On the 6th & 7th March 2017 we arranged a two day sailing / training holiday for a family of six from the Orkney Islands. Mom and Dad were competent sailors and just required the hire of two of our fleet of Topaz Race X dinghies. Lydia (17) and George (15) who had done some sailing before, were trained on the International “Improve my Sailing” course for intermediate students, whilst Erland (11) and Furgus (8) had never sailed before, and they completed the “Getting Afloat” course for beginners.
On the morning of the 6th the family arrived with their hire car and after unpacking their gear into their waterfront bunkhouse, they were introduced to their sailing Instructors who would be conducting the 2 levels of sailing instruction. Mom and Dad meanwhile enjoyed the freedom of doing their own sailing, each on one of our modern Topaz Race X dinghies.
After a leisurely picnic lunch under the trees, it was clear that both Erland and Furgus were now able to sail solo on their own dinghies, each with appropriate amount of sails set. The afternoon was spent with the whole family, each on their own boat, exploring the bays scattered around the dam with Safety Boat and Instructors in attendance.
That evening we introduced the family to the social practices of the good old fashioned South African "braai" (barbeque) and the unique taste of “boerewors”. Everyone retired to the waterfront bunkhouse enjoying a good night’s sleep after a day sailing in the open air and sun.
After breakfast it was back on the water with training and sailing fun. We all sailed across the lake to a bay on the far side with Safety Boat, cold cooldrinks and a chilled Watermelon. One of our traditions is to have a “watermelon distribution & entertainment” session. Some call it a watermelon fight with fresh water swim and rinse afterwards.
At the end of their second day, I am pleased to report that both Furgus and Erland qualified for their International Level 1 certificates, and Lydia and George achieved their International Level 2 certificates. Mom and Dad had also mastered flying the Genniker with the boats rigged with full racing sails.
Everyone was exuberant, having developed their sailing skills. This was the end of their three week holiday along the Garden Route in South Africa, as they were flying from Cape Town the next morning. The whole family rated this two day sailing experience as the best part of their entire holiday…….like Arnie, they’lll bee back.