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Winds of Care

Today I feel energised after being part of something special for a few hours yesterday, something terrific that happened for a group of men who spend most of their time caring for others.

We got to take a break.

Sydney Harbour turned on picture perfect weather for us to enjoy a few hours together sailing around the harbour, taking in the sights, sharing a laugh and generally having a good time. The sail which coincided with International Men’s Day (November 19) was organised by Carers NSW in partnership with Sailors with DisABILITIES and bought together male carers from the Central Coast, Sydney and surrounding areas.

It was great to catch up with a few of the men I already knew and get to know a few new faces. I am always humbled to hear other carers speak about their caring role and whilst it reminds me how different we all are, at the same time I can relate to much of what is said. The connection and understanding that carers share is to me why events and activities like our sail are important opportunities, not only for a break but to be around others who truly appreciate and understand your world.

Having never set foot on a sailing boat I was a little unsure what to expect and speaking with the other blokes before we set out most of us shared the same level of experience. The SWD crew, all volunteers, prepared us well with safety instructions and with lifejackets on we climbed aboard for our three hour tour.

Once out in open water the sails went up and we quickly realised the significance of our Skippers advice to “always hold onto something”. Picking up speed we headed out towards Sydney Heads before turning around and cruising back past the iconic Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Climbing, walking and sliding around the sail boat I got to enjoy the many different views and talk with the other blokes who were all having a great time.

Might sound silly, but it was a highlight for me sitting on the side of the boat with my legs hanging over the side like I’ve seen so many sailors from the Sydney to Hobart race do. The whole day was a new adventure, a new experience and something myself and I’m sure many of the other blokes will talk about for some time.

Thank you to Dimitrios from the Hidden Male Carer Project at Carers NSW for your work in planning and facilitating the day and an extra special thank you to the Sailors with DisABILITIES organisation, your crew were fantastic and from what we learned about your organisation the work you do for the community is outstanding – thank you for giving us a special day.

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