This morning the children from Vacation Care for Guide Dogs, NSW and ACT came over to Manly by ferry to sail with us with helpers Sarah and Darren and a cohort of carers. The amazing thing the Sailability helpers noticed was that the children managed to stay close to each other by constantly chatting to each other, and having the most wonderful time doing activities that were totally strange to them….riding on the ferry, walking from unknown place to unknown place, managing steps and stairs with their sticks, negotiating the floating pontoon all with a sunny smile. The incredible delight they took in sailing was a wonder. No-one had a problem embarking or disembarking, and some even managed to have a turn on Charlie’s Chariot and went zooming across the smooth water.

Dangcan, Lucas, Olivia, Sam, Nick, Ruby, Emily, Alicia, Sophie, Leah, you are an amazing bunch. Some even more amazing than others. You tackled the travel training of catching 2 trains with a platform change in the middle, a long ferry ride with some bumps going across the heads, a walk from the ferry to the boat shed, a sail in Manly Cove. Then lunch, the long walk back to the bus-stop, a one hour bus-ride back to Chatswood, then a walk back to Guide Dogs. You must have been exhausted by the end of the day.

Carers Claire, Sarah, Nicole, Nicola, Darren and Carolyn were a huge help for making the day run smoothly. Several of the children have expressed an interest in taking part in more sailing and will probably contact their closest Sailability so that this can happen. In particular, Leah showed a natural flair for sailing as she took the helm, felt the breeze in her face and took off across the cove, totally managing the steering as her skipper took charge of the sails and described where to go. Star of the day was Ruby, who was extremely tentative getting into the boat and finding a comfortable position to sit, then, once this was achieved totally enjoying the experience. She stood up at the end of the day and thanked the Sailabiility Volunteers on behalf of herself and the rest of the group. We were very proud to hear this thanks, as we are the ones who are grateful.

All of the Sailability Volunteers were honoured to be part of the group that experienced this today: Corey, Denis, Ivan, Jennie, John, Eli, Steve, Brian, Helen, Ken, Malcolm, Peter, Tara, David, Michael, David G and Sailing Coordinator, David W.