|From Ocean Navigator #141 |
As a way of celebrating the heritage of disabled sailors around the world the Maritime Museum of San Diego recently hosted a day of sailing for a San Diego-based sailing club aboard the 145-foot square-topsail schooner Californian. The group, Challenged America, spent a day on San Diego Bay in July, hauling lines, navigating and taking turns at the helm, recalling the legendary sailor-author Tristan Jones, who spent a life at sea and in his later years sailed the world solo, despite the amputation of both legs; Captain Cook’s crewmember and cook, John Thompson, a right-hand amputee; and perhaps the most famous sailing amputee, Lord Horatio Nelson, who lost his right arm.
Challenged America, which includes members with visual impairment, spinal cord injury, hearing impairment, amputation and stroke, is a San Diego-based sailing team that offers disabled sailors (and would-be sailors) access to sailing activities free of charge. It was founded in the 1970s by a group of disabled veterans seeking to promote sailing for people with disabilities. The group can be contacted at www.challengedamerica.org.