BAR HARBOR — For about the past 10 years, Downeast Horizons has teamed up with crew members to provide people with developmental disabilities a ride on the waves in Frenchman bay.
However, the annual event was canceled last year due to COVID-19.
Robin Meservey, a Downeast Horizons member, said Friday it’s great to back out and about.
“Being here with friends and family, I consider these guys part family because we went through the quarantine together,” Meservey said.
Anthony Zambrano, executive director for Down East Horizons, said on this day, members get to experience Maine just like anyone else.
“They are going to be on the ship today,” Zambrano said. “They get to explore bar harbor like they ought to.”
Zambrano said they use the engine to get started, then members and staff pull the sails on the schooner and float in Frenchman Bay.
“Then, the kind of neat thing about the whole thing is this big ship will move through the water, effortlessly with just nature’s wind,” said Zambrano.
He said there are life lessons to be learned as well.
“Some of them are uncomfortable with being out in public, so what we are doing is making them uncomfortable in a great environment, a happy environment, so when they are on their own it’s not so bad,” Zambrano said.
Crew members and staff said it’s special for them too.
“They all seemed excited, which makes us really, really excited,” said Sam Durkin, a deckhand on the Margaret Todd Luke Wakelin.
Durkin said she’s excited to be a part of it.
“When it’s something special like this it’s really unique and it’s really amazing,” she said.