By Rebecca Jones, special to the News-Times
BEAUFORT — The Junior Sailing Program, conducted by the Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, offers basic sailing instruction all the way through advanced sailing instruction to youth ages 8 and older.
With classes on rigging, sailing and seamanship, the program introduces students to maritime traditions and history. The program is designed to teach basic skills of sailing to beginners and reinenforce techniques to more advanced sailors. Youths will experience a combination of time in the classroom and experience on the water. Boating safety is emphasized throughout all the classes.
Farron Cox has lived in Beaufort for 13 years. Cox found out about the Maritime Junior Sailing Program from his neighbors, Hayes and Ross, who were involved in the program. Cox said he could not wait to get old enough to go on his own. When Cox turned 8 years old, he enrolled in the camp. Hayes and Ross ended up being named his counselors. Cox is adamant that his first experience at the camp was great. He said you get on the water quickly and start sailing. Cox goes on to say he had a great time with the other kids and enjoyed the counselors’ humor.
The program, which started out on Taylors Creek for a few years and then last year was moved to Gallants Channel, sails to places like the General Store to get ice cream, to Carrot Island and the Haystacks to hang out and go swimming.
“My training began in the classroom to learn about rigging the sailboats and to learn about the water and the wind, Cox said. “You also have to practice on sailboats to get better. You also have to be able to swim even though you are required to wear a life jacket. You learn also to turn the sailboats over when you capsize.”
Last year, Cox and his friend Reid finsihed second in the Regatta. To learn more about the sport and enroll in the class, contact riends of the Museum to register. The 2020 summer sessions were cancelled due to COVID 19. However, hopes are still alive for 2021. If you are interested, contact Friends Director of Operation Brent Creelman at 252-728-2762 for more information or visit the NC Maritime Museums’ Junior Sailing Program’s website.