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This year we decided learn to sail with kids as part of our holiday. We are an outdoor family who are always climbing, biking and hiking. You would have thought how could this family fit in another activity but as a parent I was getting concerned that our children always do what we want to do and that a tug of war begins between our activities and theirs.
We constantly tell our children to try new foods, new things and give them a chance to learn a new activity but then we don’t practice what we preach. I decided that we were all going to take up sailing. The easy option would be to book the children into a sailing school but then this would not be a family activity. So how do you go about starting to learn to sail with kids and where do you look?
Why the Lake District?
I decided on the Lake District as there are plenty of lakes, and activities centres. You often find there are only clubs at lakes and you need to know how to sail or have your own boat to start.
We shopped around as some places were very expensive and wanted to teach an intense course over two days which would have been £600 for the family. In the end we found a place that was flexible and charged per lesson. They booked us in for several lessons but were happy to move dates around depending on the weather. In the end for £150 we had two lessons ranging from 2 hours to 1.5 hours depending on wind. They provided everything you need to learn to sail with kids. Nichol End Marine in Derwent water, Keswick, worked well for us. www.nicholend.co.uk
Our sailing instructor
We had a fantastic instructor. The advantage of the Lake District is the amount of places to learn to sail means there are lots of instructors in the area due to high demand so experienced instructors work for all the centres due to demand. Our instructor had sailed in competitions, big yacht’s and sailed through out the world.
The family’s thoughts on learning to sail
The family were hooked immediately. We were on a small boat that meant we got to be together as a family but also got to really understand the power of a boat and start having a go straight away. The children and husband loved the moment when they could go really fast in the boat and put their feet under the straps and lean out of the boat and even dip their hair in the water. This is not compulsory of course but the instructor could see how keen they were to understand how slow or fast a boat could go by just understanding the techniques. It reminded us all of learning to ski when you start carving into the snow and challenging yourself down different grade pistes.
Well we will be booking into many more lessons, we are even contemplating getting a small boat to sail. The advantage of a small boat we could tow it to other places. In a couple of years we may be brave enough to start on the sea. Our ambition is to sail on the west coast of Scotland one day as every one says this is world class and the nature and estuaries are amazing.
Oh yes did I not mention that the reason we are learning to sail is because we are sailing with friends in the Cowes Regatta in three weeks time ahhhh straight in at the deep end.
What did we learn?
It was fantastic doing a new activity where we were all beginners and parent and child started from the beginning. We are learning all the names and references of the boat together and having 10 and 12 year old boys full of adventure gave a real excitement to the trip. We are hooked.
NB: Katy and her family paid for their sailing lessons and just decided to send us a review.
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Tips for travelling as a family
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