After reading Sunday’s Boston Globe story ‘Forgiven and free’ about the Peacemaker tall ship sailing into Plymouth, my mom, Tony, Ric and I headed to Plymouth Harbor. We were disappointed to find the Peacemaker tall ship is NOT wheelchair accessible. We read that this tall ship is owned by The Twelve Tribes. The Twelve Tribes is an organized group of people who live in 12 different areas of the world; 4 of the tribal groups live in 4 regions of the U.S; which includes 1 tribal group living in The Community in Plymouth. In a spiritual way, they live together; work together; eat together; and worship together.

The Twelve Tribes decided to open their tall ship to show other people who they really are and hope to show others that the rumors and fears about them are not true. The Twelve Tribes local tribal group operates one of my favorite stores in Plymouth called Common Sense. I come here regularly to buy their natural sugar and the people who work here are always very kind and courteous to me. They once told me that they also own and operate a bakery that I have not been to yet. I also read in the newspaper that this tribal group just bought 2 other Main Street properties in Plymouth valued around 2 million dollars.

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As soon as we approached the Peacemaker tall ship, we realized it is not wheelchair accessible. There is no access for wheelchairs at this time. I was very disappointed for I really wanted to personally meet the tribal members and see how they live.

My mom and I waited behind the fence on the pier while my friends Tony and Ric checked out the ship. One of the tribal members told Tony and Ric that they have been able to get some small wheelchairs on the ship; they had to lift the wheelchair from the end of the ramp onto the ship. There is a long ramp leading to the ship; yet here there are steps visitors need to go down to get onto the ship.

The main deck is flat and looks very accessible. It appeared to me, my friends and my mom that the ramp could have been placed from the pier with a gradual slope leading to the main deck. A few summers ago I went on the Captain John’s Boat-Whale Watching from this same area and the slope was much steeper/higher for me to get on that boat yet I made it onto the top deck. If they placed the ramp to this main deck all other visitors could still access the other areas of the tall ship that have steps from the top deck as well. It would have been such a wonderful feeling to be sitting on the deck of a tall ship in the Plymouth Harbor.

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A very nice tourist who was visiting this tall ship with her children felt bad as me and my Mom had to wait on the pier while Tony and Ric went on board. This visitor suggested that if I could stand up and walk down some steps then I could get on board; yet if I could get up and walk down the steps I wouldn’t need this chair. I know she was well intended but a little on the naive side:>)

Tony told me he asked one of the tribal members on board if any of their tribal members currently uses a wheelchair and they were told “no”. I hope that in the future no person in this tribe needs a wheelchair as they might find themselves out on the plank, looking in. LOL:>) Just kidding!

Tony and Ric took some pictures for me and others who can’t access this tall ship to see what life is like on the Peacemaker.