Sailing Camp

I’ve spent three days with my son’s class at Ängsholmen summer camp where the 12-y-os got a chance to reaquaint themselves after the summer and do some fun stuff together. My job, like that of the other three parents who came along, was basically crowd control and security. The camp is on a small U-shaped island, a former base of the coastal artillery, which once defended the Gällnö port narrows on an important shipping lane. There’s a sizeable decommissioned underground fort at one end, probably dating from the inter-war years. The kids swam, canoed, sailed Monark Avanti skiffs, did cooperation exercises and braved a tree-top climbing trail.

The camp is run by the YMCA and is mainly staffed by people just out of high school. They did a wonderful job of taking care of the kids, they cooked us excellent meals, and one of them was an enthusiastic DJ at last night’s disco.

Staying at camp really brought me back to my own boyhood sailing camps at Lökholmen and Malma. The smell of fresh wood in the paddle shed, the grafittoed bunk beads in the dorms… And best of all, sailing a skiff again! It felt like I’d been doing it only yesterday instead of two decades ago. Remind me in April that I need to buy a used skiff, please.

Comments

  1. #1 Robert S.
    August 27, 2010

    I’m from the west coast of the USA and haven’t heard of the Avanti. I assume it is in the same size range as the Columbia 5.5m? Ah, boats, wonderful things if you don’t mind owning a hole in the water you throw money into.

  2. #2 Martin R
    August 27, 2010

    The Avanti is a Swedish skiff, measuring 600 cm overall. Here are some stats:

    http://bit.ly/dCdZLj

  3. #3 Thinker
    August 28, 2010

    “Sailing: the fine art of getting cold and wet while getting nowhere at great expense…”

    So why is it that some of us just cannot not sail?

    Navigare necesse est — vivere non est necesse!

  4. #4 Sandgroper
    August 28, 2010

    Here are some more pics of the Avanti.

    http://hem.passagen.se/ysabell/avanti.htm

    Looks like a nice boat. Something that size doesn’t cost much to maintain.

  5. #5 Lassi Hippeläinen
    August 28, 2010

    There’s a big difference in sailing and motorboating. Sailing is like standing in a cold shower while tearing money to pieces. Motorboating is like standing in a cold shower while tearing money to pieces, and someone else whacking your kidneys with a barge pole.

    I’m a kayakist…

  6. #6 Sandgroper
    August 28, 2010

    My apology for the pedantry, but it’s “kayaker”.

    Which is pretty irrational, because it’s “canoeist”.

    So am I, as well as a sailist. Er, I mean sailor. Bloody stupid English language.

  7. #7 Martin R
    August 28, 2010

    “Oh ye who go about saying unto each: “hello, sailor”; Dost thou know the magnitude of thy sin before the gods? Yea, verily, thou shalt be ground between two stones. Shall the angry gods cast thy body into the whirlpool? Surely, thy eye shall be put out with a sharp stick! Even unto the ends of the earth shalt thou wander and Unto the land of the dead shalt thou be sent at last. Surely thou shalt repent of thy cunning.”

    Zork

  8. #8 Sandgroper
    August 28, 2010

    LOL!