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Old 07-28-2011
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Long way to go but possible

Casey1999 said:
I think it is mostly a mental thing now, but how can I get him to forget about his past bad sea sickness experience and want to go sailing?

Dear Casey,
I understand your desire to raise his interest for sailing, but as he is obviously prone to seasickness this will take some time and a lot of efforts.

First of all, you could try out excursions to a lake. No sea smell, no waves. Row around with an inflatable, swim and dive in with him, let him have fun at the shore. Next time rent a small sailing boat for half an hour. Let him steer. Make him compliments doing so. If he likes it (and if you followed these advises the chances are good) next time rent the same boat for an hour. Doing this for a whole summer season will change his attitude towards water and boats in general.

Next step could be to visit a well protected bay at the coast with a nice shore to swim. Collect shells with him, let him feed seagulls, let him catch fishes, fry them at the campfire. Let him get used to the surroundings in a way he begins to love all this. If possible let him play around with a small rowing boat. Then continue same like before at the lake.

All this could take two summer seasons. At the end his first bad experiences will be covered (overlaid? sorry for my poor english) by newer and fresher positive rememberings about boats and the sea.

Next step - in the following summer season - could be to change location to a bigger bay area. Do all what you did before in this new surrounding. Rent a bigger sailing boat for some hours, start slowly. Make him proud of being able to handle the boat. If possible take along his friends. Choose the right moments and the right place for making first experiences with waves.

Continue this development. Donīt ever push him. In any stage he should have the feeling that he likes to do all this. It could take years, but at the end he might be the skipper who takes you out for sailing in your old days.

I used to take my own children to summer sailing cruises every year. It wasnīt much sailing though, but it was slowly intensifying their experiences and their love for boats and the sea.
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