I love a challenge; the last twenty years have seen me sail across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, keep chickens and bees and learn to fly and sew. Eclectic to say the least!
In 2007, I sailed from Southampton to the Canary Islands via France and Spain, where I island hopped between Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Gomera for two months, then departed for a 22 day sail across the Atlantic. On day two the fridge broke; we had to throw everything overboard (not the plastic bags or packaging) – what a waste of steak! For the remaining 20 days, we lived off canned food and fresh fish caught by towing a line behind the boat. On day 15 we needed to bail out the boat fearing we had hit something, luckily it turned out to be just storm water that had gone down the hatch. It was dangerous at times; during storms waves were higher than a three-storey building and very tranquil at others; we went for the whole passage without seeing another person or vessel, although we were kept company by whales, dolphins and flying fish. Arriving in St Lucia and seeing the Pitons was a sight I will never forget.
Having spent some of my childhood in the countryside, my love of the land has never really left me and I’ve tried my hand at bee keeping and keeping chickens. Although we enjoyed having fresh eggs and honey for breakfast, sadly the bees and chickens weren’t suited to a life in the suburbs in our very small garden and in autumn 2013, they went off to live a happy lives in a field in Edenbridge. But, I still have my Land Rover…
During my days of sailing, I needed to splice ropes and mend sails which started up an interest in sewing. After lying dormant for a few years, and a little inspired by the new ‘make do and mend’ drive, my interest was renewed…I have recently picked up my needle and thread and learned to sew; a rather unusual pursuit for a man, some have said!