Dave Ungless

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“Living a fairly basic lifestyle onboard a long distance sailing boat invites many adventures as well as creating a changed personal perspective on life. Self sufficiency is no bad thing… and neither is being able to live without the umbilical cord to a sometimes mind numbing society. But, let me tell you this, turning native is like dropping through a one way trap door, to another way of living that’s difficult to describe and even harder to abandon. And, do you know, sailing alone with your wife for weeks on end brings a type of real love that few ever get to experience.”

At this time of writing I’ve sailed over fifty thousand sea miles, including cold weather voyaging in the northern Baltic and Gulf of Finland, I’m a qualified Yachtmaster holding various other RYA sailing and navigation qualifications as well. Does this make me an expert? No, it doesn’t. There are vastly more experienced sailors than myself and I’m always learning. But I like to think I’m equal to any challenge and generally find I can get by. I don’t believe in extensive training though… being chucked in the deep end and 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 cruising before embarking on our circumnavigating voyage. Most of this work was carried out by Marie and myself with the help of excellent 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 cruising.

Non 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… that’s easy.