You can learn a lot on a sailing boat, especially a traditionally rigged one.
There’s the obvious stuff like how to make it go. You need to know what ropes to pull on to get the right sails up and setting right. You need to know how to tie things up. You need to know how to steer, and where to steer, so that means knowing how to find your position and a safe route to where you’re going, avoiding hitting the shore or other boats. And for times when you’re not using the wind, you have to know how to look after and use the engine.
Perhaps less obviously, you need how to cook and wash up, which means learning where everything lives on board, and how much stuff you need to feed 15 people for a week. Everything has to be kept clean, otherwise people might get ill.
You’ll learn about yourself, and other people. Are the noisy, confident ones still noisy and confident when they’re seasick? How do you cope with being cold, wet, and maybe just a bit frightened? It may happen, and you will learn from it. Can you make friends easily? Can you work with them as a team? You have to, because there are so many things on board that can’t be done by one person. Have you ever had that amazing feeling when in spite of all sorts of difficulties your team has done something you didn’t think you could do? In a week on board one of The Island Trust boats you will, and not just once.
You can learn something about the Ocean, too, the more time you spend on it. We have one planet, with one ocean which does a huge amount for us and all life on earth.
With Helen, who runs the bookings for The Island Trust’s three boats, “Pegasus,” “Moosk” and “Tectona,” and Katie, one of the crew, I’m looking forward to showing you some of the things you can learn on board. “The Power of Blocks” will show you how mice might move mountains, and “Really Useful Knots” will demystify some of the sailor’s art. We’ve got some video and pictures to show you what a long or a short voyage with us is like, and with our microscope you can get a glimpse of ocean life.
You can also have a go at our nautical wordsearch, and calculating the sail area of “Tectona.”
Have a look at our website – http://www.theislandtrust.org.uk/.
See you there on Monday and Tuesday!