boite à outils

Portrait of Seven would-be Sailors in Carantec’s Sea School

Jean, Hugo, Julien, Cannelle, Élise, Perrine and Gabrielle are seven young would-be sailors, the eldest being just 6 years old, and they’re off on an adventure with the Sea School known as ’Jardin des Mers’. All aboard and ready yourselves - this little group are seaworthy and ready to go!

In contact with the elements: "sea"

Carantec, on a Thursday Morning, we all meet up on the occasion of the 4th outing for this group and they already have their own little routines: as soon as they arrive, the girls start colouring and the boys run off to the pirate ships!
At 9.30, everyone is present and correct and has had time to get dressed in the right gear: a neoprene wetsuit and lifejacket is no longer unusual for these adventurers. Maritime rules are equally familiar: "We can only use the whistle on the lifejacket at sea, and only then when it’s an emergency" remarks Hugo, evidently resisting the temptation to blow into his!
Charlène, one of the two instructors in charge of the Jardin des Mers, leads her merry band down to the beach where Malo, a monitor from the sailing school, is waiting. The motor boat and two Walker Bay boats, are ready and waiting, too.
What’s on the programme for today? "We’re going to set down a fishing basket, like a lobster pot, in the depths then, depending on the wind that’s taking its time to get going today, we’ll be doing a bit of sailing near the Château du Taureau," explains Charlène.
It has to be said that these little chaps are far from being complete novices: for the last three days, they’ve had a three-hour session every morning, and they’re learning all about life on the ocean waves through games and all sorts of fun activities. "The objective isn’t to cram them full of information but to familiarise them with the marine world, to eliminate any fears they might have about water and to help them discover the marine world, letting each child follow his or her own rhythm".

Sea School: the Jardin des Mers day-by-day

Monday, the would-be sailors have gradually got used to their new environment thanks to a presentation about the Bay from a boat, so that they can orientate themselves: they can now easily identify the major landmarks of Kelenn Beach, Île Callot and the Château du Taureau within the Bay.
Games have also helped the children to get to know each other better, test their balance, and get them used to being in and around the water.
Tuesday, and it’s time for a few hands-on activities such as tying knots and identifying deck equipment. After finding out about their boat and how it all works, the children took to the waves with a surprising confidence!
Wednesday is the day for gathering shellfish, known as ’la pêche à pied’. Winkles, clams, crabs, little fish - there’s a whole array of creatures and shellfish to dig up at low tide! The aquarium at the Jardin des Mers shows off the day’s catch and also lets the children take a closer look at the flora and fauna throughout the week.
Thursday, of course, is the day for setting down the fishing basket and that’s where we are! "Right, what will we find in the basket when we bring it back up?" "A beautiful spider crab!" "A big fat crab!" There’s a great feeling of anticipation when everyone sees what Malo brings up from the depths! Unfortunately, today hans’t brought any treasures, crabs or otherwise, but Charlène thought ahead and brought two fish-heads as bait for the next time. "And what do we do with the bag that she used to carry the fish?". These daily activities are also the opportunity to broach subjects of caring for the marine environment and ensure that the children are aware of the environment.
As the wind hasn’t picked up this morning, a spontaneous game of ’boat soccer’ is called for, in which players use a football to move the rowing boat! After a walk around the foot of the Taureau Fort - which leads to all sorts of imaginative pirate games - it’s time to head back to dry land. There’s just time to dry off and get changed before the parents turn up, waiting to hear all about the morning’s events!
The end of the week is the moment for the Great Treasure Hunt, a chance for the young apprentices to show what they’ve learned throughout the week while running about having fun.
At the end of all this, each child receives a well-earned reward: the Little Sailor’s Certificate - but don’t tell them, they don’t know about it yet!

The principle:

The ’Jardin des Mers’ came from a partnership between the youth service and the Sailing School of Carantec, aiming to offer a specific activity to the younger children. The team welcomes children between 4 and 7 years old and helps them to discover the marine environment in a steady and fun way; the sailing school takes specific care of all nautical aspects.

A perfect place for learning

Carantec Peninsula is sheltered by islands, offering a perfect place for sailing and for discovering the marine world.
The headquarters of the Jardin des Mers - situated behind Kelenn Beach near the ’Centre Nautique’ - is a building well-suited to welcome youngsters, combining all the necessary security, atmosphere and decoration.
Time at sea, time ashore
Activities are organised into half-days depending on the weather and tides, aiming to provide as much time as possible on the water. Children don’t need to be able to swim to take part in the activities.
A programme to suit children means that they gently get used to life on the ocean waves, taking away any fears about the water, learning all about the marine setting through balancing games and games with oars, navigating on different vessels, discovering the area of Carantec (life at low tide, flora and fauna, signposting at sea, setting down lobster pots...), manual activities, knots and deck equipment...
A suitable activity, in complete safety: all the activities are run by qualified instructors in collaboration with lifeguards. The instructors are also qualified in First Aid. Those instructors responsible for nautical activities also hold a sailing instructor certificate.

Pratical Info:

See all the details here about the Sea School ’Jardin des mers’ at Carantec