Storm Aidan is rumbling away outside the window tonight but we were able to get outside before the storm hit and spent some time building yachts in readiness for the biggest sailing contest of the year - Mum versus Son versus Dad!
Before setting off we discussed the challenge ahead of us and decided what we would likely need to build our winning boats and we then wandered along the footpaths, through the fields and woodlands near our house pausing to collect bits and pieces along the way.
*It is worth pointing out that we had agreed not to use scraps of plastic or other rubbish as we didn't want it to float (or sink) away from us and cause more environmental damaged to our stream.
We scavenged bark and branches, stalks and leaves until we had enough to begin our luxury yachting construction. Walking a little further led us to the bank of a small stream where we could build and then float our boats.
This is a favourite activity in our household and this was not our first race but, remembering back to that first time, I recall that we had to make more than one model until we could identify the factors needed for success:
**The base needs to be fairly wide, with the mast relative in height to it, to prevent it overbalancing**
**Stalks and strips of long grass or leaves can be used as twine to tie bits of the yacht together**
**Rotten wood or bark makes a great base as the mast can simply be pressed and twisted into it but you could also use a pencil, sharp stick, piece of rock or a palm-drill to make a hole for the mast in each boat**
This time there was only to be one yacht built per person and the yacht that floated furthest would win!
Perhaps next time we will take a flask of soup or some fire-lighting kit and we can compete for the boat that stays afloat the longest ... or maybe the fastest, the yacht with the most masts and sails, the boat that can carry the most weight etcetera.
Why don't you have a go; and we would love to see photo's of your 'nature yacht' either in the comments here or on our Facebook page!