“Living a basic lifestyle onboard a long-distance sailing boat invites many adventures as well as creating a changed perspective on life. Self-sufficiency is never a bad thing – and neither is the ability to live without the umbilical cord to a sometimes mind-numbing world. Let me tell you this, turning against mainstream living is like dropping through a one-way trap door, to another way of existing that’s difficult to describe and even harder to abandon – there is no route back through the door. And, do you know, sailing alone with your wife for many days on end brings a kind of love that few get to understand.”
At this time of writing I’ve sailed over sixty thousand sea miles, including cold weather voyaging in the northern Baltic and Gulf of Finland, I’m a qualified offshore Yachtmaster holding various RYA sailing and navigation qualifications. Does this make me an expert? No, it does not. There are vastly more experienced sailors than myself and I’m always out there learning. I like to think I’m equal to any challenge and generally find I can get by. I have never believed in extensive training – being chucked in the deep end then learning to swim is my way of doing things.
My previous experience includes heavy weather sailing onboard the round-the-world Challenger 67 yachts and I’ve been the skipper and owner of Sänna since 2003. We spent a number of years in Croatia and Turkey refitting Sänna for extended ocean sailing before embarking on our circumnavigating voyage. Most of this work was carried out by Marie and myself with the help of good Turkish contractors. Of course, we’ve made numerous other modifications to Sänna along the way – it’s just the way things are when embarking on long-distance sailing.
None-sailing experience includes climbing and trekking in Scandinavia, Iceland, northern Russia, the Alps and Scotland. In between I’ve owned two successful UK businesses and a Finland based business too, which, knowing what I know nowadays, doesn’t mean an awful lot. Anyone can run a business, it’s knowing when the game is up that’s hard.