Stepping on board a sailboat, you immediately feel connected to the ocean that it rides on, and the winds that make it go. Those sensations are accompanied by an emotional release, as life on land is left behind for a sun-filled horizon, and a boundless sea. Sailing Heals, which is based in Haverhill and recently opened a Salem office, was founded 8 years ago to provide cancer patients with this exhilarating experience.
It was a day for eye patches and parrots for children and their families dealing with cancer. WBZ-TV's Paula Ebben reports.
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The Camden Yacht Club partnered with the national organization, Sailing Heals, to offer an enjoyable afternoon of sailing on Penobscot Bay to patients living with cancer and their caregivers on Aug. 1.
The morning of Aug. 1, Sailing Heals co-founder and executive director Trisha Boisvert welcomed the five boat owners and captains and 20 caregivers and patients who arrived at the Camden Yacht Club for a complimentary lunch of lobster, salmon and salads on the patio. The warm and overcast day was perfect for the relaxing sail from Camden Harbor after lunch...
Puffs of white clouds dot an otherwise clear blue sky as we glide along Nantucket Sound aided by 15-knot winds on The Blue Peter, a 1930 classic yacht.
"It couldnâ€™t be any better," said Aline Wommack. A native of Nantucket Island, Wommack is a veteran registered nurse who with her husband spent most of her years on the West Coast where she worked at San Francisco General Hospital. She and her husband are also lifelong sailors who sailed along the West Coast from Mexico to San Francisco and the entire East Coast.
Her plan after retirement was to raise Quarter Horses on a farm in Southern Ohio but her husband became ill and they returned to Nantucket where she could take better care of him. Heâ€™s been in Hospice care for the past year. She also works at Nantucket Cottage Hospital, specializing in a program using Suboxone, a prescription medication, along with therapy to help treat Nantucket residents with opioid addiction problems, which is a problem on the island among its year-round residents.
Photos by Cory Silken/Panerai