Our Scout group marked the start of summer by taking to the seas with a sailing weekend in July at the Royal Yachting Association accredited National Seamanship Training Centre in Portsmouth.
Friday evening saw some dry-land introductions to the concepts of sheeting, reefing and helming before a 6am start on Saturday morning. No-one had to be dug out of their cabin or tipped from their hammock: everyone was eager to make the most of the tides and get sailing for real. Moving back to the land, activities included a hearty breakfast and dinner – luckily, the traditional fare of ships biscuits and pemmican were not on the menu – and training included a session on knots before the group moved back to the water for an evening sail.
“It was my first time sailing. We had a nice time at the weekend. I learned how to sail Wayfarers and Picos with instructors who made it fun. I would go again next year!” Alistair
Sunday morning’s crew, although up and ready for the day at a similar time, was noticeably less lively than the previous day – at least at first. Demonstrating advanced skills, various boats became involved in a new form of naval warfare based on water pistols and buckets of water until everyone was wide awake.
“It was a fun experience to go to. The instructors were very good as they took you through your paces and if you were more advanced they would put you in a boat for more able sailors. I would definitely do it again and would like to try a Pico next time. PS – the power safety boat was excellent as it could go very fast!” Edward
The centre’s highly qualified instructors impressed us with their enthusiasm and their ability to cater for our group’s wide range of skills and experience – and all at the cost of only £25 per person. We are already making plans for a repeat visit next year: get ready to book your place soon…..