A high tide but still the boats went out


On Monday April 8, Rye Harbour Sailability (RHS) had their first event of the year at the Rye Harbour Club, getting back to giving people with all ranges of disabilities (called sailors) the opportunity to experience and enjoy the freedom sailing in a dinghy. It was a nice day and the volunteers arrived at 9 am to get the boats ready. I parked near the building and was told about the high tide of that day so I moved the car, thinking it was really not necessary. But of course the experts know and sure enough very soon the water reached the building and beyond. If a sailor with their carer arrived late, which happened, they were unable to reach the building.

Inside the meeting room volunteers merged setting up coffee and tea, cake, fruit for the sailors and experts who were going to take them out if possible while the carers sat around chatting. Initially it was quite busy as people wanted sustenance and drinks and now being the bookkeeper, I had to be quick in learning the ropes. In the kitchen volunteers were busy making soup for lunch after the sailing.

Soon it was time for the sailors to kit themselves out, as well as the expert sailors who were guiding them in the dinghy. Because of the high tide the boat could not come to the slipway to get the sailors in so it went behind the rescue boat building on the bridge. It was funny watching the experts wading through the water to get the boat ready. About four sailors were taken out after which time the tide had receded somewhat though the ground was still very wet.

In front of main door

But the organisation of everything was impressive and the atmosphere very friendly, with everyone mingling and chatting. Caroline Wylson has been steering the Rye Sailability organisation with her team for many years and managed to get funding to improve the space, toilets and changing area greatly for everyone using the sailing club. She said that it had not been easy and she had to fight many obstacles but the result was worth it. Caroline is now ready to step back, still being involved but happy to pass on the baton to another volunteer. It was a long morning, but fun. The next event will be May 10 which might be very different if the tide is not so overwhelming.

Look in Rye News events calendar in case RHS has another fundraiser, recently, a race night and planning at the moment to repeat the Opera Night at the Hub on Rye Hill. Another way of helping to support RHS is to join the 100 club. It is £5 per month or £60 annually paid by standing order. Applications are available from 100club@ryeharboursailability.org. Prizes a drawn on the first of the month. Anyone interested please go to the website which has all the information ryeharboursailability.org or phone 07749080802  It is a registered charity.



Image Credits: Heidi Foster .

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