Activity Reviewed: Discover Sailing Asia, Grommet - A Sailing Programme for Kids & Beginners
Reviewer: Jr and his 8-year old boy
Discover Sailing Asia is a boat rental company that also creates experiences for both moments of relaxation and learning opportunities, so when they wanted to share about, Grommet, their new programme for kids. My boy (8yrs old) and me were happy to jump onboard (both literally and figuratively).
Grommet refers to young and adventure-seeking people who love riding the waves! The programme is designed for beginners and kids aged 7 years and above to be introduced to the art of sailing.
The Sailing Journey Starts
We met at Keppel Bay Habour in the morning at 10.30am where our instructors were waiting. For the purpose of the review, I was allowed onboard without being part of the programme. Parents are allowed onboard, but will be charged as part of the programme or they may choose to let the kids join the programme themselves.
The programme starts with a safety briefing where the kids will learn about the safety equipment, how to put on the safety vest, and also learn terms used on the sailing boat. For example, you will learn the terms "Stern", "Port", and "Helm" to describe direction and positions of the boat.
Just before sailing off, the instructors shared about how to furl and unfurl the jib (which is like a smaller version of the main sail), and how to hoist the mainsail. Once we set sail, this was the first "hands-on" that the kids got to experience as they helped the crew prepare the boat!
Out At Sea
Once we were out at sea and sails in place, the kids were given a lesson on sailing knots. Some of the knots were harder and required practice to get them right! The instructor shared that sailing knots are used because they are strong and yet easy to be released, which makes them useful on the boat where you need strong knots but may need to release them quickly.
Due to COVID measures, our programme was broken up into 2 parts. Where we returned to the habour to have lunch onboard and headed out in the afternoon for the 2nd part of the programme. This may change depending on the measures in place.
When heading out the 2nd time, the kids were again assisting with the furling of the jib and hoisting the mainsail. This time, they took turns to steer the boat, and also learned how to make use of wind strength and direction to maneuver the sail boat.
There was also a session on man overboard procedures, which the kids were really excited to have someone go into the water! Luckily (as a parent), it is just a theory session on the steps required to make sure you track person in the sea, maneuvering to and saving him.
The programme is approximately 7 hrs, and we headed back at about 4.30pm. In both returns, the kids were also given the opportunity to communicate with the habour through the walkie talkie, informing them on our return. The last hour was used as a quiz and debrief of the programme, the kids also received a workbook for them to work on and to remember what they learned.
As a parent, I felt that the programme was extensive and was worried it might be too content-heavy for kids. However, my boy was really excited about what he learned, he could remember the sailing terms and some of the sailing knots taught. He particularly loved the experience of steering the boat and just being out at sea with the sea breeze in his face.
Grommet is available on bykido.com at a special price of $1,595 (U.P. 1,635) per boat (for up to 5 pax). This is suitable for parents and children or children only.