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 sailed mainly locally and in the Irish sea racing circuit. Mostly what i remember of that time was serial vomiting in the Irish Sea , mainly being wet and cold most of the time and spending most of my racing time being IOR rail-ballast.
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 8n years. During that time i spent a hell of a lot of time travelling because my regular boat had moved to the south coast. 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 : thus i now work as a lowly healthcare assistant 2 days a week, work on my gardens on average 1 or 2 days a week and think about boats 24 hours a day 7 days a week.