by Steve West on October 24, 2010
The fourth Sunday of each month, a local boating organization offers free sailing to children with disabilities. They're called Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB). We've been trying for months to go but stuff happened each weekend. This was the last opportunity of the season so we were determined to go. The weather cooperated and the timing worked out as we got to the marina for the last trip of the day. Olivia was in sailor heaven as she was strapped into a car seat looking chair on the starboard side and the rest of us were free to pick seats on either side of a twenty foot sailboat. The operators of that particular boat (there's five in their fleet) couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. Olivia was thrilled by the wind and the spray and couldn't have been happier. Lauren was given a turn at the tiller and begged Santa Dad for a boat and a sailing license for Christmas. The only drawback was Olivia being able to reach a winch handle and throw it overboard. I think she wanted to see if it would float like the dozens of crab pot markers we were sailing past. The boat captain acted as if it was no big deal and told me the Bay was probably littered with 100,000 of the things. I felt awkward about it and offered to replace it but he was satisfied with a donation to the organization. Let me be clear though, he expected nothing. I insisted. That's the kind of group they are. It was awesome. So we had a kind of Mastercard commercial of our own. Free sailing - free. Entrance to the park to get to the marina for Free sailng - $3.00. Replacing the winch handle that Olivia threw overboard - $40.00. Seeing Olivia's expression as we pulled into the dock frantically signing "more" - priceless.
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