Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quadriplegic Sailing the Atlantic

Quadriplegic Sailing the Atlantic - Bon Voyage Geoff Holt!
Canary Islands - Many Yacht Pals cross the pond each year, but this transat is quite special. Our friend Geoff Holt, known both for his historic sail around Britain and his work in creating the model for modern disabled sailing programs around the globe, has cast off from the Canaries, and is currently bound for the Spanish Main. When he makes it, he will be the first quadriplegic to solo the Atlantic Ocean. His aptly named 60 foot catamaran Impossible Dream is now making way on the 2700 mile journey.

By the age of 18, Geoff had sailed in excess of 30,000 miles at sea, including 3 trans-Atlantic crossings and several solo voyages. His career was cut short in 1984 by a life changing accident which left him paralysed from the chest down. Diving into shallow water broke his neck causing a complete spinal cord injury and he has used a wheelchair ever since.

He has remained passionate about sailing and keen to support any initiative which provides sailing opportunities to other disabled people. In 1995, Geoff was a founding Trustee of the national disabled sailing charity RYA Sailability and now, through a network of more than 150 Sailability clubs and groups, more than 20,000 disabled people a year experience the freedom of sailing in the UK.

For more than 15 years he headed up regional marketing teams for two of the world's largest firms of accountants. He holds a degree in Fine Art Valuation and has sat on just about every sailing committee representing disabled sailing both nationally and internationally.

More than 20 years after his accident, Geoff became the first disabled person to sail single-handed around Great Britain in an expedition he called Personal Everest.

“Sailing has given me so much in my life. It was my livelihood before my accident and it was to be my saviour after it. The freedom I experience on the sea is like no other; I am free of my wheelchair and free of my disability. When I am on the water, it makes me feel alive and any sailor, regardless of their ability, will know exactly that same feeling. Sailing is my life.” says Geoff.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bataan ARG Returns from Deployment

From Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) completed a successful seven-month deployment Dec. 8 when USS Bataan (LHD 5) and USS Ponce (LPD 15) arrived at Norfolk Naval Station and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) returned to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Va.

The Bataan ARG is composed of the Bataan, who served as the flagship for the ARG, Ponce, Fort McHenry, Amphibious Squadron 2, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 Detachment 4, Fleet Surgical Team 6, Tactical Air Control Squadron 21 Detachment 1, and detachments from Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2, ACU 4 and Beachmaster Unit 2.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Captain Phillips - Grand Marshal