OPEN HOUSE: Good clean sailing fun on Lake Nipissing

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  • OPEN HOUSE: Good clean sailing fun on Lake Nipissing

By HENRY VAN BRUSSEL, for Community Voices

Updated 2 hours ago

Sunday was Earth Day. If picking up an environmentally friendly hobby isn’t incentive to try sailing, then maybe the prices at the pumps is.

Often confused as a yacht club, the Blue Sky Sailing Club, located at the North Bay Marina, is for people who do not own a boat but would like to sail.

The club uses only 20 litres of fuel in a season to get in and out of the marina. You have to try it to appreciate the quiet power of wind when the motor shuts off and the main sail is raised.

The club is holding an open house May 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the North Bay Public Library boardroom. Our boats will launch June 2.

We’ve also launched a Facebook page to offer contests for free sails, Commodore for a Day for kids and to update members about the regatta, astronomy cruise, meteor shower sail and other club events on Lake Nipissing this summer.

There are programs for everyone. Learn to sail, rent a boat if you qualify and take part in social events. Experienced members introduce novice sailors to the sport with groups sails every Saturday at 10 a.m. and Monday at 6 p.m.

Sailing teaches self reliance and makes you more conscious and respectful of the weather by learning the signs of winds and forming clouds.

The club installed a weather station last year with live readings near the waterfront, charts and history available on its website.

North Bay has micro climates and Lake Nipissing to the east can have different weather compared to weather readings at the Jake Garland Airport or the French River, and the winds are different from Trout Lake.

The club is a non-profit organization with family and social memberships. Some members own boats which the club rents to other members or uses for social sailing or group sailing and instruction.

A popular way to learn the basics of sailing is through the 10-hour Pinch Hitter Course.

Boat ownership costs are shared by the membership through dues and rental fees. Annual dues are $100 for a family or full membership and $50 for a social membership. Participants in group sails pay $10 per sail.

All the work is done by volunteers so members can get the complete experience of boat ownership. Many members end up buying their own boat after sailing with the club for a year or two.

Let’s go Sailing.

For more information email blueskysailingclub@gmail.com.

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