Little ‘Popeye’ sailors-in-training took over the waterways in Prince Rupert and Terrace through the past three weeks in July in a sailing camp.
Organized by BC Sailing Association and sponsored by Paul Bull and Big Blue Sailing School, the non-profit Mobile Optimist Sailing School (MOSS) is a camp designed for kids aged six to 14, with no previous sailing experience necessary.
“The feedback has been almost 100 per cent positive,” said Bull last week.
“The nice thing about the program is that the kids are masters of their own vessels. There’s no adult steering for them or looking over their shoulder. They learn everything all by themselves and they just get a huge [level of] satisfaction from it.”
Two BC Sailing instructors from the Vancouver area brought kayaks and Optimist dinghys – seven foot sailboats designed for youth training to the Prince Rupert camp at Diana Lake from July 6 – 10 and to Lakelse Lake in Terrace from July 13 – 24.
Theme days like Pirate Day are also part of the camp, where kids can dress up and act like sea scoundrels for the afternoon – typically the final day of the camp.
This is Bull’s fourth year sponsoring the MOSS camp and he operates his own two-year-old business on the North Coast, Big Blue Sailing School, where he teaches Sail Canada-approved and licensed five-day “Cruise and Learn” packages, on his boat, the “Credo III”, a Catalina 36.
He also offers “Basic Crew” and “Basic Cruising Standard” courses or standard afternoon one-off lessons.
His other smaller boat, the “Sixpence”, was purchased last year and is used for shorter, in-harbour outings and for teaching students.
For more information on how to get involved with MOSS, visit www.bcsailing.bc.ca or Bull’s Big Blue Sailing School website at www.bigbluesailing.ca or on Facebook at: Big Blue Sailing School.