by Michelle Gilmore
What an opportunity our children and visitors are offered – who knew they could learn to sail in a four day course especially for kids?
Ten children, aged 8 to 13, were taught the fine art of sailing in the school holidays – in a volunteer run course at the Tin Can Bay Yacht Club. Taught the bow from the starboard and some nautical knots – they were soon out on the water, putting it all into practice in the Vagabond Training vessels and Bugs.
Volunteer instructors guided the children on tacking, gybing and all things sailing, and juniors improved steering skills by negotiating the buoys – and each other!
The final day was pirates day for Learn to Sail course: even Pirate Instructor Kay Muir dressed up, complete with the parrot on the shoulder. The children competed in a pirate treasure hunt which incorporated sailing skills such as capsize, re-righting the boats, negotiating the buoys, then a run up the beach.
Most of the kids were out of town or visiting grandparents nearby. From the city, 13 year old Bella Cuddihy said, “I like new experiences, this is something you wouldn’t get in Brisbane.
“It is relaxed and you learn as you go along. You learn from experience instead of (them) just telling you.”
She smiled,”It is really fun – and always good to learn new things.”
Locals, Hugh and Archie Gilmore were not sure what to expect on the first day, but were eager to return for the rest of the week. Hugh enjoyed the solo trips and won the best pirate costume, whilst Archie and his teammate came first in the Pirate Challenge sail race. They only problem was keeping the esky full enough, as it was hungry work! They both would encourage other kids to have a go.
All ten children were presented with a certificate and completed the course, which will be offered again in September. If you are interested the next “Discover Sailing” course starts February 6 for eight weeks, Saturday midday, and each week dependent on weather and tides, please call Jon Jones on 0408472187
Thanks to Beth Euston for some of the images.