I used to sail all the time as a kid. My junior school teacher noticed how much I liked it when I jumped into an Optimist on a school PGL holiday, and I joined the small group of kids he took sailing each week on Ulley reservoir in Yorkshire for the rest of my time at the Hillcrest.
It helped that Rother Valley watersports park was just a few miles away. For a few measly pounds, I could hire a Topper, Laser or Wayfarer and cruise around to my heart’s content. They were booked out for an hour at a time, but on quiet days “an hour” usually meant “until the staff could be bothered to tell us to come back in”.
There was a simple, visceral joy in catching the breeze and making it take me where I wanted.
Life changed when I left for university, and sailing was something that got left behind. In 20 years I’ve spent a week cruising the western isles of Scotland, and sailed over to the Isle of Wight on a company away-day, but never found myself in a situation where I could be back out on the water regularly.
Well, that’s about to change.
I’m about to finish a contract with no upcoming commitments, so I have free time. And due to a wonderful misunderstanding of how income and dividend tax is calculated, I find I’ve squirrelled away far more cash for income tax than I actually owe. Sailing bigger boats was an unreachable dream when I was a child, but with time and money, a fast-track Offshore Yachtmaster course is finally within reach.