Welcome to The Blind Sailor blog

The regular crew of Alexandros

I have been registered blind for twenty years.

Sight loss affects people, on an emotional level, in different ways. To give you an idea, it took me several years to admit I had a problem and get a long-cane. A few more years before enrolling on a degree course with the Open University to begin rebuilding my life. 18 years before applying for a guide dog.
Being a VIP (Visually Impaired Person) can impose restrictions, but I have learned that most of those restrictions exists in the minds of others.
This blog is about one mans bloody minded refusal to accept those limitations.

All ready to go back into the water.

As this blog develops I hope to add video clips and lots of photos, as well as solutions to problems as I come across them.  There will be a section dedicated to adaptations that I have come up with to get around my restricted vision.  Resources, both online and elsewhere that I have found helpful and so on.  In common with most sites like this, it is a work in progress.  Please pop back often to see how we are getting on.  Thank You.

 

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8 Responses to Welcome to The Blind Sailor blog

  1. Martin Perry says:

    Hi Steve,
    I enjoyed reading your blog, I also started cruising in a Sea Wych on the East Coast out of Maylandsea. We progressed to a Jaguar 25 and then a Cobra 850 which had on a mooring in Bradwell Creek for many years. When we bought a Westerly Fulmar on the Hamble we sailed on the South Coast for a few months and then bought her back to Essex, but she was just to large for the mooring and we had been seduced by deep clean water and returned to the Solent. We then traded her in for a new Westerly Ocean 33 and after three years traded in again for a new Ocean 37 – Blue Chip. We sailed out of Gosport for many years but this year are taking her down to Plymouth to sail in different waters.
    I still have very fond memories of Essex and Bradwell, we were members of BQYC. I look forward to following your blog and watching your videos, and applaud your courage in sailing with your handicap,
    regards
    Martin

    • Steve says:

      Thank you for the kind comments. I assure you that courage does not come into it, I am usually terrified when aboard! Nothing to do with my visual impairment, just lack of faith in my ability! Nothing a few more seasons shouldn’t cure. I have spoken to a few Westerly owners and it seems that having owned one, people become ‘hooked’ on them. The build quality and forgiving nature may have a lot to do with it.

      • George Dowling says:

        Hello Steve, I have been legally blind since birth and because of that I do fairly well for my self. its always been this way so to me its standard operating procedure.I have had boats all my life and they were always insured under my Wife’s name. Now I am divorced and looking at a real beauty of a sailboat.My question to you have you had difficulty obtaining insurance for your boat because of your vision?

        • Steve says:

          No, never had a problem with insurance George. To be honest, they have never asked, so…
          In any case, I always sail with at least one sighted crew so I do not feel that my vision increases a risk of an accident. Do you manage single handed? If so have you come across any useful gizzmos that make life easier?

  2. Pete says:

    Steve,

    Thanks for the inspirational site, it’s great to hear that someone visually imparied can keep up this sort of activity and I fully understand your stubborn refusal to let it stop you.

    A few years ago I suffered from fairly severe diabetic retinopathy which resulted in temporarily (though I didn’t know it at the time) losing most of my sight in both eyes due to the black swirls of blood that floated across my vision. Extensive laser treatment and a couple of operations on one of my eyes meant that by a miracle (and the skill of the doctors), I was able to retain my sight, now once again being able to drive, work and sail. I’m very conscious of the fact that it needn’t have turned out this way and who can tell if it won’t happen again in future.

    I sail a wayfarer on Loch Lomond at the moment, with eventual aims to move to a small cruising yacht to explore the West Coast of Scotland. Sites like yours are an inspiration to keep working towards this aim come what may.

    Pete.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks mate. Glad you like the blog. Lovely part of the world up there. I have a mate that lives on Loch Goil. My only regret is nit having got my cruiser years ago. As the famous Dylan Winter said, buy and sail the boat you can afford now, rather then waiting until you can afford the ‘perfect’ boat. Go for it!

  3. Mick Bricknell says:

    Well done Steve, I can only applaud you and remember all the good times weve had, you are truly an inspiration and I know its not always easy for you. I went to sea fishing yesterday and had a Southern Right Whale leap straight up and spin then flop only twenty metres from me, though I was going to be swamped but the boat just rode the wave, I have now fitted a windlass by a company called Maxwell (used to make silver hammers) I think everone should have one they are truly magical and make anchoring a pleasure, I will be fishing the annual Tuna Comp end of this month, we travel out 40 nautical miles to the Agulhas Current and can expect to catch Tuna up to 60kgs yellow fin, anyway from the deaf fisherman to the blind sailor, go well my friend , regards Mick.

    • Steve says:

      Hi Micky Boy, great to hear from you mate. Glad your still annoying those fish! I have only anchored a couple of times and I have to say I now see the point of a windlass! Bloody heavy hauling all that chain and east coast mud aboard. I will email you when I get a minute and have a catch up mate. God Bless you.

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