On any other occasion, the conditions at lake Ngaroto would have been primo. The glassy reflection on the lakes surface told it all- there was very little wind. Luckily for the team of 24 Kawaka rookie sailors from Pirongia School, the wind started to pick up as the first group hit the water. Our instructor, Woo, introduced us to the different parts of a sailboat; mast, sail, boom, rudder and centreboard. Then we were off. We started off following Woo like baby ducklings learning to swim. There was quite a bit of screaming as some of the girls set out into the lake!!
After getting the hang of learning how to sail, a huge gust of wind blew us across the lake at double speed!
Woo then called for a water fight, and we were all soaked within a minute of drenching each other with our containers. Some of has had a major job emptying our boats after that!
The wind had died down again- much to our dismay. It was time to test our arm power by padding across the lake.
Now- what we had all been waiting for! Time to capsize. One of the person held the mast and leaned (don’t let go!!) until the boat tipped into the lake and we plunged into the water. More screaming from the girls. The water was surprisingly warm for March- but no one wanted to stay in the murky brown water for long! To turn our boat back over we had to pull down on the centre board until the boat flipped over and bobbed on the lake. We scrambled back into our boats and emptied out the water. With no wind, we were towed behind the boats back to shore.
Everyone enjoyed their sailing experience and would definitely go again.
Thank you Woo for teaching us how to sail and thanks to Mrs N for giving us this incredible opportunity!
By Jess Storey