presentation is a professional production complete with soundtrack and dramatic voice narration, with plenty of special effects and dramatic aerial shots in a quality that any top broadcaster would be pleased with. It is, in fact, being broadcasted via the BC ‘Knowledge Network’ via TV and the web.

‘Master’s Orders and Pilot’s Advice portrays in great detail and drama how the BC Coast Pilots navigate and manoeuvre some of the world’s largest and most challenging vessels through difficult channels in often-heavy weather, protecting the environmentally
sensitive and stunningly beautiful coastline. The scenery in this film is worth the cost alone, and the dramatic effect of the production and script tore me between wanting to run off and join the pilots, or to stay watching the film expecting John Wayne to pop up at any moment! Pure shameless self-promotion, but why not? The serious point of this film is to educate the general public and politicians as to the value of the pilots to the local environment and commerce.

I was so impressed with the DVD that I couldn’t help to think that its true value was international in scope; it will encourage the young to join the industry, will improve everyone’s understanding of the maritime industry and thus their respect of the jobs done at sea. I would recommend this documentary to everyone – share it with your colleagues (particularly non-mariners), your family, your community, or just enjoy it yourself and feel proud. If more organisations could produce such material our industry would surely be better off.

Either DVD or video (specify NTSC or Pal format) can be bought via

Seaways Magazine - November 2005