Meet the Captain- Meet Scott Dowding, Master

by Kristie Cochrane

What’s involved in becoming a captain on a large passenger vessel?
For me, I attended the Canadian Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia and completed the four-year Navigation program during the mid-eighties. After graduation, I sailed on various vessels including a cable ship in Southern United States and large ice breakers operating in the high Arctic.

As I gained experience as a ship’s officer, I successfully completed higher certifications leading me to attain the Master Mariner Certificate of Competency, the highest certification. Prior to joining Marine Atlantic I sailed as Master with various companies operating large passenger vessels and tug boat operations.

Why did you join the Marine Atlantic team?
I grew up in Port aux Basques and my grandfather and father were both employees of CN Marine, the predecessor to Marine Atlantic. I sailed across the Gulf many times with them. It was these great adventures that led me to decide to become a captain with Marine Atlantic about the same time I finished school.

What’s the favourite part of your job?
I enjoy interacting with people. Working with our crew and having an opportunity to speak with the many passengers with diverse backgrounds are the highlights of my day.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Dealing with weather conditions – we can never predict the weather and it’s very important to assess all information (such as weather conditions and passenger comfort) before we make the decision to sail! While we strive to meet our posted schedule, passenger safety and comfort remain the highest priority.