I am sailing…I am sailing…

….Home again, ‘Cross the sea, I am sailing, stormy waters….

Oops, sorry – I can’t resist a sing-along to Rod Stewart given half the chance. Anyway, getting back to the point of this post. Fortunately, it was neither stormy waters nor an ocean for our sailing lesson at Allerthorpe Lakeland Park near Pocklington…

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My eldest son has been keen on doing a sailing course for a while. So after asking around, I came across the watersports centre at Allerthorpe Lakeland Park which offers a two-hour taster sailing session. I have always quite fancied a go at sailing myself – and so did Mr B, so we both decided to get in on the action and booked onto the course too.

It was either this or perhaps at the back of our mind was the thought that we weren’t quite ready to hand over the controls to a 12-year-old if we found ourselves in a boat together – so best that we all do a crash course.

The boats that we took out were these catamarans with their eye-catching candy-coloured sails…

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Once we were kitted out with spray tops and buoyancy jackets (helmets for the juniors) and having gone through some basics, we headed along the jetty and onto our boats….

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The great thing about Allerthorpe Lakeland Park is that there are plenty of other things to do there which you don’t need to book ahead for. You can just turn up and take out kayaks, canoes and pedalos…

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boats again

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Or you can just enjoy the peaceful location. We were lucky enough to have grandparents with us to keep an eye on our younger two who had fun in the play park, visiting the pet corner and following the footpaths round the lake…

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The taster session is a great way to find out if you like sailing without forking out a huge amount of cash (you can go on to do a RYA – Royal Yachting Association – certificate here).

Our instructor, Ryan, was great, full of encouragement, teaching us the theory and giving us the chance to put this into practice.

Joseph (our eldest son) took to it very quickly and was soon steering himself across the lake.

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Mr B and I were in a boat together….a good test of our team building skills…

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Along with learning to tack and gybe, Ryan taught us some crucial skills like how to upturn a capsized catamaran. Admittedly these twin hull boats are pretty stable on the water, especially at Allerthorpe with just a gentle breeze blowing across the lake, but I am guessing that on choppier waters your boat might tip over…

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The fun thing about sailing is that the boat is totally reliant on the wind, so you have to be aware of the wind direction and also its strength. It was actually quite a calm day which I quite appreciated given as it was our first lesson.

And after all that activity on the lake, and a quick change of clothes, we were ready for a cuppa and cake in the café….

cafe and boats Whether you just want to have fun on one of the pedalos, take out a kayak or try a sailing or windsurfing lesson, Allerthorpe is a great place to spend an afternoon.

To get there, head along the A1079 from York towards Hull and it’s close to Pocklington. Allerthorpe itself is a pretty little village and the pub there, The Plough Inn, looks very nice too.

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