A Week at the Helm

by Alberto Borghi

Six young people searching their own route.


"Orza!" The scream from the skipper echoes between the choppy waves of the Adriatic Sea and the unfolded sail, tight like a blade. The young helmsman reacts rapidly, the stem changing direction now pointing to the open sea. The crew of the sailboat cannot see it, the sea, but they can "feel" it. It's like an emotion rising in their small bodies suspended between the reality and a dream, in a day that is unlike the others. Certainly, they are not members of the Luna Rossa or Mascalzone Latino teams, enveloped in their ultra-technical nautical designer attire. These young people don't want the water to splash far from their skin because, to them, water is like drops of freshness cradled by the wind which settles on their faces tensed with emotions.
The crew is composed of six young people: four are fourteen years old, and the other two are only ten. They move about carefully on the deck of the sailboat where they will stay for a week. They are not afraid to break anything, to make the typical mistakes of those who sail for the first time, distant from the land, from the security of the familiar environment which can also be limiting. No. Their cautiousness stems from the fact that they are blind teenagers and that they only rely on two tools: their instinct and, above all, their skipper's voice, Daniele Poscetto. Everyone knows, the commanding officer boasts all power on the crew. But in this case, the sailors would follow their commanding officer anywhere because any destination is synonymous with freedom.
Deborah, Matteo, Giulio and Camilla, as well as Elena and Giulia have experienced the honours and the burdens of a week of a different colour,

Group of sail boats near the beach

precisely "blue", organized by the Institute for the Blind F. Cavazza and the Italian Blind Union, Rimini Chapter. Objective: to become more independent, thanks to reciprocal help as well as educational and guiding experience.
And so every day, from Sunday, July 1 to Saturday, July 7, 2007, the boat went out, in two sessions of about two hours so that expert sailors, divided into two groups of three members, always different, learned to develop new independent skills necessary in their every day life now and later. The initiative of the Istituto Cavazza's Parents Committee was made possible thanks to three educators, among which Lucia Iovone, who supervised the kids during "Blue Week", except during the "cruises" at which time they were under the heedful supervision of skipper Daniele Poscetto, helped by his assistant.

The educators have even accompanied the young people to Cattolica's dolphinarium, and succeeded in giving them a marvellous and unforgettable souvenir: to touch the dolphins (even on their tongue...)!
Not only that, Deborah and her friends literally
"touched with their hands" the beautiful sights of Italy by visiting a theme park called "Italy in miniature". In both cases, the remarkable availability of managers in these places was well noted.
Thanks to the attentions, small and big, of Fernando Torrente and all those that made this experience possible, these young people have discovered that they are truly
differently abled. Because this boat, without them, would never have left its moorings and never, without them, would it have found the right wind to come back to port.