Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sailing Away - "Able Sail"

I had such an incredibly liberating experience when I went sailing during the Independent Living Resource Center Camp a few weeks back. What an adrenaline rush! It has been a while since I was going at a fast speed like that and I felt like a turtle who got to borrow a set of wings. Basically, I loved it and I am going to get a few free lessons very soon. 

Now, this is NOT an easy thing for someone with a balance disorder, but with issues like mine the whole idea is about challenging your system, often to the point of nausea, so that you gradually get accustomed to different movements. Sailing should be ideal therapy as you move with the wind and the water.

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of me sailing during the camp, but I did find a pretty good video explaining about disabled sailing. I will have to get someone to take a picture of me the next time I go!

"Greatness in not in where we are stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it - but sail we must. And not drift, nor lie at anchor."
                                                                                                   -Oliver Wendell Holmes


Check out this website for the Manitoba organization that supports sailing activities for people with disabilities.
Able Sail Manitoba

They do the sailing out of a very interesting nature reserve and education space very near my home called Fort Whyte Alive, and here is their  information about their Sailing Programs.


Glynis Jolly said...

Wow! That guy sure is a brave soul. I do fine in the small motor boats but even on a small yacht I get motion sickness. It isn't because of the ballance issue though. I've always been proned to motion sickness. I grew up in Colorado and yet going to the mountains if we went too far in was torcher for me.

Linda said...

Isn't it incredible? I would never have believed sip and puff technology could apply to a personal sail craft?

These boats are tip/ sink proof even in extreme conditions and they have a staff person to go out with you until you are trained and confident.. whatever your physical needs.

I have always had a little bit of motion sickness too.. but who knows? Maybe all this balance training I have to do will bring about a miracle!

Rebecca Dutton said...

This is an incredible story. The video will silence doubting Thomases. How did you get into and out of the boat? Was there a big difference in height between the dock and the boat? I know what you mean about speed. One of the things I love about driving is my ability to move as fast as able-bodied people.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Linda .. that is amazing - what a great place - I loved the video: thanks for sharing.

I'm just so thrilled that so many can really do what they want to do with perseverance .. and resolve - what examples to us able bodied people.

There's a lady here, called Hilary, who has sailed around England .. who is just so determined .. as are many others.

Sailing Away - takes on a different meaning .. wonderful -thanks for the post - Hilary

Linda said...

Rebecca -- they are really well set up there. The boat is pretty level with dock. The dock is solid, not floating and the boat is secured to the dock in several spots. The way I got in is I got myself down on to the dock sat on the edge and slid both feet onto the boat seat. One guy supported me from shore and one guy was in the boat helping me transfer. They have a sling hoist system (like at some pools) there to for people who can't transfer. There was one young man there that is very twisted and not able to sit in a normal wheelchair. They had his aide sit in the boat and lowered this twenty year old onto his lap so that he was supported and off they sailed!

I worked really hard on this getting in and out of the boat skill last year with and without physiotherapy. Our cottage is boat access only so I have been highly motivated to get in and out of a variety of boats (motor) with different height docks.

Linda said...

Hilary, this sailing group will let my family members come with too. It is really wonderful to have a chance to learn a sport that I can share with my adult kids on a remarkably equal footing.

I saw video about that woman sailing around England! amazing stuff. Her website is interesting too.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Linda ... thanks and was sure you'd know about the English Hilary Lister ..

That will be wonderful to take family members out sailing with you .. lovely times out on the water .. I do hope there are some lovely days ahead for you this summer ..

Enjoy the rest of the week .. Hilary

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