Captains Log – Northern Campaign – 12 Sep 2014
One of the privileges I have in my role as skipper of the Northern Campaign is working with volunteer crew who genuinely wish to help others in society. One local volunteer crew member in Newcastle invited us all off the boat to his home for a BBQ dinner. It was a warm and lovely experience to be invited to his humble home and listen to his stories of beating the odds that life has pitched against him. Despite losing his eye sight during the Bali bombings he still manages to sail and remain optimistic about life.
He cooked us steak and sausages for dinner (albeit a little charcoaled) and relayed the methods he uses to navigate a boat up and down the coast, dodging shipping and dangerous reefs, I was amazed ! I ventured to ask what he misses most about his lack of vision, he said “seeing my kids”. I almost cried…..I silently stared down at my plate of food, the colours my host could not see, came alive before my own eyes; the green of the lettuce, the bright red tomatoes, I felt so lucky to see my food, even the blackened steak.
As the Northern Campaign draws closer to completion, I reflect upon the journey ‘Kayle’ has undertaken, covering almost 2000nm and providing opportunity for over 800 kids with disabilities to have a new and exciting experience, hopefully creating optimism and change amongst them.
In the port of Newcastle, on our last few day sails with kids, one volunteer crew member moves effortlessly around the boat, pulling on ropes, grinding winches ,helping little boys and girls traverse the deck. None of the carers or kids know he is blind, they just assume he is as able bodied as I am.
The lesson here is not about what life dishes out to you, but what you dish back to it !
See you in back in Sydney !