I was a Yachtmaster Instructor, which meant I was qualified to teach all of the RYA's practical sail cruising courses and most navigation shore based courses. However, since we bought Speedwell I've been getting plenty of sailing on our own boat so I've not had time to instruct and I've let my qualification lapse.
I started out sailing in dinghys, with a Laser at Grafham Water, then a friend invited me along on a trip to the Channel Islands and I got hooked on sail cruising. I've sailed in various parts of the UK, Europe and the Caribbean, as well as helping out on a trans-Atlantic delivery.
As a teenager I used to go to the Norfolk Broads for a week every summer with my school. I started sailing in Wayfarers and Coypus (A Barton Broad speciality). We didn't have wetsuits in those days so we were pretty tough. I sailed once or twice at University but never thought to take it up seriously until I met Andy. He showed me that there was a different type of sailing, where you take a bed and food with you, and you don't have to get too wet.
When I met Andy in 2004 going sailing with him was clearly going to be part of the deal. My first experience in a yacht was a weekend sailing out of Shotley with Andy and a few friends. This ensured that I did like sailing enough to join Andy, Anita, Gerry, Dave and Gary on a boat they were chartering out of Cos the following month. The next year I did my Dayskipper Practical with Britannia Sailing and it was very cold. Doing the theory was slightly warmer. As I decided I did like sailing we eventually married.