Skipper’s ramblings

Occasionally I will hijack the site that my wife has spent hours creating and posting.  For the last 2 to 3 years, I’m sure like many of you I have spent endless hours chasing a dream. For me it was reading sailing magazines and delving into the wonders of the web researching any information I could find to fill the huge chasms in my knowledge. Many have been the occasions that I have awoken, aching and cold, in the early hours of the morning still lying on the sofa, iPad battery almost exhausted, and sheepishly retired to bed, desperately trying not to wake Donna from her slumber.

As a result, if there is one thing that I have learned, it is to accept that the opinions expressed by many are merely from their own perspective and are tinged by the bias that we all possess. Whether it be that your dream is to buy a cottage in the countryside, travel or buy a boat and sail the Med it doesn’t really matter, to my mind the process will be the same.  You will start with a crumb of an idea and this will grow and evolve over time.

From my reading it has become clear that many of these dreams become never more than just that and I took huge confidence from Beth A. Leonard’s ‘The Voyager’s Handbook’ which whilst not being totally relevant to my plans, nonetheless filled me with belief of what is possible when you actually make the unequivocal decision to do something!

Firstly, when I reached the point that dreams began to become realities I realised just how dependent I became on the knowledge, wisdom and experience of others.  But beware, like me I’m sure that you will find that most industries are full of people with nothing more than self interest.  I have been lucky along the way to find some truly inspirational, helpful and reliable people who I would like to thank.  

In no particular order, the individuals who have helped more than they could possibly realise are my dear friend Neil Foley, one of those friends who has the innate sixth sense to know when you need a friend, a supporting word and encouragement to carry on.  Andy Sinclair, my ‘boss’ and dear colleague with whom I have worked over the past decade, regularly giving me the motivation to face another day of my professional life.  Paul Andrew, who has shared much of the journey with me and always supported and partipated in my flights of fancy and passions, particularly for motorcycling.  Graham Knight, the broker who introduced me not only to my first yacht but supplied endless wisdom and encouragement that Donna and I could actually live the dream.  Andy Ladds at Foundry Reach, surely the most helpful and genuine yacht broker you could have the fortune of dealing with – if you are looking for a boat of character and  the benefits of genuine service look him up.  Alan McIlroy of Berthon who introduced me to my dream boat and despite my being besotted from the first moment maintained his total professionalism and has shared a wealth of knowledge throughout.  Outstanding.  Jim, the previous owner for sharing his love and knowledge of Kuta way beyond the eagerness of a seller and despite the demands of buying his new boat himself. My dearly departed parents, step father and brother for the love, support and non ending belief that anything is possible if you want it enough and my three nephews who despite recently losing their Dad have shared the dream as they know he would have wanted.

Finally, I want to thank Donna for the massive leap of faith, not only to transform my dream into ours, but for tolerating my endless analysis of minutiae, hours of travelling across the country to view boats just because …. and then my beloved daughter and step daughter who have despite their obvious fears and trepidations supported us both throughout.  They know what the last year has involved.  Thank you both.

Kuta of Carrick, our new home is now on her berth at the Berthon Marina, Lymington and within the next few days we will move out of our home of the last 20 years and finally move aboard.  Over the forthcoming weeks I will share the trials and tribulations of preparing her for our journey and hope that this will help anybody planning anything remotely similar avoid some of the inevitable pitfalls along the way.

The dream has become a reality and there will no doubt be difficult and challenging times ahead but then nothing worth having comes easily!  We will be setting sail in an AWB and not the perfect blue water cruiser advocated by many forum experts, but we WILL be doing it!

Skipper out

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