Since my website has been making the rounds — landing in places I never would’ve imagined; being forwarded onward and outward by all of you — several people have made some very useful suggestions as far as my sailing future is concerned. One of those suggestions has been an organization called BAADS (Bay Area Association of Disable Sailors) right here in San Francisco. Not so surprisingly, this was one of the first websites that popped up when I was googling for information on disabled sailing way back when this whole voyage first came to me.
Since that time I’ve sailed with the organization twice and it’s been an enriching and valuable experience both times. The folks who are involved — both running it and participating in it — are some pretty dynamic and passionate people. As I’ve said before, sailors remind me of surfers and since I love being around surfers I’m pretty damn comfortable. Anyway, my hope is to be sailing with them on a near weekly basis and by the beginning of summer at the latest sailing solo in one of their adapted boats with a sure sense of my abilities out on the water.
Thinking outside the boat
The more I sail the more ideas that come to me about how to make the sport more comfortable for somebody with my level of disability. As I mentioned in the last post on sailing, one of the most important things I’ll need is some sort of chair that has the ability to be adjusted when the boat tacks and is in a steep heel.
For smaller boats I’ve seen this done, but it’s a permanent fixture. What I’m thinking of is something that wouldn’t be permanent but yet secure and that could be moved around rather easily as the situation on the water dictated. If there are any engineers or creative types out there who want to help me design this by all means contact me. This is an immensely important part of the trip.