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ADVENTURE ANTIGUA TAKES YOUNG ANTIGUAN DINGHY SAILORS OUT TO SEA
Wednesday 9th September 2009

A fundraising event held Saturday, August 22nd, raised over $2,700.00 for Jolly Harbour Yacht Club’s Youth Sailing Program which provides free dinghy sailing lessons to Antiguan born children between the ages of 8 and 18. Part of the evening included the announcement of a special “prize” being donated to 7 of the children in the program. Eli Fuller of Adventure Antigua generously offered to take the 7 young Antiguans out sailing on his beautiful Carriacou sailing sloop “Ocean Nomad”. Their trip took place Saturday, September 5th.

The youngsters all gathered at the dock – comments like “Are WE going on THAT yacht?” were being whispered behind hands.  Not many of them have been anywhere near a boat bigger than the dinghies they sail off North beach in Jolly Harbour!
 
Once on board, the children were given a quick tour of the boat by Jason, the deck crew, who showed them where to put their gear and they were given a safety brief from Captain Eli – how not to fall overboard!
 
The boat motored out of the harbour and soon the sails were set.  They sailed off towards Sandy Island looking out for turtles, but, sadly the turtles were all hiding somewhere else that day.  They altered course and the youngsters were helping to trim the sails under Eli’s watchful eye.  Tony, the instructor from the Youth Sailing Program, was manning the main sheet and helping Jason with the sails.  They sailed up the coast until they could see St. John’s. Eli kept the children entertained with some question and answer games about the history of Antigua.  Everyone learned something new from him.
 
After a while, they went into Deep Bay and anchored in the shelter of Fort Barrington.  The youngsters all jumped off the boat and swam to the beach and back.  After much fun in the water they set sail again.
 
On the sail home some of the children had a go at steering “Ocean Nomad” towards Montserrat.  There were one or two wavy trails of wake behind and one or two that were as straight as could be.  Nevertheless, it was a big thrill for all the kids that had a go.
 
They arrived back at Jolly Harbour at lunch time, and the youngsters all gave a resounding cheer of “Thank You” to Eli & Jason for taking them on such a fantastic trip.  Who knows, one day, as a result of the Youth Sailing Program, one of the trainees may end up working for Adventure Antigua and taking new trainees out for a sail!
 
The next Youth Sailing Program course starts Saturday, September 19th. This is free to Antiguan born children between 8 and 18 years of age. Participants must be able to swim 25 yards with a buoyancy aid which must be worn at all times on the water. Anyone interested in enrolling their children may contact Pippa Pettingell at 268-722-8468 or e-mail pippapettingell@hotmail.com.


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