We Learned To Sail

After about 6 months of planning by the Intrepid Leader and staff at the Guide Scout Water Activities Centre, over 2 weekends in February the Unit undertook a sailing activity. During this activity, they learnt not only the theory of sailing but also parts of a yacht and the most difficult of all, the rules for the avoidance of collisions at sea - more commonly called the rules of the road. Joining the Unit for the activity was Lesley (mum of former Venturer Ambre) who had been to the Water Activities Centre before as volunteer crew and wanted to learn more about the art of sailing.

To say the theory was a bit heavy and totally out of left field for nearly everyone in the Unit is putting it politely. The concept of turning a yacht the correct way to avoid getting wet also took hours to achieve, but eventually they all got there.

Emily took the opportunity to not only try and drown her crew members many times over, but also to undergo her investiture into Venturers. In true Emily fashion, she chose to get invested in the water and so after all the sailing was finished with, a wading into the depths we went. After the investiture, the Unit was presented with their Outdoor I Award by Tony from the Centre. Tony was our guiding light during the course and deserved a medal for what he had to put up with.

Not to be outdone, we also chose the last day to invest Anthony, even though he wasn't to come to Venturers until the following Thursday night. So after the delights of Hungry Jacks at Moorabbin, it was off to HJ's playground to carry out the investiture.


The First Weekend

So after the shock of the wind on the first Saturday Jacob, Nigel and Lesley survey the surrounds awaiting what might become of them on the water.

It was Nigel's birthday on the Saturday, but we all got caught up with the excitement of the sailing so gave him a surprise morning tea on the Sunday.

Emily might look as though she's asleep, but she's actually listening very intently. Aren't you Emily.

Yes, there's nothing like a video to hold the Unit's attention. Pity it was how to sail.

After the video, Gordon (the instructor) demonstrates on the board what was discussed on the video.

Anthony asleep with his eyes open :-)

Just call him 'Chopper Hedger'. He'd left his truck up on Beach Road.

Just let me at the rescue boat thinks Jacob.


The Second Weekend

With the basic theory side of things pretty much out of the way on the first weekend and with the Intrepid Leader armed with freshly charged batteries in the camera, the second weekend was time to put all that the Unit had learnt into practice.

There were over 50 photos taken over these two days and some severe culling was required to build this page. Sit back and enjoy some of the best of what the Unit got up to.

All hands to the task of getting boats out of their racks.

Then we scratch our heads trying to remember how to rig the sparrow.

In another part of the yard,

Nigel gets the sails out of the loft

and 'voila', one fully rigged sparrow.

Not to be outdone, the pacer is rigged and ready to go at the other end of the Centre.

You reckon this looks hard. Carrying the boats down the beach during high tide at the beginning of the day ain't nothing compared to doing the opposite at the end of the day.

Once underway, Anthony pushed the rudder blade down whilst (hopefully) Bao keeps an eye on where they are going.

With the rudder down and a good set on the sails they are off.

Running downwind and Anthony works on the main to get the best effect.

Good job guys.

NO, NO Emily, don't pull the tiller towards you !!!!

Oh well, we all have to do a capsize drill sooner or later, but did Emily have to do hers 11 times??

So the boat's on its side and Lesley has brought the bow around into the wind. All that's left now is to get it upright and get in.

Missing In Action

Yes, back in the water you two. The Intrepid Leader was so busy issuing instructions on what to do and laughing so much watching Emily try that he forgot to get a photo.

For the record, with the bow into the wind, you stand on the centreboard and up she comes.

So far so good.

That's it. Over the windward side so your legs don't get sucked under the boat.

Then help your crew aboard by keeping the gunwales down and then steadying the boat.

Meanwhile, Jacob and Brad 'running' in one of the pacers.


OK, so your reaching for a mark and a collision is imminent. Who gives way to who?? Check at the end for the answer.


Jacob rounds the make beautifully with Brad in perfect control of the jib.

Yes, it deserved a thumbs up.

After the day's sailing and everything was washed and put away, it was time for a few formalities. First off it was Emily's investiture.

Emily chose the spot and given the previous 2 weekends, a fitting spot it was. She even knew all the words to the Scout Promise.

Nigel presenting Emily with her Venturing Skills Award and certificate.

Tony, our activity co-ordinator addresses the Unit.

and the presents Anthony and the rest with their Outdoor I Award.

Tony and Jacob examine Jacob's badge.

and finally it was Lesley's turn to be presented for being a good sport and giving Emily so many opportunities to do capsize recoveries. For the next week, Lesley had the bruises to prove it.

On our way home, it was Hungry Jacks for tea and Anthony's investiture. We all knew Emily was a big kid, but this proves it.

The Unit readies itself for the investiture in the playground at Moorabbin's Hungry Jacks.

Emily though tea was finger licking good. Weren't we in the wrong place for that ???

At the end of a long and exciting day, Anthony confirms his promise and becomes another in the line of 1st Deer Park Venturers.

And the answer is: ..... the red boat gives way to the white boat. Ah ha, but why !!!!!!!


Home Activities Award Scheme Duke of Edinburgh Honour Roll Important Docs Member Rolls Program

Queens Scout Honour Roll Venturer Vibes