I would like to thank you so much for the amazing sailing experiences I have had on board Pride of Mann 3 this summer.
I have had so many amazing experiences this summer sailing to so many different destinations. Some of the most memorable moments are: sailing to Ballycastle and going to visit the stunning Giant's Causeway, sailing all the way to the far South of Ireland towards Kinsale and Crosshaven. This trip was most memorable because we spent 2 full days (more then once) at sea and enjoyed 3 hour night watches. Sailing to the Clyde was most tranquil and we enjoyed, several times, dropping anchor and swimming.
These sailing experiences came at a time when I had been suffering this year with my health due to having Aspergers Syndrome and other disabilities. The trips certainly had positive on my mental health. Being at sea and enjoying the freedom of wind and sail, is a great chance to truly relax and find peace whilst being surrounded by a caring crew in a safe environment. Coming back from the trips I felt much better and positive about myself and better in my health.
I have developed a lot of my skills on the trips. I have increased my knowledge of sailing, the effect of the wind and sails - including how to use them, navigation and tide skills, using the helm and knowledge of using the radio equipment. I have also developed and noticed a number of improvements to my life skills as a result of the trips. These include coping better with change, working better as part of a team and increased confidence.
Thank you again so much for these wonderful sails and cruises and I really am looking forward to future trips.
We are saddened to inform you that one of our members Chris Copley has passed away very sudden. Our thoughts are with his wife Joanna, his sons Peter and Mark,family and friends. He will be sorely missed.
We are very greatful for the kind donation our charity received in memory of Chris.
I love going on the boat. The social interaction is just brilliant. You don't know who you are going to meet. I have had many enjoyable day trips and several longer trips of over a week.
We have had great fun, from the kettle needing replacing and also on this last trip, the time when Arne had to take apart the cooker as it was playing up. Yes, we did have our supper even though it was at least an hour late!
I hope the charity never gives up as it is so important to keep such a wonderful thing going. One of my favourite places is Ardglass where we sometimes call at a very interesting pub there. There is a feature of a well in the middle of the room. The staff are really friendly and we have had many a happy hour there after a good day's sailing.
I am so grateful to the Charity and to all the volunteers, for all the wonderful places I have seen and the opportunities to help crew, aboard the beautiful Pride of Mann III.
The sun burst out at noon on the 17th June, right on time for our charity’s Annual Open Day aboard the “Pride of Mann lll” This beautiful boat was purchased by “Sailing for the Disabled” just three years ago. In those three years our volunteer and enabled crews have covered many thousands of sea miles. On our regular short Day Sails, weekend cruises and longer 8 day cruises, we have plied the Irish Sea, the Celtic Sea, the Menai Straits, the Clyde, the Crinan Canal, the Hebrides- even a little bit of the Atlantic on the last trip (the second of our “TT Escapes) where the boat got as far as Kinsale in Southern Ireland.
Our members have had wonderful experiences, both sailing-wise and visiting “foreign shores”. A real bond develops between all on board, particularly during these longer trips. Everyone pitches in with the cooking, cleaning, scrubbing the decks, topping up the water tanks. There is nothing to beat tucking in to a hearty meal in our cosy galley after an exhilarating day’s sailing. We may be at anchor in some quiet cove or in a lively Marina in Scotland, Ireland Wales or England. The food always tases good after all that sea air and exercise!
Whilst at sea, everyone is encouraged to bas involved as they wish and are able – to have a try at steering, trimming sails, tying knots, learning about navigation, singing sea shanties - all things “boaty”! We have seen so many people blossom, it all boosts confidence and happiness – not only for our enabled members, but also for our volunteer crew! The charity really does make a difference in people’s lives and membership is only £10.00 a year for each and everyone. All the skippers and crew are volunteers and to raise money for upkeep, fuel (necessary when there is no wind to move us) marina fee, harbour dues, we have fund-raising events and are lucky to have several generous corporate sponsors.
On our busy and happy Open Day, (see pictures) we were delighted to receive a cheque for £300.00 from Manx Heritage Trust. Susie Beswick of Rushen Players, last summer organised a Pierrot Show in the South, at Port Erin and Port St Mary, at the request of Michael Forrester of Rushen Heritage Trust. The Pierrot Shows were a huge success and the takings were shared between three charities- “Alzheimers Society”, “Care for the Family” and SFTD.
Susie brought along Cynthia Gelling (maker of all the costumes) and her two beautiful Pierrot granddaughters, Freya and Jasmine and Michael Forrester to present the very generous cheque. On open Day, we must have had a hundred or so visitors who were all delighted with the boat and the marvellous facilities on offer - specially adapted with both a ramp at the stern for easy boarding and a lift to allow easy access for wheelchair users to go below to the galley and other facilities. Chatting over cuppas and biscuits around the two tables (one on deck, the other below) as the bunting fluttered gaily in the rigging, we have inspired many to sign up and “give it a go” A great and rewarding day!
A big thank you to the Open Day crew of Bobby Moore, Sarah Spenser, Neil Johnson, Arne Dahn, Carole Quayle and yours truly!
While in Douglas, two sailors from Liverpool came out with our Sailing for the disAbled to find out about the pioneering work that the charity is doing to help the less able into sailing.
The visitors stepped aboard Pride of Mann III, which is a Beneteau Oceanis 48ft cruiser, one hour before the children from the special needs unit of Castle Rushen High School, in Castletown were set to arrive, so that they could go over the safety briefing and find out how the yacht had been specially adapted to cater for people in wheel chairs with a special ramp, and movable cockpit table.
Soon the four children arrived with their teacher Kerry. All the children were excited and wanted to be helmsmen, but initially they needed to listen and sit in the cockpit while Pride of Mann III manoeuvred out of the harbour. As soon as they were in the outer harbour Caleb one of the children helped on the winch to bring out the main sail, while the other children Molly, Evan and Mikolaj saw the first pod of dolphins. During the sail, everyone was fortunate to see several pods of dolphins along with other wild life like gannets, seagulls and jelly fish. Every time a pod of dolphins was sighted everyone on board strained to see the elusive creatures and enjoyed the magic together when they were rewarded with a sighting. During the sail to the mooring just south of Laxy, Caleb, Molly and Mikolaj all had a go at being helmsmen, while Evan took it easy and looked out for wildlife.
On the sail to the mooring Kerry, the teacher from Castle Rushen High School, explained how over the last five years in addition to using the sailing to deliver biology and geography lessons, the school had been using the sailing to help develop the children in a variety of different ways, like improving language and listening skills as well as giving them coping mechanisms to deal with challenges. For some children, it has also given them a life long hobby, as they have gone on to access the service as adults.
For William, one of the volunteers, he loves the fact that he is able to pursue a hobby he loves and help other people. He has also received training provided by the other volunteers, so for this year, although he is skipper of many trips, he is always accompanied by a more experienced skipper, so that he can learn a variety of hints and tips about sailing in the local area.
Once safely moored on the buoy, the children displayed incredibly healthy appetites as they all ate their lunch. Soon it was time to return, to Douglas where Caleb had a go at helming the yacht.
Sailing for the disAbled was started in 1984 by the landlord of Creg ny Baa Hotel, Ray Kelso when he with the help of the social club raised £2,500 to purchase a second hand Leisure 17 that allowed several disabled people to go sailing, since then the charity has gone on from strength to strength and now the charity owns the Pride of Mann III which allows people in wheel chairs to access the service.
If you are interested in helping the charity in any way or wish to become a member then download the membership form or contact the Membership secretary.