One way to ?see? the world
SUSIE Bown's remarkable life is guaranteed to have plenty more thrills and spills.
The fact she is blind has been no impediment to her spending eight years sailing around the world and taking in some exotic locations.
She's performed glider acrobatics over Cyprus, swum in the Dead Sea and driven in a World War II jeep across southern Turkey.
Susie, her husband, Jon, and their nine-year-old cat, Decky, are calling Coffs Harbour Marina home for a little while. Susie was only too happy to lend her support to yesterday's Guide Dogs NSW/ACT travelling roadshow at the Coffs Ex-Services Club.
Susie, 42, is one of the first people in Australia to trial a special attachment to her walking stick called a k-sonar. As the name suggests, it alerts her to objects in her path via distinctive sounds.
She's only had three lessons but the gadget has already boosted her confidence.
Living on a boat means a guide dog isn't suitable for Susie at the moment, not to mention the serious issues Decky would have with such an assistant at close quarters.
Susie has been blind since 1987 and she's had two operations to remove a benign optic nerve tumour.
"I coped all right and it took a while to adapt, but there's people worse off out there than me," she said.