Belfast Lough, Sailability
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Hearing Aid, Long Cane, Walking Aid, Sign Language, Wheelchair
An eye opening and exhilarating sailing experience. On arrival at Carrickfergus sailing club Everyone was kitted out with flotation devices and water proofs were avaliable for anyone who needed them. The only equipment you need to take part are an old pair of trainers or wellies. I joined a group of sea scouts and adults of various ages with and without disabilities. In the plush surroundings of carrickfergus marina Ann and Bill made disability awareness training fun. It's amazing what you learn with a blindfold on. As Ann pointed out even if you have a disability you receive the training to make you aware of other disabilities including the many hidden. Excitement grew on the pontoon where we split up into different boats. Anyone who wanted to stay with their wheelchair easily boarded a sea- rover at the stern by a mechanical ramp. A hoist is also available and supportive cushions can be used to assist balance and keep you upright. I boarded the 'hawk' - reassuranily an unsinkable sailing boat , it self rights itself even with the sail up. I felt very safe and for an hour enjoyed the fabulous view of Carricfergus castle and Shoreline of Belfast Lough in the company of our learned crew Owen and Stephen on the tiller ( together with some perching birds). Sailing gives you an appetite and a well timed barbacue rounded of a FABULOUS experience. If your looking for an exhilarating challenge why not join sailabilty at carrickfergus Wednesday and Saturday mornings? As sailor or volunteer. Thanks to all the volunteers who make it possible. I can't wait to get out again.
Transport & Parking
Some parking inside the Sailing club and just outside the gates.
Greeted in the grounds of Carricfergus yacht we walked over to the Marina for our training , approx 400m flat walk.There is a disabled toilet at the entrance and a lift to the floors above. Ramps make access easy to the pontoon and the sea rover accomadates 2 wheelchairs with an automated ramp. A hoist is also available.
Disabled Toilet at the entrance of Marina building which doubles as a tourist information.
Very welcoming, friendly, knowledgeable. All ages. I appreciate the huge effort they put into making the day as they are all volunteers. Apparently everyone switches jobs regularly so they are very well trained. Although the special event I attended was very busy I didn't feel rushed and everyone took time to answer questions and explain things.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
I would definetly recommend sailablity to anyone with or without a disability. Budding sailors and volunteers.