Sailing for blind and partially sighted people
There are big boats and little boats, weekend cruises and longer passages in UK or foreign waters, but whatever you choose; life at sea or on the river offers an adventure to remember. The UK sailing season is typically March – October and as a blind or partially sighted crew member it is possible to get involved in all aspects of life onboard, whether it be working the sails, navigation or helming.
Many blind and partially sighted people are naturally skilled at sailing on the wind – imagine being at the helm and in control of the boat, nudging the wheel back or forth as you feel the wind shift across your face!
Metro do not own a yacht or organise voyages, but there are many UK-based projects that offer sailing opportunities to blind and partially sighted people, including accessible Day Skipper Courses for those who’ve found their sea legs and caught the sailing bug!
Blind Sailing Week 2019
(Hosted by The Royal Lymington Yacht Club, organised through Sporting Activities for the Disabled Charitable Trust)
Planning for this year’s South Coast ‘Blind Week’ is now underway and there are some important changes to announce. We are delighted to say that Mike Browne has again kindly agreed to facilitate this event through his charity, without his support we simply would not be able to offer you a week of sailing.
First, there is a change of club to host this year’s event. Last year the Royal Southampton YC had to close its clubhouse in Ocean Village so new arrangements have been put in place with the Royal Lymington Yacht Club to host Blind Week 2019. Further details on getting to and from Lymington and other arrangements will be sent out in April with joining instructions should we be able to offer you a place.
The week starts on Sunday 7 July finishing on the following Saturday, 13 July 2019
Second, we have had to make a slight adjustment to the dates that were announced in Falmouth last year to fit in with the club’s diary. This year we will start the week a day later, on Sunday 7 July finishing on the following Saturday, 13th. The regular format for the week will remain unchanged in all other respects, it is just that the event will be a day shorter than normal. Following our usual routine, we will start the week with dinner at the club on Sunday evening returning for the end of week dinner on Friday 12 July.
Finally, while Will is away with family commitments, certainly for the early part of the New Year, Grant is going to return to take on the lead of managing the event. Both Will & Grant will work together on Will’s return to the UK leading up to the event itself.
If you are visually impaired and would like to apply for a place for the week please contact Grant (details below) by the end of March at the latest. If you have already sent an e-mail expressing an interest could you please reply to Grant otherwise there is a danger that you will accidentally miss out.
And don’t forget that sailing experience is not necessary as beginners are most welcome. So, if you know of any visually impaired adult who may not be aware about Blind Week, but would like to come along, or any friend who doesn’t appear to have received this letter, please ask them to contact Grant (they must be over 18).
I am thinking of sending a Fleet to cruise further afield this year as we did some years ago, most likely to France and the Channel Islands. Perhaps you would let me know if joining such a Fleet would be of interest? I cannot promise if this will go ahead as it all depends on boat availability and numbers interested, not to mention the weather of course! At this stage, it is impossible to confirm places until we know the availability of boats, so do bear with us until April when we will know more.
It is important, especially if this is your first ‘Blind Week’, that you understand that the yachts we use are not specially equipped to cater for any specific disabilities. Hence you will need a moderate level of agility to allow you to take a full and active part on board during the week. In applying for a place on the week we assume that you meet both the age and agility criteria.
We have managed our best to contain the ever-increasing costs of Blind Week and the fee this year will remain at £250.
This letter was generated from our database of people who have shown an interest in Blind Week but, under new data protection legislation, please advise if you wish your name to be removed from the list.
If you would like to take part in Blind Week 2019 please contact Grant: By email: email@example.com or by telephone: 01225 336205 (Home) 07740 930528 (Mobile) More information will be out in April and, in the meantime, we look forward to hearing from you.
We sail on Sundays year round plus Wednesday and Thursday from April to October, plus special days by arrangement. It is rare that we have to curtail sailing because of the weather as our volunteers are hardy and we can reduce the size of the sails if it is windy.
Please ring the sailing compound if you are unsure on 020 7237 9001 after 10.00 am.
Be patient as obviously the sailing activities take priority over answering a telephone!
Tideway is located at Surrey Docks Watersports Centre, Greenland Dock, Rope Street, London, SE16 7SX. See our Find Us page for transport info.
Wednesdays & Thursdays 10.30-15.30
Just turn up although it is better to ring the clubhouse so we can expect you. If you are a group (4 or more) please contact us in advance so we can be sure of giving you the proper attention.
We sail most Sundays throughout the year (except Christmas & New Year). The emphasis is on those who are, or are moving towards, sailing fully independently. We have volunteers to help with launching and hoisting but limited volunteer capacity to provide assisted sailing.
To register your interest or for more information about any event please email firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sunday mornings we have a good group of juniors, mostly in the 6 to 14 age range, learning to sail independently. All the family can learn to sail together. Please note that parents etc are expected to help with boat preparation and pack-up at the end of the session and remain on hand to assist if necessary.
For adults and older independent juniors there is recreational sailing all day, brushing up on those techniques and occasional training sessions. Plus, we have some informal racing and coaching with the aim of improving skills and enjoyment.
YACHT SAILING FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE?
East Anglian Sailing Trust has skippers and sighted crew ready to take you aboard.
VI Sailing Dates in 2019 with East Anglian Sailing Trust
- 3-day weekend: 10th – 13th May
- 2-day taster weekend: 31st May – 2nd June
- 8-day cruise: 6th – 14th September
During the summer, we hope that individual EAST skippers will be able to offer sailing opportunities to experienced visually impaired sailors, by invitation. We would be pleased to offer an introductory service.
We will be offering day-sailing opportunities to a number of organisations for blind people on Friday 10th May and Friday 31st May. If you or your organisation is interested in taking part, please contact Trevor Williams on 07872907719.
We look forward to welcoming you aboard! Link to cruises: http://bit.ly/SailingDates
Our VI Cruising Chairman Simon Daws, who is VI, would be very happy to talk to anybody with questions or in need of reassurance – Mobile: 07749 714361
Visit VI Sailing links below,
or contact Amanda Green at
email@example.com for more info on getting afloat.