I got involved in sailing many years ago after first taking up canoeing. I was a member of Sheffield Canoe Club, it’s where I met my wife Helen, and was always interested in the sea and anything outdoors.
My veer towards sailing came after I went on a navigation course. It sparked my interest and when I was 21 years old I started windsurfing and that led into dingy work and onto bigger boats and cruisers.
I am now a Commodore at Rotherham Sailing Club. It’s a fantastic, vibrant and competitive family club sailing on Harthill reservoir, which is between Sheffield and Worksop. We’ve got a newly refurbished clubhouse with comfortable and friendly surroundings and there is a youth section with help and support available to beginners and improvers of all ages. There are also popular open water swimming and model yacht sections.
My sailing journey has involved learning to sail, passing training courses and putting in the miles out on the open water to gain the correct qualifications. This has taken place predominantly in the UK, out on the Humber and in Greece where I am now lucky enough to own a 33ft sailing boat which we bought six years ago.
It is moored in a beautiful location called Methana on a volcanic peninsula of mainland Greece on the Peloponnese. It’s a superb spot and we try and visit three or four times a year. It used to be an island a couple of million years ago, but became connected to the mainland of the South-East Peloponnese by a narrow isthmus that rose up from the sea during one of the many eruptions and accompanying earthquakes. You can see impressive lava domes and craters, age-old man-made terraces, archaeological sites, tiny fishing villages, amazing views on the surrounding Saronic Gulf and try out the thermal baths.
What I love about sailing is the freedom, you can go where you want and shut off everything, it’s just you and the sea. I love visiting different places, the tranquility and sometimes visiting some lovely beaches and restaurants.
You can never underestimate the dangers of the sea though and I am always conscious that you must respect it, and the wind. I’ve seen some big seas and strong winds and there can be so many variables. My dream long ago was to sail around the world one day. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet, but I’m still not ruling it out. But my boat is called Carpe Diem – Latin for ‘seize the day’ – and that’s what I’m doing every time I step on board.