Friday, May 25, 2012

back to the basics

One of the many advantages of living in Hong Kong is the abundance of very reasonably priced activities that one can enjoy.  There are plenty of expensive, exclusive sporting clubs to join but you can also find enjoyment at many of the LCSD venues at amazingly cheap rates.  Some venues, such as the swimming pools, are overcrowded but other parks and recreation grounds, especially those in outlying areas, are comfortable and well maintained.  Over the years SB and I have enjoyed camping, hiking and picnicking in country parks and trails.  Our rugby and lacrosse matches are played in LCSD sports and recreation facilities and twice per week I can be found flailing about in my local sports ground's circuit area.

A great regret of mine has been that I have been unable to access any of the very nice looking water sports equipment.  You need a license to rent out the sailboats, sailboards, kayaks, etc.  Even though SB is an expert sailor (his father was a professional racer) he was unable to convince anyone to allow him to take a test to prove his abilities.  He couldn't event enroll in the advanced sailing course because the LCSD system forces you to start at basic and work your way up.  We tried for years to enroll in the weekend basic sailing courses but never found any openings.  Finally this summer we agreed that we couldn't stand another summer of having to travel to private venues to rent mediocre water craft at cut-throat rates so we decided to take weekday courses in order to obtain the necessary certificates.

We filled out ballots for any and all basic sailing and windsurfing time slots so now we are waiting to see if we made the cut to any of these very popular courses.  We ran into a few problems when filling out the ballots because everything at the Happy Valley LCSD booking office was printed in Chinese but we just barely had the skills to understand the forms.  If we make the course, we will immediately go back to the booking office and attempt to enroll in the next level class; each level allows for access to faster equipment.  My goal is to eventually get myself catamaran permission while SB is eying the sailing races.

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