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Wet Wheels Yorkshire

October 30, 2019

Whilst preparing for our annual trip to Whitby, and doing our usual research to see if there were any Wheelchair friendly experiences we may have missed we stumbled on Wet Wheels. A quick look over the Facebook page and after watching a few of their videos we were hooked! We made contact and were told that they would be in Whitby the same time as us and as long as conditions allowed they would be sailing! They were super helpful over the phone, and so we booked there and then.

On the morning of the booking we were instructed to give them a call to discuss conditions and check we would be OK to sail. We were told conditions were great and we would be sailing at 1pm! We were all very excited as we headed down to Whitby Marina where the boat is moored. We met as a group with the other lovely family who were also coming on the trip for a briefing. Everything was explained in detail to us about the trip, we were helped on with our life jackets and made our way to the boat. Its a short 2 minutes down a wooden Jetty to the boat and then straight onto the boat where wheelchairs are strapped down and then its time to sail!

As we start to motor out Charlie was talking about the “Pirate” boat moored in the harbour and how cool it was, so a slight diversion was on! The Captain took us right up along side the boat for a better view, something Charlie was most pleased about! We then cruised out of the harbour taking in all the wonderful sights Whitby has to offer, under the swing bridge, past the famous piers and out into open water.

This is when things get really interesting! The boat is a catamaran style boat with two 300hp Suzuki engined at the rear giving the boat at top speed of 37 knots!! We spent the next 30 mins powering around the harbour, whilst the captain did his best to ensure that everyone was hit with at least a bit of sea spray much to the amusement of Charlie!

Why not check out the video of our adventure below!

Next came something which I had not expected (Nor had Charlie!) it was time for him to captain the vessel! He made his way up to the front and took the wheel! The Captain was fantastic explaining how to properly steer the boat and Charlie absolutely loved every minute of being a captain!

Some more powering around now and taking in the sights. The captain explained how they often see Dolphin’s whilst out, but we were just a little late in the season, but this only gives us another reason to return and do it all again! After an hour and a half on the water it was time to head back. We sailed back through Whitby taking our time to enjoy the wonderful views and back to the Marina. We all decamp to “terra firma” for a debrief and for heartfelt thank you’s from all.

This was an absolutely unique experience and the crew are unbelievable and Volunteer there own time to this wonderful Non-For-Profit to enable people to have these experiences.

Wetwheels builds disabled people’s confidence by providing the opportunity to access the sea in a fun, safe, stimulating and rewarding way using specially modified, fully accessible powerboats.  With the support of our donors and partner organisations we provide water- based activity experiences for disabled people on board our specially designed boats, from centres within local communities. Our adventurous trips afloat are staffed by specialists who ensure each person can share experiences, challenge their self-perceptions, extend their horizons, and discover new opportunities. Beneficiaries are active participants, rather than simply passengers, with the opportunity to steer the vessel and learn seamanship, alongside their peers, friends, and families. The experience is truly inclusive helping to improve aspirations and increase confidence.

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We are the Maley Family, a family of 6 from Greater Manchester. We are Dad: Dan, Mum: Jo, our three sons: Charlie, George and Tom, and our daughter: Hettie. Our eldest boys Charlie and George both have Cerebral Palsy, with Charlie being diagnosed at 2 years old and George not until he was 9. In this blog we want to give an honest and realistic perspective on life and experiences. We hope that in return this might help other families in a similar position to us.