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«Carabela» Creates My Present Life

пресс-центр и парусная флотилия «Каравелла» имени Аркадия Гайдара

Arkady Gaidar press-centre and sail flotilla ‘Carabela’ squadron

I open heavy metal door with painted anchors on it, cross threshold and have to blink for moment because an orange wave is flooding my sight, full of hilarious rumbling, children’s laugh and lots of palms outstretched for a handshake… This is how I remember 4th of October, 2008, the day when I came to the ‘Carabela’ squadron first time in my life.

A great deal of things changed in the squadron since then – from the door with anchors to the people. But the most changed one is myself. The only remaining thing is that feeling in the first seconds when you open the heavy door and step into the premises of the 44 Mira Street.

It so happened, that I came to the squadron when I had been an adult already, studying in the second year of university. Here’re recollections of actual boys and girls saw ‘Carabela’ for the first time and met children of their own age:

«When I came to the squadron, the first thing I noticed was that a bunch of unknown people who approached me and reached out their hands. They were hoping to greet me. I liked very much this attitude towards beginners.» – Artyom Yuriev, 15 years.

«First time, when I entered the ‘Carabela’ premises I was surprised. Many children in lovely uniform were smiling and waving their hands in a friendly manner. I trusted them immedietly. » – Masha Kolesnikova, 13 years.

«I was amazed by uniform, drummers, the colours group, and also variety of lessons. I was happy to join the squadron, to do lots of interesting things, and the most important – I was happy to make new friends.» – Nik Koshkin, 12 years.

«My first impression of the squadron was very unusual. I was a bit frightened by the uniform – shoulder straps, stripes, fleet belts, – and absolutely amazed by people. And a minute hasn’t passed as I found guys with whom I found something to talk about. When I crossed the squadron’s threshold in the first time I felt some strange feeling, I can’t even describe it, it was like ‘Ah!’.  I still experience it every time I come here.» Alyona Fedotieva, 14 years.

In a few days after the first meeting in squadron, beginners are attending classes with pleasure, studying niceties of the sea science, knitting sea knots, understanding concepts of ‘course’ and ‘tack’, memorizing ship parts names…

Гонка на большой воде Верх-Исетского водохранилища

On a big water of the Upper Iset reservoir

«Structure of the sailboat ‘Kruzenshtern’ seems to be completely useless information these days. Then why do we study it? For what purpose we should know what is mizzen royal yard? All of this is to make the right idea of sea science for beginners and open their mind. “It’s too late to learn sea science during the storm, learn it beforehand” – says the Organization charter of our squadron, and that isn’t just empty words! Every seaman must know name and function of all parts of yacht on which he sails, must know how to manage tackles before go out onto the water. The book “Fregat Zvenyashii” (The Clinking Frigate), written by our commodore Vladislav Krapivin, helps us a lot in learning this hard craft. This isn’t only textbook about sea scienc but, as author writes in preface, “a try to tell junior high school students about the structure of a sailing ship and some wisdom of sea science”. This book has helped me more then once, because everything there is explained in very simple manner and illustrated by clear pictures. » Arina Nosova, 16 years.

To know parts of a sailboat only in theory is not enough for the Carabellan. Today, Flotilla of «Carabela» includes more than twenty boats of different classes, most of which children built with their own hands, of course, not without help and guide of experienced comrades – instructors. During the sailing practice every crew headed by its commander is assigned to a particular boat. To truly enjoy sailing trips and regattas in summer we should work hard in May. There are always lots of things for commanders to worry about in that hot time: every boat should be repaired and prepared for the launching as soon as possible, the seamen must be trained to use tools and materials, crew members must make a real unit…

Пять корпусов наших новых яхт

Five hulls of our new boats

«How to organize your crew during the repair? Well, many commanders are interested in this matter. As I can judge from personal experience, first of all you must analyse the schedule of every crew member. You need to know when they start and finish their school lessons and on additional trainings. Then it’s necessary to know phone numbers of all seamen and their parents. Next thing is to control their attendance on ‘Carabela’s lessons. Also you should explain your crew members how important is the repair, because ‘he that would eat the fruit must climb the tree’.  If you fulfill all these requirements, everything will pass without incidents.» Artyom Uriev, 15 years.

«To organize the work of the crew you should initially plan all the work on your own, find out what is primary and what is secondary. You need to understand what you must do exactly today. As for work with crew, you must be always sure that they are performing everything right because we have no extra materials and no time for silly chat. It’s very hard to be a commander during the repair. You have responsibility not only for people, but also for your ship’s condition.» Alyona Fedotieva, 14 years.

Finally, all holes in hulls are patched and all cracks are thoroughly glued, ships’ boards are freshly dyed and titles are newly written, masts are put up and sails are sewn and washed up. All boats are ready for the summer practice! Beginners wait for their first sailing, while experienced helmsmen anticipate unavoidable test of strength by winds and squalls. A whole month ahead is full of sailing trips, exhausting trains and breathtaking races…

А «Джим» даже не крениться...

The wind is so strong, but «Jim» doesn’t even heel…

«To sail with the coolest crew is what I need for my full happiness. Everything we learn while actually sailing is also very helpful in our lives. For example, never retreat in front of obstacles; to try and find the right solution. When you are a commander, you cannot show your fear to your crew. If the commander is in panic, there’s no way for the crew to stay calm. The hardest thing is to give orders correctly and without unnecessary words. As it often happens, your seamen is sailing for the first time in his life, and you, screaming “Truss-up a jib, it’s flapping! And fix the tell-tale!”, make him think really hard about these magical words. I think the most important for commander of a boat is to always keep calmness and be very patient. Sometimes children can’t understand what you want from them. It’s when commander should patiently and calmly explain, what he need them to do.» Masha Kolesnikova, 13 years.

Every summer has its end. While boats are waiting at the Yekaterinburg’s base of the VSAAAN maritime school (VSAAAN stands for Voluntary Society for Assisting Army, Air Force and Navy) for the winter to be over, Carabellans don’t waste their time, they are doing things also interesting. For instance, fencing…

«My favorite lesson in the squadron is fencing, where I can show my skills and abilities maximally. During winter’s classes we are training new thrusts and dodges. Twice a year we have fencing tournaments with electro-rapiers. Once I won the first place! On fencing lessons I train my force and the rate of response, as well as agility and dexterity. For me, the hardest thing while fencing is to react quickly.» Nik Koshkin, 12 years.

Бой яростный и ужасный не продолжался более получаса

A fencing bout ended in three minutes

«I like fencing because I’m fond of physical exercises. Fencing makes me persistent, increases my rate response, gives me the skill of developing tactics on the fencing piste. By the way, these abilities come in handy on a daily basis – if you need, for example, quickly estimate the situation and build the tactic of behavior, calculate possible results of some action.» Artyom Uriev, 15 years.

In their weekly wall newspapers, Carabellans write articles about everything that happens in the squadron – whether it’s a fencing tournament or repair of a boat, game “Zarnitsa” or New Year dancing party. During lessons on journalism they learn to express their ideas correctly. This is one of the main activities of the squadron. No wonder the full name of our organization includes name of outstanding writer and journalist Arkady Gaidar.

Маша Колесникова погружена в работу своего патруля

Masha Kolesnikova is deep involved in making a newspaper

«As for me, journalism has taught and has still been teaching me to tell what I think and to express my ideas clearly. Before I came to the squadron, it was hard for me to explain something to a stranger. But now, the more I work with information and write articles, the easier it is for me to do so. Also, journalism has taught me responsibility, perseverance and patience. Responsibility, because if you don’t write an article in time, you will be the one to blame. Perseverance, because earlier I couldn’t do one thing too long, and now I need to write articles which impossible to make in five minutes, so I’ve had to learn to be plodding. And patience, because it takes a lot of patience to make at least one correct and nice issue of newspaper or, if something went wrong, fix it or alter.» Alyona Fedotieva, 14 years.

This is how today’s Carabellans live. In appearance they differ a lot from those ones, half a century ago, which time exactly has passed since the ‘Carabela’ squadron was established by the novelist Vladislav Krapivin. But they are still resolute, inquisitive and amicable as fifty years ago.

Флотилия, внимание! На флаги отряда

Attention, flotilla! Aligning to squadron’s flags

«I am often have to answer the question: “Why do you need to know all that?”. Or even more strange question: “Why do you sail?”. Or completely awkward: “For you, what’s the use of ‘Carabela’, will it help you in the future?”. You know, at first I tried to prove that I really need it, I gave out thousands of reasons, but then I realized that they keep asking for the only purpose, to prove me that they are right and I am wrong, to prove me that the squadron is no good.

But I can’t agree with this! And now I answer all questions shortly and clearly: “We all do things that may not be useful in our lives, but if now I enjoy knowing the structure of «Kruzenshtern», if I am happy when I’m sailing, if I run headfirst to squadron to find out that left tack gives way to right one, then I can say with complete confidence that ‘Carabela’ creates my present life and, without a doubt, will be useful in my future!”.» Arina Nosova, 16 years.

This text is prepared by Alyona Khazinurova

Photos from archive of Carabela squadron press-centre

translated from Russian by Elena Erokhina

Текст был впервые опубликован в журнале «Путеводная звезда»

Короткометражный фильм «Родной причал»

Родной причал from Vsevolod Domozhirov on Vimeo.

Аннотация:

Этот видео ролик смонтировали ребята из отрядной киностудии FIGA в конце 2006 года. В нём представлены основные направления работы отряда «Каравелла», воспоминания ветеранов организации о своём детстве и многое другое.

ПРИЯТНОГО ПРОСМОТРА!


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