Our challenge today was to learn how to get the boat ready, rig the sails, check for safety, launch the boat and have a go at sailing. Our coaches Colin, Steph and Holly taught us how the boat works, which is using the sails, and the back paddle which would control the direction of where the boat is going. To practice this we followed our instructor and practised using the back paddle.
Before sailing out we needed to wear life jackets and wetsuits. The purpose of wearing these things was first for the wetsuits to keep us warm as the water was cold, and because the life jackets would allow us to float which would make sure we don’t drown.
Next, we learned to capsize, this is when everyone in the boat needs to lean a certain way into the water and make the boat tip over. Then we would need to pull the boat outwards with our hands gripping the centre board, which eventually would flip again to normal.
Lastly, when we were finished sailing, before we got back to shore, we were towed by the staff’s boat, with about 7 boats behind. To do this we used the rope which was attached to the front of each boat, then this would be hooked to the other boat’s stick that controls the back paddle, making a chain. After that, one of the members’ boats would speed up, taking us back to shore.
My favourite part of the day was using the water guns because it was fun and amusing, as many of us in the boats getting soaked by the water.
I would like to give a big thank you to the St Johns Rotary for giving us the awesome opportunity to experience a day learning how to sail. We have all had a great time learning the skills you taught us.