The Impossible Dream
by Mac Clifton
At Shake-A-Leg we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is “possible”, from accessible kayaking to sailboats skippered by visually impaired people to wheelchair yoga, we reject boundaries in every way imaginable. That is why we love hosting The Impossible Dream on our docks!
The Impossible Dream was created by Mike Browne, a paraplegic who dreamed of a vessel that could sail the world’s oceans and be fully operational by a person in a wheelchair. She was designed by Nick Baily and built by multi-Marine in 2002. The Impossible Dream remains at the forefront of barrier-free sailboat design and technology. Deborah Mellen, an accomplished businesswoman, paraplegic, and sailing volunteer at Shake-A-Leg Miami found inspiration in the Dream. Yearning to share her love for sailing with others in the disability community, she funded its acquisition. Together with Harry Horgan, the founder of Shake-A-Leg Miami, Deborah founded the non-profit: Impossible Dream Inc. Under Deborah’s leadership, the Impossible Dream opened a new chapter in her historic life. She now travels the east coast of America creating access to the water for thousands of people with disabilities. The 58 ft universally accessible catamaran is now dedicated to engaging the global community to raise awareness to barrier-free design and to inspire people with disabilities, wounded soldiers, disadvantaged youth, and their families to improve their independence and quality of life. A sail on the Dream is no longer impossible! Every summer, under the trusty guidance of Captain Will Rey, they sail from Miami to Maine and back, stopping at over 14 ports along the East coast. During this journey they work with various hospitals and institutions, including Kessler (NJ), Kennedy Krieger (MD/D.C.), and Spaulding (MA), to promote independence and health of hospitalized people and people with disabilities.
The summer is pretty busy for The Impossible Dream and her crew, and their time on the Shake-A-Leg dock is no different! Starting in February, Deborah and the crew are running wheelchair yoga every Monday onboard the Dream! And if you can’t make it in person, the events will be LIVE streamed, so everyone can join! You can also reach out to them through their website or Shake-A-Leg to inquire about sunset sails, bay cruises, and more!