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Nailing sailing in paradise

Meet Ella & Craig, both from London and both quitting work for a month to learn to sail in the Caribbean. Ella's mum, Kate is a very good friend of mine and she mentioned that I might be up for having some crew for a few weeks. Ella and Craig shifted everything out of the way and hopped on a plane to Antigua. Leaving film-making and creative account management behind they took on the challenge of living in a constantly moving boat in a tiny cabin with a pump toilet!. ( that didn’t always work!)

For me it was a fabulous month seeing them gel together and go from not knowing one end of Saorsa from the other to sailing her by themselves beautifully in 30kt+ winds across Atlantic rollers and anchoring us safely.

Week one… Ella trying to focus on navigation and combat seasickness!.

Craig mastered the helm early and loved the strong winds and the further we tipped the broader the smile!, Ella on the other hand learnt reefing is a great idea and that her boyfriend might be slightly bonkers.

Boat life is certainly not just about sailing and they both got a taste of how much fixing goes on.. managing the toilets is always a great way to start the day( not).

In St Marteen we took out all the portlights and resealed them – combating a few more leaks that materialised beating to windward coming down from the USA. In Guadloupe the generator hose developed a hole on which we had to get creative in finding a fix for.

The worst bit – the forward heads blocked solid – Poor Craig and Ella have never experienced the shear joy of pumping poo out of a holding tank and how good it feels when its all back together again. This is sailing.

On the upside they were learning to sail in paradise, hopping from island to island, encountering not only great beaches, fabulous snorkling with turtles and a multitude of fish life, walks to historic buildings, local night life and live music and some good Caribbean rum! We did Antigua, St Marteen, St Kitts, Les Saints, Nevis, Dominica, Guadloupe, Martinique and St Lucia.

The favorite has to be Guadaloupe visiting Deshairs where they filmed Death in Paradise - some great food, good beaches and a good anchorage.

it was obviously very hard work….

This was the team at work the last week, handling the boat together - Ella at the helm in 30kts+ ( enjoying it), and Craig sorting out the reef!

I had a ball, great company, a joy to see them sail well and a real pleasure to have on board.