I started sailing after I finished school and did some American Sailing Association (ASA) courses in Durban, South Africa. My mother thought this would ‘give me some direction’ in life. She never imagined I would take her so literally! After a childhood spent feeling out of place, being on a boat, on the water and exploring seemed to fit like a glove. But, it was the instructing side of outdoor sports that really gripped me.
I soon realised that I could spend my time facilitating others’ enjoyment of the outdoors and sports and that this could fund further adventures in foreign lands. Having first sailed across the Atlantic from Cape Town to Brazil, I eventually landed in Tobago for a few years where I became a Scuba Diving Instructor. Going on a skiing holiday for a week always felt too short, so off I went to the Alps to do a ski season and master the sport. It wasn’t long before I was instructing this sport, too.
By now it had been too many years since I lived on a boat and, after a chance meeting in ski cable car, I was on my way to Greece to work on sailing flotillas with a good bunch of Aussies and Kiwis. This part of my journey is a bit hazy, but I cut my teeth with boat management and maintenance there and learned many important boating lessons.
The Flottilla lifestyle has a short shelf life and so I returned to what by now I knew was the single thing I was best at – teaching. I knew the best sail training program in the world was the RYA and if I was going to teach it, I had better know and understand the system well. So, I did the whole Yachtmaster scheme, starting at Day Skipper all the way through to Instructor.
After squeezing in one more ocean adventure from Cape Town to Mauritius, via Madagascar, I finally settled down in Sunny England! Since landing on these shores I have focused on becoming a well-rounded boat instructor and skipper. It’s the teaching that I enjoy most and I find this part of the South Coast of England one of the best places in the world to learn to boat.