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Rick Allwein on Sailing
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Come Sail Away!
Written by Rick Allwein



Made it to Sandy Point State Park, Maryland!  The home base for CRAB, Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (crab-sailing.org).  I like getting here early to get some down time and rest my butt after the trip.  It usually takes about two and a half hours from Grantville, although I made it this time in 2:15.  Mornings are damp along the water so even in the summer, if you get there early bring a sweatshirt or jacket.

There's usually plenty of help to transfer onto and off the boats.  Transfer boxes to be used by someone in a wheelchair, but because of my sitting problems I go on from my prone cart.

Below we're motoring out the channel between the bay bridge at Rte 50 and the jetty at Sandy Point.  The boats have 2 special seats that you can strap yourself into if you have no, or little, core  stability.  Also, the tiller extensions are nice.

There's usually fishermen on the jetty, don't recall seeing anyone pull anything in but we did see a ray this trip.  Looked about 2 feet across and was right next to the boat!

We usually stay to the north side of the bridge.  An able body person goes with to operate the outboard and help raise the sails, and at times we've had up to around 8 people on board.  It's really nice once we get the main up and turn the motor off.

Below, the Sandy Point Lighthouse.  Maryland sold off all but one of it's lighthouses.  That was the local chatter anyway.

The wind was kinda spotty so we slipped under the bridge to try the south side...

On the Annapolis side the wind was really ripping and it was some of the best sailing I've had!!!  Below I was letting someone else steer and I had the main sheet.  Pictures don't do it justice, we were really scooting along!  Being belted into the seat is a necessity for me, without that I'd be falling out all over the place.

There were a lot of other sailboats around, I don't have a zoom on my antique camera but down towards Annapolis there looked to be about 100 sailboats out!

Motoring back in the jetty.

I got out 3 times with different crews and we all had a great time!  It's usually over way too soon, at least for me.  This time was a Sail Free where they'll take out you and your family, or whoever you show up with usually for about an hour, then they come in to pick up another boat load.  If things are slow there's usually a chance to get out more than once.  CRAB also runs a racing program throughout the summer with some larger races in Annapolis and participates in other regattas too.

If you ever want to just get out for the day and have never tried sailing before you really should try it.  Look up the CRAB schedule on their website and show up for a sail free.  They start sailing about 9 or 9:30 am, unless they're getting thunderstorms, don't drive down then.  There's a lot of Quads and other disabled participants that sail with friends and family, and all have a wonderful time experiencing something that many people never will, the absolute joy of sailing!!!

No limits...only possibility.