One afternoon, last Autumn, the Commodore of Cullaun sailing club, Mr. Jim O' Sullivan raised the possibility of our TY students visiting the local Sailing Club. This opportunity to try out sailing, on a Saturday, was mentioned to the TYs and 20 students jumped at the chance.
Saturday May 14th, was a rare thing, a gloriously sunny day in Ireland. Rather than rain gear and windcheaters, sunscreen and shorts were packed and off we went. Most of us had never been to Cullaun Lake Sailing club. One car load got lost. Our intrepid cyclists took a lot longer to get there than expected but eventually we all gathered. Five boats were rigged and ready. Some familiar faces were at the helm. Thanks to Paddy Donnellan and Luke O' Sullivan, two St. Joseph's students for giving up their Saturday to show us the ropes. Thanks also to club members Sarah,Roisin, Margaret and Aoife for taking out 4 other boats. Safety always comes first at Cullaun Sailing Club and two rescue boats were also on the water for the duration.
Following a safety talk and a brief introduction life jackets were donned and off we went. The lake and its surroundings are idyllic, the setting is stunning, but soon the calm and piece was broken with excited squeals and loud laughter. After the students had got used to the boats and the movement on the water the daring decided that it was time to try to capsize the boat. The girls are never last in line for excitement. Maeve McGrath, Alannah Ryan and Megan Boland were first in the water. Others quickly followed. What our studenrs could not achieve in speed, due to light winds they showed off in diving prowess. One boat could not be capsized so soon Kevin Caulfield, Fergal Kearney, Sean Cahill and Conor Tuohy all deserted ship and swam to wetter boats. Simply put, they had fantastic crack. Naomi Peer and Orla Banting looked like they were going to stay warm and dry but as they were the only two in wet suits, it was time for them to go in also. The lads commented that apart from the overnight trips, this was the best crack on any TY activity.
Students reluctantly returned to shore, tired but extremely happy. They couldn't believe that such a fantastic amenity was so close to home and that they had never been down to the club. All were wondering when they could return. I think there will be an increased demand for the Summer camps this year.
Thanks to everyone at Cullaun Sailing club www.cullaunsailingclub.com for giving up their Saturday afternoon, to give us such a great experience.