I am a Laser Radial sailor with bigger ambitions… namely to sail around the world. The Laser isn’t the ideal boat for this kind of endeavour so I figured I had to look for something bigger; a Clipper Round the World yacht seemed an ideal solution with the added benefit of at least one person on board who would know what to do with all the extra bits of rope :).
I am not from a ‘boaty’ or ‘yachtie’ family – until the age of eighteen when I did my Duke of Edinburgh Gold residential on board the ‘Sally Endeavour’, a 58 foot training yacht owned by Kent County Council, the closest I had come to sailing was the ferry crossing to Ireland or France. Those 2 weeks spent cruising around the Channel Islands with fourteen others were an amazing experience and whetted my appetite for more of the same. But life, as it has a tendency to do, took over and my opportunities for sailing were negligible for a number of years.
Then about five years ago, Mandy, a friend from the French class I attended, persuaded me to try sailing at Ballyholme Yacht Club on a Friday evening adult taster session. For 3 whole months I was terrified of capsizing the Laser Pico and I probably hold the record for the longest period of time for a beginner to go without capsizing a boat. Then one sunny but windless evening, having been towed out into the centre of the bay and left to float, I watched some of the kids capsizing their boats on purpose, which looked infinitely more fun than floating. So I joined in… and became addicted to sailing on the same evening. A few years later, I trained as a Dinghy Instructor so I now have the pleasure of teaching others to capsize – oh, yes, and to sail…
Why ‘Tinker at Sea’? Well, my nickname as a child was ‘Tinkerbell’, which over the years has been shortened to ‘Tinker’. And I hope to be spending more time at sea in the next few years.