Do I have to be an experienced sailor?
No, we are delighted to take people at any level of experience and however much you already know you’ll still be able to learn something new.
Do I have to be fit?
It certainly helps, but as long as you are mobile, can manage ladders, get in and out of small boats and walk say a few miles, you’ll be fine. Why not get fitter before the event though?
Do I need to buy expensive equipment?
No, though you will need to bring some things. You’ll need wellies (for sailing and beach landings), waterproofs and a sleeping bag. Many of these are available cheaply or may be borrowed from friends. See the kit list.
Do I have to do every activity, or can I sit out some things?
Of course we won’t make you do something you really don’t want to do, but it would be a mistake to come intending to pick and choose. We will assume you have brought ample supplies of enthusiasm and fortitude and we will do the same. This is going to be fun.
How old do I have to be?
This adventure is for lads between 12 and 18. The dad can be any age! We hope in the future to run events for offspring over 18 but not yet.
Can I bring my nephew?
No, this is specifically a course for lads one-to-one with their dad and for legal reasons you need to be the parent or legally appointed guardian of the young person you accompany.
I have two sons; can I bring them together?
This is designed as one-to-one time; a chance to have a fantastic experience together which will help to build a powerful bond with a son who deserves your undivided attention. For many people who grew up in larger families, that rare time when it was just you and your dad together is a lifelong memory. Of course we’d be delighted to see you again with another son!
Why only men and boys; what about mothers and daughters?
A great idea, but not something we can offer. We believe that men have a particularly strong affinity for wilderness and adventure and that the relationship between sons and fathers is crucial to the proper development of the son as he matures into manhood; this is something we understand and are good at. Other organisations offer family events or mother and daughter events and we wish them well.
What will the food be like?
We will provide good, simple food and you will cook it! We are happy to cater for special dietary needs (within reason!) as long as we know in advance. As half the crew will be under 18 alcohol will be limited.
Where will we sleep?
On the ship you’ll be in cabins of various sizes shared with others where you’ll be in a bunk in your sleeping bag. There will probably be a night ashore in a bivouac as well.
Will I be able to wash and shower?
Yes, there are simple washing and showering facilities, but you may need to lower your usual standards a bit (or raise them, at the request of your shipmates…). Forget the hair dryer.
Why isn’t there a detailed programme?
Real adventures don’t work like that. We have many possible places we can go and things we can do but these will be affected by weather, what you the group are like, and many other factors. We will make the best decisions in the circumstances day by day.
Who will sail the ship?
You will. The ship will run a watch system with the crew working in teams on the different tasks. We will teach you the skills you need to raise and manage the sails, navigate, steer and anchor.
I’m a mother; should I encourage my son to go away with his father?
All relationships within families are important (and this is true whether or not the parents are living together). The nature of each relationship is different however, and as boys grow to manhood their relationship with their father is specially important. Mothers want to see their sons to develop into great men; strong, gentle, caring, decent and great potential fathers themselves. Whatever their own fathers are like as men, a close relationship will be valuable to the son in his own development. To understand something of the choices his father made in life and how they worked out will help him in his own decisions. To share an adventure and see what that brings out in himself and in his father will be very powerful and to do this in company with other fathers and sons and with the leadership of mature men of broad experience will bring depth and understanding as well as the deep satisfaction of good male company. Too much of what is available to men is macho but rather shallow; fast cars, SAS survival courses, boozy nights out, violent computer games. All men are likely to encounter these things and they can be a lot of fun, but they are not a sufficient basis for developing into a well-rounded mature man. Much more valuable is a testing and purposeful adventure backed by opportunities for reflection and accompanied by men who are good role models. This is what we offer.