Welcome to our new blog series entitled “Meet the Fleet.” As part of this series, we will be sitting down with our educators to talk with them about the different boats in our fleet!
We sat down with Kali “Orca” Cika to chat with her about ‘No Limit’ our Independence 20 sailboat
NESS: First off, tell us about NESS’s adaptive sailing season. When did adaptive sailing start for the 2019 season?
Kali: This past Spring, we held an Adaptive Sailing Demo Day to showcase our adaptive keelboat named No Limit. No Limit, an Independence-20, officially joined the NESS fleet in 2017 and is the go-to boat for our adaptive sailing programs. Adaptive sailing describes methods to provide access to the sport of sailing for people with disabilities.
On May 18, over 25 sailors ranging from age 5 to 70 enjoyed a beautiful day of sailing aboard our 20-foot keelboat. No Limit’s wide and stable hull provides an exceptional platform for people with disabilities to enjoy sailing in a safe and enjoyable environment.
NESS: Excellent! So, tell me more about the boat. What makes ‘No Limit’ unique?
Kali: No Limit has many features that allow sailors to gain access to the water in a safe and independent way. One of my favorite aspects of this boat are the molded seats which can pivot and lock into either side of the boat. The 5-point harnesses provide stability and comfort while sailing. Additionally, the open cockpit allows sailors to move about the boat while underway.
NESS: Wow! The inside of the boat sounds awesome. The seats sound really stable, a great option for students who may have physical disabilities or need help with mobility. What’s the best way for students to get in the boat?
Kali: To transition into and out of the boat, students can use our transfer box which lines up next to a desired seat and acts as a ramp into the cockpit.
NESS: Once students are aboard the boat, what are the different jobs to do while sailing?
Kali: While underway, our students learn various roles and responsibilities of a sailor. One sailor in the front seat unfurls our jib (the small sail in the front) and starts to trim while the skipper in the back moves the tiller (the steering mechanism) to navigate our boat through the Stonington Harbor.
NESS: So great to hear about No Limit. Thanks for taking the time to talk, any last thoughts about the boat or adaptive sailing?
Kali: I strongly believe sailing is a great avenue to promote independence and confidence on the water for all ages and abilities. I look forward to seeing our program grow aboard No Limit and expand to include other keelboats in our fleet!
Kali “Orca” Cika – Assistant Sailing Director
Kali graduated from UCONN with a B.A. in Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences and a minor in American Sign Language & Deaf Culture. She received her M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. and has practiced in school, hospital, and private practice settings. Growing up on the CT shoreline, Kali spent her summers teaching junior sailing in Essex and later worked as a para-professional throughout her undergraduate career. Kali spent three years with Sail To Prevail in Newport, RI where she grew her roots in adaptive sailing. She is excited to join the NESS team and combine her passion for adaptive sports and accessibility with her longtime love for sailing. Kali holds US Sailing Level 1 and Adaptive Sailing certifications.