The real joy for me is when they finally get a feel for it and I can take them out into the Bay where the wind is true. A line of little boats with grinning skippers
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Four boats, one beach, 100 kids and lots of wind all add up to thrills and spills and screams and beams.
The Waterwise programme has been around a while teaching kids how to sail and become wise on the water. With our very long coastline, I'm guessing about 4500 kilometres, having fun on the water is a big part of our Kiwi life and the ocean can be very unforgiving as our drowning stastictics show. Our own Hot Water Beach is the second worst in NZ for drowning because inexperienced people become hot in the pools and then rush into the surf and are carried away in the undertow.
So the local Whenuakite School invited donations to buy four boats and Eggsentric is proudly displayed on one sail and I trained to be an instructor. The kids get 90 minutes each time and learn to rig the boat, go through it's safety features and their own such as life vest, sun block, warm clothes etc. and understand a little of how to read the weather such as clouds and wind on the water.
But the real fun and for some the real terror is on the water when they are in control of a bucking little boat with the wind whipping the sails. We teach them to capsize, right the boat again and bail the water out and that usually gives them confidence when they realise nothing bad can happen.