A little about my sailing life !!

For many people living in the UK boats are an essential part of life, and that includes me. I bought my first power boat in the 80's and kept her moored at Hafan marina in Pwllheli on the Llyn peninsula which is a beautiful part of north west Wales. This area became special to me whilst visiting as a boy in the early 60's to where I would hitchhike with my school mates in the summer holidays. We Slept in tents pitched by the sea and lived on a shoestring with money saved from our newspaper rounds. Boy wasn't the world so much simpler back then?

With my newly acquired boat and an instant love of the sea I applied for and passed my RYC day skipper course followed closely by coastal skipper. Within a few years I'd changed boats three times with each one being slightly bigger and more powerful than the last. All my boats were built by a company called 'Formula' located in the American state of Illinois who specialize in top quality power boats and cruisers well capable for conditions in the Irish sea, which at times can be quite challenging. With the exception of very bad weather I'd be venturing off to visit places such as Barmouth, New Quay, Anglesey and occasionally across the sea to Dún Laoghaire in southern Ireland, but pretty much anywhere that had a safe harbour. I guess my most adventurous trip was from Port Dinorwic on the Menai Straits in Anglesey to Ardvern in Scotland, stopping overnight at Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland and then on to the Firth of Clyde, passing Arran and eventually through the 15 locks of the Crinan canal to be eaten by midges.

In the early 90's and looking for different horizons I arranged for my then 30' twin engined powerboat to be transported to southern Spain which was a great place back then, very Spanish, and very laid back, Viva España! I found a mooring at Puerto de la Duquesa which is a small town on the Costa del Sol built around a central marina. From this location the world was my oyster with access to many fabulous and unspoiled places on the Spanish coast; Puerto Banus, Sottogrande, Cabo Pino and of course Gibraltar. I also crossed the Gibralta Straights to a coastal town in Morocco called Smir staying over for a couple of nights then back to base. A round trip of 300km. Spain proved to be a terrific place for mariners and the following years were fabulous.

As time progressed speed became less important and more comfort a priority. In the summer of '95' whilst holidaying in Spain I impulsively changed power for sail and bought 'Spirit of Aeolos', a Moody Eclipse 33. I had no experience of sail but I soon learned the basics of making it go, and that I did. The following years gave us holidays many could only dream of, spending our free time sailing the Med as live aboards which was a truly memorable and special part of our lives.

Always craving bigger and better a visit to the 1999 London Boat Show brought the demise of the Moody for a bigger and more stylish Beneteau Oceanis 38'. There was certainly no comparison in quality but being honest a new Moody was well out of my budget range. The new Beneteau I also named 'Spirit of Aeolos' and she was commissioned in the French town of Port Leucate in April '99'. After endless teething problems we set sail for Spanish waters where we remained for several years and eventually buying a house in the province of Alicante.

Now retired and living back in the UK I have a Hanse 312 that I sail from Falmouth in Cornwall, mostly single handed but occasionally with my wife and first love Debbie. My second love is our cat 'Tom' but he won't crew, or maybe he might? Click Here. Then there's my boat, she gives me the freedom to escape the reality of this complicated world. When out at sea on cold and rainy days I look back with fond memories of our sailing days of old and the many people who touched our lives and became so very special!