Who we are

These are some of the groups of people that are involved in BATS.
Organising, running and participating in the various events.
The Committee
A dedicated and enthusiastic bunch of people who gather monthly to conduct BATS business and do all the behind the scene things that are required to keep the charity afloat.
Committee
Fran Branfield (VI): BATS Commodore
Fran Branfield (VI): BATS Commodore
I was brought up in Cornwall, near St. Agnes on the North Coast. My father kept a small boat, a silhouette, at Loe Beach, but I was far more interested in horse riding! I left to go to University and returned to Cornwall in 2010. I now live in St. Agnes with Nathan, my guide dog.

I heard about BATS through an old friend who thought I’d like it because the group is very informal, friendly and fun! So I gave it a go and was immediately hooked! I particularly love the sailing; each time we go out it is so different! Different weather, different boats, different skippers! Some of us love to learn as much as possible while others just like sitting on deck in the sun (hopefully) having a relaxed time on the water.

I became BATS Secretary in 2013 and Commodore 2 years later, in 2015

I would strongly urge others; blind, visually impaired, helpers, crew and skippers to give BATS a go!

e-mail fran@blindatsea.co.uk
Committee
Mike Crewes: BATS Vice Commodore
Mike Crewes: BATS Vice Commodore
I’m the Vice Commodore for my sins. Truro born and bred, I learnt to sail as a child on the river Fal. During my teens I raced sailing dinghies twice a week with Restronguet Sailing Club. My racing partner and I were responsible for sailing being added to the sports afternoon at Falmouth School, but that’s another story. Aged 19 I ran off to London, returning nearly 33 years later to semi-retire ‘back home’. I currently work as a Deckhand/Support Worker for Sea Sanctuary in Penryn and help sail their 80’ 1925 Gaff Rigged Ketch, or their newly restored Junk.

I joined BATS through an advert in the West Briton and have really enjoyed working with Visually Impaired members who have taught me a lot about disabilities! I love the sailing, often Skippering our Sadler 25, Mandarin, and gig rowing.

BATS are a great bunch of people that really want to have some fun on the water and I would urge anyone to come and have a go with us.

Committee
Gerald Bianchi : BATS Treasurer
Gerald Bianchi : BATS Treasurer
My wife Liza, has always wanted to learn to sail, but being visually impaired thought this was impossible. When she heard about BATS she was keen to join, and I became her sailing Buddy.
Sailing with BATS is so exhilarating for both of us and the social aspects adds another dimension.

Since April 2016 I have become the treasurer for BATS.

Committee
Hermione : BATS Membership
Hermione: BATS Membership
I enjoy the sailing but what I really love is the gig rowing. It’s not hard but it is exhilarating And there is something very special about being on the water



Committee
Kev : BATS Bosun
Kev : BATS Bosun
"Hi, I am Kev and have been involved with BATS since the summer of 2015 when I went to help out a friend as his competent crew. It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip for everyone involved and I was hooked.

My aircraft engineering backgound and sailing experience put me as the No1 contender for the position of Bosun when the previous Bosun hung up his spanners, this position I readily accepted and it has proven to be a very rewarding experience.

Everyone involved with BATS is there because they enjoy it, it is great to see the VI's on the helm with a smile on there face or getting involved with a sing song over lunch at a beautiful cornish anchorage. Come along you will love it.

And remember " If it ain't broke don't break it! and if it is broke let me know so I can fix it"

Cheers

Kev"

P.S. Let me know if you would like to help sanding, painting, oiling etc.

Committee
Jake:VI Committee member
Jake:VI Committee member
Fishing and Sailing are my favourite sport.

Committee
Carol:VI Committee member
Carol:VI Committee member
‘I love the sailing but I also love the fun we have. I have made good friends and it makes all the difference’.

Boat Owners
Without boats BATS would sink and be unable to provide a service to its v.i. Members. These kind and generous people fill the void that would otherwise be there.

Taking visually impaired people sailing, enabling them to experience the joys and thrills of steering a boat to the wind, hoisting sails, hauling on ropes, raising anchors, making tea, chatting, and being part of the crew, so the list goes on.
Boat Owner
John : Boat Owner
John : Boat Owner
I’m John and I own Oracle

I joined BATS.

BATS are a great bunch of people that really want to have some fun on the water and I would urge anyone to come and have a go with us.

Skippers
BATS has a Sadler 25, Mandarin, and needs people that are experienced and competent to skipper her with a visually impaired crew.
Skipper
David : Skipper
David : Skipper


Experienced Crew
Experienced Crew help boat owners and skippers to sail the boat and look after the rest of the crew.
Experienced Crew
Susie : Experienced Crew
Susie : Experienced Crew
I’m Susie and help skippers and boat owners

Experienced Crew
Anderson : Experienced Crew
Anderson : Experienced Crew
learning to be comp crew

Experienced Crew
Veronica : Experienced Crew
Veronica : Experienced Crew


Experienced Crew
Andy M.: Experienced Crew
Andy M.: Experienced Crew
"Hi I am Andy, I am qualifed as incompetent crew. I love sailing with Bats, it is always relaxed and friendly and we always have a good time, even if it rains! Why don't you come and give it a go?"

Sighted Guide
Some of our visually impaired members have little or no vision so a friendly sighted guide can provide assistance, especially in unfamiliar places.
Other members only need assistance from time to time, such as, when the light is poor or bright, moving into different levels of illumination, reading a menu, locating equipment.
Sighted Guide
Jo : Sighted Guide
Jo : Sighted Guide
I’m learning the skills I need to help skippers,boat owners and visually impaired crew

Visually Impaired Crew
Visually impaired crew are the most important members, without you all the above would have to find something else to do on a sunny summer Saturday!! Having said that, some of the above are also visually impaired. It is possible to be in more than one group. If you live in Cornwall or are visiting you will get a warm welcome if you join us for a sail, fishing or gig rowing.
Visually Impaired Crew
Peter S : Visually Impaired Crew
Peter S : Visually Impaired Crew


Visually Impaired Crew
Mike : Visually Impaired Crew
Mike : Visually Impaired Crew


Visually Impaired Crew
Tristan : Visually Impaired Crew
Tristan : Visually Impaired Crew


Visually Impaired Crew
David B.: Visually Impaired Crew
David B.: Visually Impaired Crew


Transport
Transport can be a nightmare in Cornwall. Not many buses run to Mylor Harbour, where most of our activities start. Please let us know if you can give someone a lift.
Land Lovers
We appreciate that not everybody is a sea dog. People who prefer to keep their feet on dry land can - person the shore base, do paperwork, provide transport etc.
Land Lover
Peter : Webmaster
Peter : Webmaster
I have had to sell my boat so now I look after the website

If you have any comments or a good idea for its improvement let me know

You can e.mail - sailing@blindatsea.co.uk
To Join Us
Just get in touch

You can e.mail - sailing@blindatsea.co.uk