Anchor up at Army Bay or one of the many other calm bays throughout the Bay of Islands. Photo / FNHL, See And Do New Zealand Photography

Great Escape: Learn To Sail In The Bay Of Islands

Aboard a yacht and set off on an educative six-day holiday through remarkable waters

Price: From $890 per sailor
Visit: Greatescape.co.nz

The ocean is an invigorating escape for many of us, and a place to recharge the batteries and refresh our souls. What better way to explore the seas and to feel the power of nature, than to learn to sail yourself?

Great Escape Sailing offers a six-day holiday in the Bay of Islands that teaches even total beginners how to sail, while enjoying a holiday at sea in the ‘Winterless North’.

During the first three days, an instructor will teach you all the basics such as how to handle the boat, sailing and navigation skills and learning how to make good decisions in various weather conditions. Hoist the sail, learn tacking and gybing as well as man overboard exercises.

Staying on board, the sailboat will be tied to the dock at Opua the first three nights, and the instructor heads home each evening. You can choose whether to go out for dinner or cook on board.

During the second part of the journey, the instructor says goodbye and it’s up to you to choose your own sailing course and anchorages, putting all the skills into practice as a new sailor.

GREAT ESCAPE: Cosy Up In This Far North Cabin Among The Olive Groves

As part of this sailing adventure, the trip allows you to gain a Yachting New Zealand Level 2 certification. There is also another option of undertaking further study and an exam at the end of the trip, which gives you an IYT (International Yacht Training) International Crew
Certification.

There are a few different yacht options to choose from, depending on the space or level of comfort you require. The smallest vessel is a 6.09m long boat, the Davidson 20, which offers basic accommodation and is a fun, responsive boat to sail for beginners.

An upgrade from the Davidson 20 is the 7.7m long Noelex 25, and the third option is the Noelex 30, which is only available if there are four adult sailors. It’s a 9.41m Performance cruising yacht with a double forward cabin, double berth and quarter-berth.

No prior sailing experience is necessary. For sailors who have a bit of boating experience already, there is a five-day sailing adventure holiday which includes instruction in the beginning to progress your skills before setting off by yourself around the stunning islands up north.

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

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