PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — For those who struggle with addiction, the road to recovery can be a long one. So one group is taking the journey by sea instead.
"Sea changes began with me getting sober," co-founder James Quick said.
After moving to Portland for treatment, Quick found that working on a boat helped him see life more clearly.
"I got a job at Sail Maine, and I started taking guys in recovery, friends out sailing on J22's," he said. "After a lifetime of working on sailboats and powerboats, I decided I wanted to share that experience with other men in recovery."
Now, more than two years sober, Quick is setting sail for a seventh-month journey down the East Coast with the other co-founders of Sea Changes. They're stopping in towns and cities along the way to share their stories, and help others navigate the waters of recovery.
"Addiction is not very well talked about," Quick said. "People need to see that it's a really big thing, and you can actually overcome this thing, and you can have actually fun while doing it. And we're here to do that and we want to show people that we can do that."
All three men on board have struggled with addiction, and all feel that sailing has given them a sense of responsibility and helped make them stronger.
"You all have a very important job, and you rely on one another," Quick said. "So, say something goes wrong. You're looking at him for support, and help, and getting everything tied down and ready to go."
As they prepare to demonstrate the power of that trust at stops up and down the coast, they are also thinking about what lies on the horizon here in Maine.
"I'm also very excited to come back, and build a program here in Portland," Quick said. "I've made a lot of great connections and a lot of people have helped get this off the ground."
The Sea Changes crew sets sail tomorrow at 4 a.m. Their first stop is Annapolis, Maryland.
They plan to arrive back in Portland in June.
To find out more about the program, visit SeaChangesSailing.org.