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Old 04-03-2011, 13:51   #1
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Blind Skipper ( Don't Panic ) . . .

...as I live in the UK, so a long way from most of you chaps by the look of things. I own a small cruiser, a Westerly 21, and always sail with at least one sighted crew!

I have recently started keeping a blog. My eldest son kept urging me to do so and I must be honest, I have enjoyed it so far. I would love to hear from any other disabled skippers/crew out there to swap ideas and experiences.

My blog can be found at The Blind Sailor | I see no ships! if anyone fancies a peek at it. Still got a lot to learn about 'blogging' but at least I have started!

Cheers chaps, look forward to getting to know you a bit better.

Steve
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Old 04-03-2011, 14:36   #2
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Steve hi and welcome to CF. Friendly lot on here even if they can't pronounce aluminium

Couple of years ago I was asked by St Dunstans, a UK charity for Ex service blind folk (I am ex service) to take one of there members around the 70 miles of the Isle of Wight on a very nice hot sunny afternoon. Not being able to think of a better way to spend an afternoon I agreed. Mark came accompanied by two gorgeous blond assistants too

After a quick description of the rib we set off and I gave Mark the controls. He quickly settled down to steer a remarkably good course at 28 knots given he was completely blind. He was using the feel of the waves on the hull and the sun shinning on him to judge when we were going off course. A great afternoon and I believe he has since gone on to set a water speed record on Windermere.

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Old 04-03-2011, 14:54   #3
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Hi mate
Lots of diferenly able people here. am dyslexic with hearing loss and last time i sailed had diabetic with me. no real issues like life go for it and work round problems
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Old 04-03-2011, 15:02   #4
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

A good start to your blog Steve. Welcome to the fray.
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Old 04-03-2011, 15:28   #5
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Hi Alex,
Enjoyed reading your story, keep up the work, please dont take another dip in the river.
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Old 04-03-2011, 15:55   #6
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Great blog Steve. I bookmarked it and will check it out periodicaly. What is your vision now?
Good on ya for not sitting back and doing nothing.
I have a vision imparment as well. Legally blind without glasses, 20/60 with glasses. As I am sure you know better than most, never let anyone tell you you can't do something. Where there is a will, there is a way.
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Old 04-03-2011, 15:57   #7
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pirate Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Hi Steve.... Welcome and a pleasure to have you join us on CF mate...
I spent a couple of seasons working with the ICC in Salcombe on Egremont...
it was a brilliant time as they spend 5mths/yr taking disabled/disadvantaged kids/adults on board for a week of sailing...
just about the only satisfying job I've ever had...
watchimg folks find themselves and a place where all can be equal...
Keep on truckin dude and spread the news...
we need more of you guys here.. and out there...
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Old 04-03-2011, 16:13   #8
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Wow! Thanks for all the nice comments guys. Very much appreciated. Just been looking at some of the locations of sailors on here. We are everywhere! Panama City, how romantic that sounds, great stuff the old www isnt it! Off to bed now, got an early start to catch the tide in the morning, just a one tide mess about, but should be a good 'un. Thanks again.
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Old 04-03-2011, 16:20   #9
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Hi Steve.

Welcome to CF. I'm glad you haven't let your impairment prevent you from doing the things you love. I, too, have a couple of problems that could keep me in the house all day (crippled foot, diabetes, and ulcerative colitis) but it's never occured to me to not pursue sailing.

It has crossed my mind what I would do if diabetes takes my sight. I'll bookmark your blog, so I can learn from you.

Have you taught your dog how to bark the difference between " ship to port" and "ship to starboard" yet.
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Old 04-03-2011, 16:33   #10
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Welcome to CF Steve. I hope you enjoy the forum. I sent the URL for your blog to a friend in Vancouver who is in a chair and sailed for some years.
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Old 04-03-2011, 17:23   #11
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Hi Steve. These guys do it all the time also. Sailors with Disabilities including racing the Sydney Hobart .

Also these guys Sailability® Online

Closer to your home. This is the RYA link RYA Sailability | Programmes | RYA

Cheers
Oz
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Old 05-03-2011, 00:44   #12
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Steve, you might be interested in some sailing software I am developing for the visually impaired sailor. I am doing this with the assistance and advice of a number of blind sailors, mostly from the U.K. Check out the website and discussion group. I would certainly appreciate any feedback or suggestions.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:52   #13
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

G'Day Steve,

Welcome to CF -- it can be an interesting and sometimes contentious place to hang out, sometimes even educational.

And, let me say that I deeply admire your attitude and determination to do what you want to do despite the hand that you have been dealt. Good onya, mate!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Morning Cove, NSW, Oz
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:16   #14
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Hi Steve,

I'm doing a MA ODE with OU right now, and my last module was accessibility for disabled users, so I was very intrigued to see you used a "degree course with the Open University to begin rebuilding my life" - I'm glad it had such a positive effect. I'd also be interested to hear what tools you use to help you create your blog.

Is there any chance you can add a RSS feed?

Oh, and welcome aboard!
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:34   #15
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Re: Blind Skipper (don't panic)...

Like the blog...and you are so right about the life vest...my friend always says, why fight to get your head above water.
Fair Winds
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