Whilst boating in the beautiful waters around Vancouver Island and Nanaimo with young ones, there is the possibility that you will need more than just the stunning scenery, beautiful marine life, and a turn at the wheel to amuse them. For a successful trip, you need to prepare for the worst… a bored child aboard your vessel.
Here we will look at some of the best water activities for you to undertake with your young ones whilst holidaying on one of our yachts.
1. Boating & Sailing
No matter what age your young shipmates are, there will be a degree of sailing you can teach them. There is a lot to sailing a yacht, and there are bits and pieces you can get them to do to assist you. Children and young people love feeling needed, and feeling useful, as well as feeling a sense of responsibility for something. So why not use that to your advantage?
You could teach them to tie knots, get them to tie down or tidy away any loose items on board, maybe even get them to use the radio. Kids love binoculars, so you could make them look out for an hour or so – looking out for boats, any hazardous debris, and even ocean mammals such as the plentiful whale pods that live in the waters around Nanaimo.
Once you have put your mind to it, there is always something for every ‘crew member’ to get involved with. If you have a crew with you, get them to talk to your children and young people about what they are doing, and why they are doing it. Most professional crew members relish the chance to share some knowledge about their trade, and could also be a good person to make work for those little idol hands.
This is a great one for children and young people – because it provides them with a challenge. You could even make it into a competition among those on board to see who can catch the most fish or even pit the adults against the children (with supervision of course).
Fishing is not only a great sporting opportunity whilst on board a yacht, but for children and young people it is also a great education opportunity. Once caught, you can get the fish book out and teach them all about what they have at the end of their line. The marine culture around Nanaimo is nothing short of diverse, and you are sure to experience a wide array of fish when embarking on a fishing trip in these stunning waters.
But the opportunity for knowledge sharing does not stop there. One thing about fishing as a sport, and as an education opportunity is that we must teach the next generation how to fish responsibly and why fishing can be a problem. Over fishing is a big problem, as is pollution that is getting into the stomachs of fish and other marine life which we then eat. You can take this opportunity to explain to young people why trawling is bad, why not to throw their trash overboard, and also information about the warming oceans and species decline caused by climate change. Obviously how much detail you go into heavily depends on the child’s age, but even from 4 or 5 young people are perfectly able to start to think about the bigger picture in this way.
One might say that this is too obvious to make it onto this list, but on the comfort of the yacht it can be surprisingly easy to forget you are on a body of water which is perfect for swimming! The waters around Vancouver Island and Nanaimo are often not the warmest, and so you will need the right wet/dry suit gear to ensure your little ones are warm enough when taking the plunge.
This, like fishing, is also an activity which needs to be supervised. If the children are younger than teenagers it is probably a good idea for an adult to accompany them at all times. There are a number of water toys and floatation aids which you can purchase ahead of time to help with safety and of course enjoyment and so although an obvious activity, it can take some forward planning as with most activities with little ones.
A favorite with the adults, this activity is also highly popular with the younger members aboard the yacht. Again something that will need a little forward planning to ensure you have all the right equipment, and training – but this is arguably one of the best water activities there is for all ages.
The diversity of marine life in the waters around Nanaimo is simply breath-taking. You can see different varieties of flora and fauna, countless species of fish, and even mammals. The sites around
this area are renowned world-wide. The cool waters are home to sea lions, giant Pacific octopus, eels, seals and an underwater metropolis of sponges, kelp beds and brightly colored anemones to name but a few. The underwater landscape is also littered with wrecks, which are a big favorite for the younger divers.
5. Kayaking & Canoeing
There are places you can hire canoes and kayaks all around the coast of Vancouver, but you may also want to consider taking one with you on board if the vessel is suitable. These are great for giving young people that sense of independence and responsibility we mentioned earlier, and are great for that stubborn child that refuses to get wet!
Not only are these activities great fun, but they are a fantastic form of exercise, and also a brilliant skill for young people to learn. Kayaking and canoeing can really help build upper body strength, as well as special awareness whilst on the water. Fun, educational, and a great way to keep fit – what more could you want?
6. Surfing & Watersports
For something a little more active than canoeing or kayaking, you have your water sports. Depending on what floats your boat (excuse the pun) you can explore a wide range of adrenaline inducing activities with your young ones. There is certainly no shortage of options when you have the water to play with.
This is something you may wish to ask your children and young people before you depart, so you can work in where to attain the equipment either prior to leaving or mid-way through your voyage at a stopover. Think again about their age, and the safety implications before selecting an activity. But having one more exhilarating option such as this will be a quick win for you and your little ones.
There are of course a number of water games you can play with a simple ball or nerf gun too. Check out the range of water games at your local store before embarking on your trip. Of course there are also games for indoors like board games and cards which may also be a good idea to take along should the weather turn.
There is certainly no shortage of things to keep the smaller crew members amused when yachting around Vancouver and Nanaimo. However, they may take a little forward planning and consideration prior to boarding. Consult with the kids, see what they fancy, then take a suite of options for them to keep them engaged throughout your journey.