Families That Play Together – Stay Together
Talk given by Paul Bew – City Sailing
I have a question?
What is the most valuable commodity know to us?
Is it gold? Moon dust? Platinum? or Chocolate?
No it is time and this is the same for everyone no matter how rich or how poor you are?
I have worked for two billionaires who both had young children and I asked the children the same question.
What would you want if you cold have anything in the world and they all said, time with Mummy or Daddy. These children although they had everything you could dream of were poor.
All I ask of my children is to be happy and do their best!
When I think back to my childhood what do I remember?
The times I was on family holidays, 121 with Mum or Dad, it did not really matter what we were doing I just loved the company and attention. We had little money and stayed with friends in Cornwall or Sailed on a 22 foot Yacht squashed together. At weekends I dinghy sailed with my Dad and just loved his company, later in life when I became a full time sail training skipper he sailed with me as my second in command. The roles had reversed but we both loved it just as much.
How do we do it?
How much will it cost?
Well best to try lots of things, and see what draws their attention, some suggestions are below, they vary in cost but some are FREE.
Adventure Days Out
Bus days out
Movies on TV – sit with them do not play on your phone
The list is endless as your imagination but I would like to talk about my loves, Cycling and Sailing.
London has an amazing network of places you can ride not on the road. You can take bikes on train and the DLR at the weekend to expand your areas and do downwind one way trips, you can even take it for free on the Woolwich Ferry.
We started with a seat on the crossbar which I and both my children loved as it felt more secure and you could talk to them and keep them warm and reassured. They loved ringing the bell and as they get older they might want to steer for you!!!
As they got older they had a rear seat which I did not like as it unbalanced the bike and I could not see or talk to then, to me this is time for them to ride solo.
Balance Bikes and scooters are great to get the idea of what is going on and an easy transition to normal bikes. Buy the best you can afford, go for the lightest and with least amount of gismos such as shock absorbers etc.
After 4 hours on a small boat with a small child and no loo I asked him “do you enjoy sailing”, answer “its all right”, then I said if it’s just all right why are you here, answer “I just want to be with you daddy”.
The two questions I am always asked is
How can I get the family sailing bug?
The best way for this is to have lots of small trips, getting them to join the DSWC (see below) is ideal as they can drop into 50 sessions a year for only £30. I love the idea where you learn apart and then sail together. Small sessions, different activities and lots of fun.
How do I become a skipper?
If you are learning the best place to start is a RYA Level 1 Dinghy Sailing Course, Details for the course are HERE, this is only a weekend and you will learn the principles of sailing, wind awareness and by the end of the weekend you will be sailing your dinghy in triangular courses without an instructor. These skill is invaluable and is directly transferable to yacht sailing as your yacht is a glorified dinghy where you can make a cup of tea.
Our local Sailing Centre is near Canary Wharf on the safe Millwall Dock. Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre.
We offer most of these at Barclays Sailing Club and as a member you may be able to get a subsidy for your training.
Especially in the winter it is a good thing to get the theory done so you can spend your time sailing and not learning at the chart table. We would recommend to start with:
RYA Day Skipper Theory This is a beginners class that will teach you all you need to know before to go on a yacht. It is a 40 hour intensive course covering all aspects such as safety, tides, weather and chartwork.
RYA Sea Survival Course This is a course that will prepare you if it all goes wrong, it involves a practical session in the pool as well as a seeing a lifejacket inflate. We are happy for children with parents to attend this course as I often have my children helping on the ‘wet’ drill.
There are other theory courses which will further help you with your sailing, many of them are entry level and will broaden your knowledge base
There are many cracking sailing clubs in the UK,. The club is a great way to socialise and keep up your sailing skills, if you have children they will love the sailing club. London has a lot of sailing clubs on the tiday (on the river) or non tidal on the dock.
Chartering is a great way to sail, you do not have to invest a lump sum, you do not have all the headache and bills of your own boat and you can change your venue at will.. Chartering has come a long way, the boats are more user friendly, you can also get great deals in the winter. If you charter through Fairview Charters and mentionCity Sailing then you even get a free bottle of Gin from City Sailing.
Paul is a RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and Examiner and has owned sailing schools for 15 years, he also has been a Sail Training Skipper and has worked on Square riggers. His is the principal of City Sailing London.
To be on our mailing list please sign up at http://www.citysailing.com