We live in troubled times; the climate crisis, mass extinctions, political instability, eroded freedoms, traumatic life events, are all creating anxiety and stress at unbearable levels. We look for distractions and relief only to feel guilt at the contribution our actions make to the problems. But we all need a place to escape to, a way to unwind, to gain perspective and unknot our stomachs!
For over forty years I have found that place in sailing. As a young man I crewed on various offshore racing yachts, mostly as foredeck, spending many weekends crashing around the English Channel and further afield. The sense of teamwork and the total escape into the natural world counteracted the stresses of a highly challenging career but did inhibit my social life. After a period campaigning my own little boat 'Throbber' including two crazy Three Peaks Races (heading for the start below) I decided it was time to put away the oilies for a while.
Landlubbing had its attractions but eventually the call of the sea proved stronger than the attractions of the sit-on mower and I embarked on a more ambitious campaign with a brand new super cool ILC30 'Lafta' ( a thoroughbred racing yacht seen below off on a jolly, chasing a solar eclipse in the English Channel). World and European championship campaigns followed but financial reality brought an end to the extravagance and once more I was high and dry.
But the sea is not to be denied for ever and now, after three years construction and three years of stop-start operation, we are once again planning a watery escape from the everyday. This time we are sailing our magnificent Thames barge 'Snark' right around the British Coast in ten legs, taking just six passengers on each leg, on what will be a complete break from daily life.
We are also mindful of our contributions and so have focussed on offering our customers as sustainable get away as we can. It’s tough to avoid the high impact of air travel when planning an adventure holiday. It seems that we must travel far afield to explore the unknown, the challenging and diverse, sometimes forgetting how little we know about our own country. Staycation is a flawed word, implying compromise. There is nothing compromised about a voyage on Snark, sailing a traditional coastal trading barge, good company, great ‘low carbon’ food, fascinating regional heritage and culture, diverse coastal wildlife and landscape, time to relax and unwind, all accessible by public transport. Unlike the frenetic world of yacht racing, this is low adrenaline sailing so no previous sailing experience is needed to join our sailing events.
We can’t fix the ever-increasing mess the world is in, but we can give you the opportunity to de-stress without making it worse.