About Me, The Captain!
My name is Craig Wood and I come from England in a small village, when I was four years old my father taught me how to sail an optimist. This then turned into a topper then a laser. But my love for sailing was over taken by my love for windsurfing and although I could sail a boat it was all about windsurfing for me. When I was 17 I joined the army and very much enjoyed it. On my 18th birthday I was told I would be joining my regiment on operations in Afghanistan. 3 days later I was on my way out there, this was April 2009, 3 months later on July 30th while on patrol, an improvised explosive device was triggered when I was close to it. 2 weeks later I woke up in hospital back in England knowing I've been injured but unaware of how much.
Well when I started to come around my injuries were much clearer I was amputated above both knees, my left hand was amputated an inch above the wrist, I had scars all over my body. But these were the obvious injuries the ones I knew about. I could see that my legs were gone but the crazy thing about losing limbs is you can still feel them. When you're on as many drugs as a rock star of the 80's feelings sometimes make you not believe your own eyes and the hallucinations don't help either. So when reality kicks in you understand better the position you're in, this is when my dad asked if I want to look in a mirror because they said I had some facial injuries too. When I looked in the mirror the first thing I noticed was my nose or lack there of, my new nose was fashioned out of the back of my ears. Then I noticed I couldn't close my mouth something that never occurred to me while laid in my hospital bed tweaked out of my mind, I lost 50% of my top lip and 60% of my bottom lip. So there it was my whole injuries were clear and now it was the time to soak it all in and try to re-evaluate my life, a few hours of crying and some tough love is all that's needed and my mind is made up.
I AM GOING TO OWN THIS NEW LIFE!! few months later I'm more aware and I'm using a wheel chair and trying to establish who I am and my dad sits next to me says "you know you'll probably never windsurf again" it was a realisation I knew but never really fully acknowledged its truth. Then he said but maybe you could get into paralympic sailing. Suddenly I'm thinking that a gold medal sounds delightful. 6 months later I was at the trials for the GB squads paralympic programme, and a few years after that I was a professional sailor.
All of this was and is a great achievement but one month in 2013 I say to my dad while I was back home from sailing, grab the van we're going to the beach. Little to his knowledge I was planning on windsurfing so I say what equipment we need and off we go. Going back to a hobby or sport that you love after life changing injuries has this sense of achievement I never experienced as an able bodied person.3 hours of windsurfing that day and probably one of the best windsurfing days of my life.(If you would like to see the video click here)
Lets cut to 2015 I'm in Miami and I recieve news that the paralympic 2020 games in Tokyo will not be including sailing. So my team and I had our future plans flipped on their heads. Suddenly I find my self wondering what I could do with my new found love and passion and apparent free time. One thing was clear I would carry on sailing so the only logical thing to do was buy a yacht in the view of sailing the world and on it I can carry windsurfing gear too. That sounds awesome I think to myself. So in 2016 I have a boat with the idea of getting used to her before I set off on my trip. After having a lot of work done mostly electric and solar related I was ready.
The first of January 2017 I moved on to my boat and the day after my 26th birthday I started a sailing trip around the world.