Many of you are following Geoff Holt’s sail from Lanzarote, England to Tortola, but if you haven’t heard about his adventure as skipper of the 60′ Impossile Dream, here’s a synopsis. His post today, 12.29, reported he and crew were half way across with a good following wind. His wife and son are already in BVI, waiting his landfall.
In completing the voyage, Holt will become the first quadriplegic to make the journey, unassisted in every aspect of the sailing. 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 off Tortola broke his neck, causing a complete spinal cord injury and he has used a wheelchair ever since.
‘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.
There are 2 others on board. Susana Scott, his carer, in Geoff’s words, ‘is from New Zealand and has been looking after high level quadriplegics for a few years now so was the ideal candidate as my crew member for my trans Atlantic voyage. She is not a sailor herself but will be undergoing several training courses as part of the preparation for the voyage, including a Ship’s Doctor course, Survival at Sea, VHF and Competent Crew.’ Unfortunately, she has been seasick most of the voyage, but is still an invaluable member of the crew.
The 3rd person is Digby Fox, who is filming the adventure as media specialist.
Read Geoff’s blog – http://geoffholt.com/blog which gives a map showing his progress, videos, and more. He mentioned again in yesterday’s post that he needs donations for airtime to answer emails and post the blog, as airtime costs $50 USD/Mb so he can only afford 3 minutes/day. He writes, ‘Digby & Susana need to use the system too so anyone wanting to sponsor our airtime costs would be most appreciated – the video blogs and email checks alone have already amounted to nearly £ 2,000 and we’ve got at least another 10 days to go.’
His trip is remarkable and we are all anxiously waiting his arrival.