From our base in the Nelson Marina we sail down the Nelson harbour, behind the unique natural feature of the Boulder Bank with its old lighthouse, and then out through the harbour entrance, known as The Cut, and into Tasman Bay.
The wind and weather conditions dictate our route. We typically sail North-West and make the 4hr passage to the Abel Tasman National Park and during the week often continue on round Separation Point to Tarakoe Harbour in Golden Bay. Alternatively, we might head North-East visiting Croisilles Harbour, Durville Island and French Pass.
We will also spend a day practicing boathandling at close quarters around the marina and in the harbour. This includes docking manoeuvres, picking up mooring buoys etc.
The courses are very hands on and during the week living on board; nights are spent at anchor or on mooring buoys at different sheltered scenic locations. We take every opportunity to teach something new. It’s a lot of fun and by the end of the week our students are usually amazed at how much they have learnt.
Whilst we are never all that far from civilisation, the week’s sailing is very much a wilderness experience. With the exception of our departure point at Nelson City and perhaps a visit to the small Tarakoe marina, close to the tiny village of Pohara, we spend all our days and nights away from shops and restaurants. We cook and sleep on board, making this a true cruising experience. The spectacular backdrop of mountains, native bush and birdsong ringing out across the anchorage all make this an experience to truly remember.
Food and drink: Sail Nelson provide all the yummy food for the week but if you’d like a beer or a glass of wine with your evening meal then please bring this with you. As well as the main meals we provide all the tea, coffee and snacks but if you have any favourite snack items then don’t hesitate to bring these with you.
Fuel and Water: The fuel and water tanks are fully topped up before we set off on day one and there is also the opportunity to top up the water during the week if necessary. There’s hot and cold running water and a hot shower on board and we also carry extra bottles of drinking water.
Sleeping gear: The yacht has comfy bunks and we provide you with a pillow and clean pillowcase but please remember to bring your own sleeping bag.
If required we can provide you with a sleeping bag and sheet liner for a $30 fee.
Wet weather gear: We carry spare foul weather jackets and trousers and are happy to loan these to you at no extra cost, but if you have your own we recommend that you bring them with you.
Lifejackets and safety gear: All the necessary safety gear, including lifejackets, is provided. Our life jackets are the self inflating type with built in safety harnesses. We also carry a liferaft, lifebouys,flares, epirb and much more safety gear, too numerous to list here.
Certificates: At the end of the RYA course we issue you with the appropriate certificate for your skill and knowledge level. The cost of the certificate is included in your course fee, but don’t forget to bring a passport photo with you if you’re going for Day Skipper or above.