Sunday, August 20, 2006

Yo Ho Yo Ho, it's a (disabled) pirate's life for me!

Picture a pirate.

Now picture another pirate, one who isn't wearing eyeliner and who doesn't look like Johnny Depp.

Does this pirate, by any chance, have a disability? Perhaps he has a peg-leg, or a hook where his hand should be, or perhaps this pirate sports an eyepatch. Perhaps this pirate has overcome all sorts of difficulties and has a pegleg, a hook, and an eyepatch. Funny thing about that. There sure are an awful lot of disabled pirates out there.

Ever since Robb was in the hospital at California Pacific Medical Center, and Kara gave us the idea, we have been looking forward to the day that he feels well enough to go sailing with the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors.

And today we did. It was a glorious day, once the clouds burned off.

BAADS is a pretty amazing group that is committed to offering (free) sailing experiences for people with all manner of disabilities. In this photo, a first-time sailor is steering the boat. Pretty cool, huh? She sure looks like she's confident and enjoying herself.

What's really cool is that this woman is blind! She is steering a thirty foot sailboat mostly by adjusting according to the way the wind and sun are hitting her face. I'm going to go to hell for saying this, but she did a better job of sailing the boat than her non-disabled former-Navy husband.

I steered, too. It was thrilling, and a little scary. But our skipper was wonderfully encouraging, and Robb and I are very interested in taking sailing lessons on the smaller BAAD dinghies. Robb didn't steer, because he wasn't confident in his balance. The dinghies are particularly engineered for paraplegics, and some even have adaptations for quadriplegic sailors.

Once again, I'll say how much we enjoy living on the San Francisco Bay. It is beautiful.

The San Francisco Bay isn't merely pretty. It is a working harbor, as well. The Port of Oakland is (I think) the fourth busiest port in the country. These container ships are gigantic, but somehow sailing near them wasn't utterly terrifying.

Work continues on the new earthquake-safe Bay Bridge. I wasn't previously aware that this will be a dual span bridge. Or that there will be a bike and pedestrian lane on the bridge. Or that it will be constructed entirely from slot-car track. (batteries not included)

And if all this weren't delightful enough, I had a very odd experience. I was walking to the car, to hang a parking pass from the rear view mirror, and ran into three long lost friends from the East Coast in the parking lot. Jim Magruder, Steve Bolton and Chad Bolton, who were waiting to board the boat for Beloved Bolton's wedding. Talk about a small world!

I ran back and grabbed Robb and we had a mini-reunion in the dock of the bay. For me, Jim has always represented Miraculous Recovery Against All Odds, which eventually became part of his life and No Big Deal.

Well, that and a brilliantly wicked sense of humor.


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to "drop a line... Arghh!!" and say how much I enjoy reading your posts. I'm a speech therapist in a skilled nursing facility in Vancouver, WA. I see a lot of people that aren't as resilient as the two of you... it can really bring a therapist down sometimes. It's nice to see people persevere. You two are in a tough place and I commend you for working through the inevitable ups and downs of this type of injury.
I found your blog through AQ, thanks for posting.

Lock Wench said...

Great pics, Lisa...I could almost feel the wind in my hair! Hey, Robb, you look GOOD...maybe the seafaring life is in your blood....

LW (you know, that chick with the porn-sounding name...what's THAT about? *wink*)

Anonymous said...

You guys definitely had a better weekend than I did. I wish we'd had those sunny skies! Sailing, sailing over the bounding main...

Take care,
Knit Wit

knitica said...

Hey, way to sneak in a good review of Robb's acting. I keep telling people you're a good actor Robb, and they ask if I've seen you in anything, and I have to think a bit and say, "well, no...but he did imitate a baby crying in my kithchen once, and it was spot on!"

Anonymous said...

hey there, lock wench/porn hair gal- AND Rob and Lisa!

Just a quick note to ask if you guys did any fishing when you were out on that boat! Even if you are vegetarians, fishing can still be fun, and its nice to know you have a skill to feed yourself if you ever get lost and forget your ditetary morals in one of those nature parks you guys have been going to.

While you were out on a boat we were moving into an apartment. Sufice to say, all my new year's promises to myself about becoming a minimalist were lies.

I have been on boats before, and loved it. Get Robb a sea captain's hat and a hook for his hand and take another picture for the blog.

- Annalisa and Gary


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