In 2013, New York businesswoman Deborah Mellen purchased a beautiful 60ft, universally designed, wheelchair-accessible catamaran called Impossible Dream from crazy Brit and fellow-paraplegic, Mike Browne.
During the following four years, non-profit Impossible Dream has sailed up and down the US East coast and Canada, offering sails to people with disabilities, many of whom have never experienced the joy of being out on the water. There is no charge for sailing on Impossible Dream as she is funded entirely by donations from individuals and corporations.
Impossible Dream welcomes the newly injured, for whom the trip may be the first time they have left hospital since their accident, veterans, children with both cognitive and physical disabilities and seniors whose mobility has been compromised, together with their carers and families.
Wheelchair-using sailors who are marginalized from sailing most standard boats are given the opportunity to crew on Impossible Dream, which offers them a barrier-free sailing experience. In 2015, George Bush Sr, came aboard in his wheelchair with his beloved wife Barbara, taking the helm away from our Captain. In 2017 Boston-bomb hero Jeff Bauman (author of Stronger) joined the crew on a portion of our summer tour.
Impossible Dream partners with the nation’s leading rehabilitation hospitals, nursing homes and disability organizations. Groups of people from these communities are taken on multi-hour sails, allowing them to participate in sailing the boat if they like. In 2017 more than 1000 people were able to experience wheelchair-accessible sailing first hand.
Impossible Dream will set sail from its home base at Shake-a-Leg in Miami, Fl. on June 20 and take in Baltimore MD, Philadelphia PA, New York NY, Mystic CT, Martha’s Vineyard MA, Provincetown MA, Boston MA, Newburyport MA, Kennebunkport ME, Portland ME, Boothbay ME, Belfast ME, Newport RI, and Kingston NY.
Come join us!