Individuals From Cape Abilities Take Boat Tour Of Bass RiverWEST DENNIS – The rain held off enough Tuesday morning for individuals from Cape Abilities to enjoy a two-hour boat ride along the Bass River between Yarmouth and Dennis courtesy of the Freedom Boat Club.
The boat club filled a pontoon boat and a deck boat for the excursion which provided views of the coastlines of both towns.
Freedom Boat Club is the nation’s largest members-only boat club with nine locations in Massachusetts from Danversport to Chatham.
“We have been trying for years to find the right partner to associate with to help out on the Cape,” said Freedom Boat Club franchise owner Matt Carrick. “Cape Abilities just seemed like a natural fit.”
Carrick piloted one of the two vessels and was happy to see the enjoyment from those who participated.
“A lot of those people have never been on a boat before and I know that they had never driven a boat before,” he said. “It was all worth it and hopefully we can do one in Falmouth at our Falmouth location and make these a regular thing.”Cape Abilities Administrator of Life Skills Glenn Loomis said the boat ride provides confidence for those with disabilities but also delivers more of the Cape Cod experience.
“Anytime that anyone would like to be able to give us these kinds of experiences we’ll take them,” Loomis said.
Just a few minutes after the boats left the Bass River Marina in West Dennis and traveled under the Bass River Bridge, Carrick turned the wheel of his deck boat over to Robert LaPort, 44, of Yarmouth.
LaPort steered the vessel along the river and said he really enjoyed the opportunity.
Randy Lyons, 42, of Hyannis also got a chance to drive the pontoon boat captained by Freedom Boat Club’s Matt O’Connor.
“It was pretty exciting,” Lyons said. “I drove it and [Matt] told me what to do.”
Lyons said it was the first time he had piloted a boat and said he hopes to try it again.Carrick said it felt good to give back.
“Anyone can write a check,” he said. “We do a lot of donations where we donate a boat ride for live auctions, which is all nice and good, but to actually get them out on a boat, you can’t really put a price tag on that.”
Loomis said money donations help to keep Cape Abilities running but these are the types of events that make the mission worthwhile.
“The in-kind service of just being able to have a face to face with people that we support is priceless,” he said. “It really is priceless.”
A pizza party was held at the Freedom Boat Club office after the boat ride.
Individuals From Cape Abilities Take Boat Tour Of Bass River