I guess i class as a ‘mainly old bloke’ in that i am over 50 and a bit of an old seadog with some 180.00 sea miles under my ever-expanding belt. I started sailing quite late (23) when i moved to North Wales to live and work there ; for anyone who knows the area i worked at Dickies boatyard in Bangor and learned to sail in the Menai straits locally and in the Irish sea racing circuit. Mostly what i remember of that time was serial vomiting in the Irish Sea , being wet and cold most of the time and spending most of my racing time being IOR rail-meat. My first ‘big races’ would have been the RORC Irish sea race, then a Fastnet race in 1981 and the Blue Water Trophy the following year.
When the Uk boatbuilding scene collapsed during Maggies recession the yard went bust and i became a nurse instead (long story) and moved to the north west where i lived for 8 years. Only recently did i find out that Dickies no longer exists ; there’s a housing estate there….oh for some global warming !. During those 8 years in the north west i spent a hell of a lot of time travelling because my regular boat had moved to the south coast, in fact my sailing time gradually reduced because i just couldn’t afford the long trips down to the south coast and , to be honest, another race around the cans in the Soylent had lost any appeal by then.
Eventually i all-but gave up racing until a set of circumstances had me flying halfway around the world to join a boat in the 89/90 whitbread race : after that i spent 5 years in the professional sailing world before coming ashore again and trying to settle back into nursing. I did have a career but was never really happy in it after major experiences at sea. When i retired at 55 my plan as to drop out completely and sail my Frances 26 down to New Zealand, for various reasons that never happened so now i live in a small ex miners cottage in deepest Cornwall and mess about with small boats.
I did retire but found that i really wanted a boat again and the only way to afford one was to get a part time job in healthcare again so for a few years i worked part time as a healthcare assistant and briefly re-registered. With my part time job i was able to buy the little Hunter Liberty ‘Fairlee’…..now WABI”’ which appears regularly in my posts. I started this blog in 2016 and, as i write at the end of 2019, i find i have written some 460 posts and close to three quarters of a million words…..crikey ! In 2019, at the age of 61 i let my NMC registration lapse ; this time for good, and am concentrating on being a blogger, trying to write a book…..and sailing my little boat.
The blog…..is mainly about small sailing boats, the sea and sailing although i have also used the blog to record my various attempts at fitness, my projects in the cottage and it’s gardens and my ‘eclectic’ interests. In or around 2016 another thing happened which is still ongoing and that was an attempt to widen and deepen my more intellectual and creative sides ; there isn’t too much of that side in the blog mainly because up until then iv’e basically been learning to write cohesive sentences !. Alongside another blogger i made an attempt to create a multi-author essay group which was interesting but didn’t last.
Steve Yates December 2019.