I have been sailing since I was a kid and that was in both dinghies and a very small cruiser (recall the 17ft Hurley Silhouette?) with my family.
So I started coastal sailing in my 20s (with friends not parents) and did some of the RYA courses and we shared two yachts on the east coast, a Sadler 29 and a Westerly 33. When we moved to the south coast was when we discovered PYC and joined that about 10 years ago.
I am mostly retired now and tend to prefer to sail mid-week since it is much easier to organise and frees the boats up for people who still have to work full-time. I am married to Richard Ash and hence the term ‘we’ in the sailing we do together.
I mostly like discovering new places and re-visiting old favourites in UK sailing. I love sailing in the sun and we have had many enjoyable holidays in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Canaries, but also Stockholm archipelago and Denmark. Last year we went up to Scotland sailing 4 times and the weather was kind, warm and indeed sunny too. I am a fair-weather sailor and rarely sail in horrible weather and the winter.
I am qualified to RYA Yachtmaster Offshore but I am Coastal skipper with PYC simply because I do not get much pleasure out of the longer passages.
When sailing with me as skipper
I will often be around the Solent mid-week and you may be asked to do any one of many things that need doing on a boat. Helming, handling ropes, working winches, passing around biscuits and making a cuppa too. I have to warn you that I can get quite picky on looking after a boat and keeping her clean!
I am happy for people to practise the things that they have learned either on a shore based course or in a practical course, such as working out the course to steer, whether we can get into that river at the present state of tide, creating a pilotage plan to get us into that river. When the conditions are benign I am also happy for people to take the helm and park the boat. With little wind we have been practising reversing, turning in tight circles and coming alongside empty pontoons. It is all part of the basics of boat handling.