When it’s not safe to leave port.
Explain in briefing how these tasks are part of the activity of sailing
Going up mast
Going below (under supervision by two adults)
Some wheelies can get out of chair and participate more than if sailing
Shore power off
MOB gear in place
PFDs to be worn
Halyards back to the mast
Snatch block to lead halyard to the primary winch.
Boom cover unzipped at fwd end and tied up out of the way
Sway preventer removed, consider having boom over to one side.
Bosun’s chair, helmet and tag line on deck
Mast Lift: 4 crews required
Below deck tour: 1-2 crew + support worker
Bucket Challenge: 1-2 crew
Knots: 1 crew member
This involves at least 3-5 clients and 4 crew members. It tends to be a spectator activity and can engage most of the group for some time. Spruik it up! Other activities can start after the first couple of lifts.
Bosun’s chair is not kid-sized and a sail tie needs to go around the chair and child and the support straps to prevent children from falling backwards.
Helmet MUST be worn. This is not negotiable, although it may be a sticking point for some children. Thoughtful persuasion and help from support workers can help here.
The wind will blow the child onto the mast and shrouds, and a long tagline (eg headsail sheet) is attached around the seat of the bosun’s chair and used to guide the child clear of rigging and spreaders.
Two halyards are attached to the bosun’s chair using bowlines, one on the webbing ring and one around the upper straps. Choose halyards that keep the child to leeward of the mast, eg port/starboard hound.
The primary halyard runs to a sheet winch, with a snatch block lead if necessary. The backup halyard goes to a pit winch. Check that the halyards have a clear run to winches.
Teach client hand signals
Check the position of the child in the chair once just off the deck
One person at the mast calls the hoist and watches the client.
How high is up to the person in the chair (within limits of safety regarding conditions) generally up to the second spreader?
The other mast person watches the client and controls the tag line – may have to stand well forward to get a lateral pull.
Caller directs winches to begin to lift, use hand signals for up, stop, down, faster, slower.
Halyards: Halyard crew follow instructions from the caller at the mast.
Crew should wear gloves and use safe winch practices.
First halyard taken to sheet winch takes the weight.
Second back up halyard goes to pit winch.
Pit crewmember ensures rope clutches are closed.
Fully load winch, tail in hand, not relying on self-tailer.
Engage clients in grinding, crew member tailing and maintaining hold on sheet.
Primary winch follows signals and commands from mast to begin grinding. Watch client always, especially approaching spreaders
Pit winch follows primary to maintain tension on halyard.
Halyard crew follow instructions from the caller at the mast.
Winch handles removed, two turns of rope only on winches. A crew member must be in sole control of halyards for lowering – no clients.
Slowly ease, maintaining weight on the primary halyard.
Tag line control to keep client clear of rig and mast.
Applause and cheering!
Overcoming fears and other resistance
Wheelchair students going aloft
This is possible for some students with help and consent from support workers/parents who may be aboard. Follow guidelines from support workers regarding moving students. Some may be able to leave their chair and sit, crawl, scoot around boat in cockpit area.
Choose the most leeward place, ideally bow away from the dock. (or near the stern so a wheelchair client can be involved). 2-3 buckets are tied to lifeline with long sail tie.
Watch students carefully at the edge of the boat.
Two students (or two teams) stand either side at the stern and must:
If playing in teams, one group gets ahead of the other and the students collide and spill water on each other and chaos reigns…
Always have a teacher/support worker below deck with you.
Watching the wind gusts on the jumbo instruments.
Winding the coffee grinder in pairs.
Reading the compass – which way are we pointing? Which way is north?
If the boat has been out in the morning and the afternoon is a dockside program, then some pack down events can become part of the program. We have had students assist
Note: The success of this program depends greatly on the enthusiasm of the crew and their ability to engage the will and imagination of the guests. Without the momentum of sailing the crew need to give constantly to maximise the experience for the students.
Sydney to Hobart