Sailing With Sailability

Today I was invited to go to a taster session with
Sailability
Which is a program for disabled sailors and abled boddied to do a sport together. The local club has lots of Dingies, as well as “RIBS” which stand for “Rigid inflatable boats”. These are safety boats in case anything happens to a sailor when they are in the water. They are in the water all the time when people are sailing. There were two out tonight. Anyway Sailability is part of the
Royal Yacht Assosiation

At our club it costs £10 a year to subscribe to Sailability. This means that you can go any time on a Wednesday night from about half 6 to half 8. When it gets darker earlier, you go from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock on a Sunday morning instead. This is fantastic!!!!! £10 is nothing these days!!!!!!! Anyway on to tonight….
We got to the club at about 20 past 6. I had a chat with one of the founders of the club. I wanted to make sure that i wouldn’t just be a passenger and that i would actually do something!!!!!! He assured me this wouldn’t happen. Thank god!!!!!!! There’s nothing worse than going to do something and sitting on your arse.

After everyone had arrived, we went down to the water, and got our life jackets on. The life jackets were a bit weird as they zipped up, and they had a strap that went between your legs, which would stop the life jacket coming off if you did fall into the water. Next one of the instructors took me over to the boat. Another one came to help me on, while the first instructor got into the boat.
First, the instructor who was helping me told me to get down on my knees. He showed me exactly where the boat was in relation to the platform. I then sat on my bum and swung my legs over the side of the boat. That way i could stand up, and then locate the seat. I used my cane to locate where to put my feet on it. We were then untied from the Jetty, and i was shown where the joystick to steer the boat was.

The instructor who was in the boat controled the sails while i steered. Sometimes the boat tilted to the side a bit, and that was a bit scary at first. But it is meant to do that. Plus, the boats can’t tip over. The club took out the boats when they got them in a force 6 gale, and they didn’t tip. That was a great reassurance.

It was awsum being able to steer the boat!!!!!! The joystick was hard to move though. It felt so relaxing!!!!!!!!!!!!

We were only meant to be out for like 15 minutes, but everyone else had got on the other boats so we stayed out for nearly two hours lol. I got so enthusiastic at one point that i steered the boat on to the rocks!!!!!!! We had to get towed in by one of the “Ribs”!!!!!!!!!!!!
After that, it was getting dark, so we headed in to the jetty again.

Before we left, i got to go on one of the ribs though. It felt really open so I was scared in case we fell out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It wasn’t as fun as the sailing though.

Pity it wasn’t more local. I would love to join!!!!!!!

I would just like to say thanks to Steve for inviting us, and to Roissin who was my instructor. Also to Bob who was the one who helped me on to the boat. It wouldn’t be possible without the many volunteers. Thanks!!!!!!

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