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Despite vision loss, Valley teens sail across Caribbean Sea

Posted at 5:46 AM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 08:46:05-04

PHOENIX — It may sound like a plot straight out of a movie: 12 teenagers, setting sail across the Caribbean Sea without the use of eyesight to guide them.

But the kids who made the real-life journey are from Phoenix, and they're the stars of a new documentary "Ocean of Obstacles" released on Tuesday.

The documentary was filmed in 2018 and directed by Phoenix resident Louie Duran.

Duran says he began working with the Foundation for Blind Children back in 2015. That's when he saw the incredible "challenge events" they participated in, from river rafting in the Colorado River, to hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. So, when the teens were set to make a trip to the Spanish Virgin Islands after learning how to sail, he knew he needed to capture it.

For six days, the teens traveled 800 miles. Morgan Marquis was about 13 at the time and still coming to terms with losing her vision.

“We all got a chance to be the ones at the wheel... any opportunity, we all got a chance to do it," she said "It showed me it doesn't matter where in life that I am. I'm always going to do whatever I want to and it's not a matter of can I do it, it's a matter of do I want to."

Adonis Watt, who was 14, also went on the journey.

Despite his vision loss, Watt has scored touchdowns as a running back on Brophy Prep's varsity football team. ABC15 highlighted his passion for the game back in 2016.

Learning to guide a sailboat is a much different sport, but like everything else in life, Watt says he was up for the challenge.

"I'm the one that usually likes to do things on my own, do as much as I can by myself, so I don’t got to depend on others," Watt said. "But that kind of showed me sometimes you got to know how to teamwork to make the dreamwork."

If you would like to see Ocean of Obstacles, the documentary is available on iTunes.