I was up in St. John's, Newfoundland at the end of last week. There is a lot to love about that part of the world, including the people, the architecture, and the rugged beauty of the land.
What I did not expect to find, however, was a state of the art simulator. But at The Center for Marine Simulation, they have one of the best in in the world. It is for training people who will run a ship, including the captain.
The crew works in an accurate replication of a bridge.
This bridge is about 25 feet wide and about 9 feet deep. This entire bridge rests on a six motion base.
Huge screens show dynamically rendered computer graphics in a complete, 360 ring seen through all of the windows of the bridge.
When you are in the simulation, you feel the rocking of the wave, the impact of the wind, even the chop when you put the boat in reverse. I found myself quickly pacing from one end of the bridge to the other to get a visual fix on an object to reinforce what my radar was showing me.
The formal learning also, of course, includes comprehensive instruction on the front end and debriefs (or after action reviews) on the back end.
One of my mantras has been, the organizations that care the most about training use simulations. You can tell people who built this center really care.