Ah, to sail the open seas…
Ever dreamed of getting out on the water? Maybe you assumed you couldn’t sail. I’d bet most people didn’t even consider the idea long enough to make that assumption. I bet the thought was dismissed before it even had a chance.
I guess I’m in a wagering mood, because I’d also bet you know where I’m going with this…Dream Big!! Let yourself dream because people around the world are redefining what it means to be disabled.
If you can dream it up, there’s someone who can help you do it.
All are welcome aboard the Lord Nelson, one of the Jubilee Sailing Trust‘s two accessible ships–the only two in the world!
This charity is located in the UK, but if you don’t live near there, never fear!
Lord Nelson is currently making the historical voyage to become the first mixed ability crew to around the world. I believe ships are often referred to as “she” but I don’t feel comfortable calling Lord Nelson that, so…it has a diverse crew. Among the ranks is an injured commando who lost his leg and a paralyzed paralympian.
Everyone is taught and given the tools to sail, and everyone is treated as an equal member of the team. This isn’t a vacation, it’s a full fledged expedition!
You were about to say how disappointed you are that you don’t live in the UK. Well, it will take 2 years to sail the world and odds are they will hit up your continent at least once along the journey. You can join the crew on various legs of the journey from a short day trip to a several-week long trip.
Before you try to talk yourself out of taking the plunge, lets see if I can predict your concerns.
YOU: I don’t feel comfortable trusting this non-profit with only 35 years experience on their two boats that have successfully taken 13,000 physically disabled people on their voyages.
ME: That is an excellent point. I encourage you to explore one of the many adapted sailing opportunities that may be closer to home:
Sail to Prevail in Rhode Island, USA
Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors in California, USA
Disabled Sailing in British Columbia
Disabled Sailing Holidays in Greece
Ellen MacArther Trust in the UK (for seriously ill youth)
Tideway Sailability in London
etc., etc., etc.
YOU: I don’t think someone with my disability can sail, even with the help of these charities.
ME: Handling ropes can be dangerous and seafaring men throughout history have lost many a limb. Those men rarely had a doctor on board and rarer still did they have prosthetics at their disposal–they had to use whatever materials were available to them. Planks of wood served as legs, and hooks for hands. Add an eye-patch and you have your stereotypical pirate. I’d say history is proof enough that disabilities should not keep you out of the water, if that’s where you’d like to be. I’m not saying you have talk in pirate-speak, but I wouldn’t stop you either… matey 😉
It doesn’t occur to most people to dream big. I think its a coping mechanism; a combination of not wanting to dwell on your limitations and not wanting to fail. But if you dream big, you might be surprised that those limitations you let define your life, aren’t nearly as big as you let yourself believe. And that is regardless if you have a disability or not!!
It is my sincerest belief that if you decide you want to do something, no matter how absurd, there are people with the skills and know-how to make it happen. Let yourself dream.
**Challenge: Find a dream, and if can’t figure out how to make it happen, let me know. I’ll give it a go.**