Updated: Feb 3
I would like to capture my sailing adventure from the very start. Today I would define our mission as ‘’To sail as far as we can, for as long as we can, as long as it is sustainable and fun!" However, this whole thing started several years ago. It began when Gary my husband and I were enjoying a glass of wine and eating tapas in Port Morgan whilst observing marina life and in particularly a boat mooring up. A favourite pass time of ours whilst on holiday, yet never had we spoken about a shared desire to sail. The couple mooring their boat looked very content and free in some sort of sea gypsy way. That evening Gary and I frequented the same restaurant for our evening meal and noticed the very same couple leave their boat, dressed in crisp white linens, tanned, classy and truly in harmony with each other. As they meandered the prom, Gary and I simultaneous said to each other ' that is the life I desire!' Well hell I think we better learn to sail! We returned from our holiday and promptly returned to the normal land lovers life of working long days, maintaining the professional lifestyle and buying a ton of unnecessary things.
We never spoke of our sailing desire much but one day I decided that we should not let this dream drift and therefore I set about ringing many sailing flotilla companies to see if anyone would let us book a holiday with them even though we had zero sailing experience. After many calls, Barrie of Sailing Holidays said ‘ is your husband practical?’ to which I answered without hesitation YES and the holiday was booked. Yippee! When Gary came home that evening I handed him a book titled Learn to Sail and told him of my leap of faith that we really could become sea gypsies. The whole idea excited me but also scared the hell out of me as reading a book was not really the appropriate preparation for this first sailing experience so I put my sensible head on and booked a competent crew course.
Sailing the whole Ionian in Greece was fantastic with exception to the day we found ourselves with full sails up in strong local winds and the jib would not furl. I remember Gary saying “if you cannot be of any use, go below”. I was indeed useless, panic had taken over and I remember pointing to land saying I just want to go over there. Not helpful Tanya, but it has made a great laughable talking point for many years.
We didn’t do much more for the year after our holiday, but I do remember waking up each weekend to Gary searching the internet for a boat. We finally did buy Swallow a sweet 22 ft Jaguar. Each weekend we went to Derwent to sail her and whilst I learned a lot when sailing up and down this lake which was surrounded by fells, I was not learning at the same rate as Gary, who just seemed to be a complete natural. In fact I felt I was frustrating Gary and somewhat disappointing him, the more he scowled the more I lost my confidence, oh the dream was slipping away! Time to take action Tanya and get a grip, words I said to myself, definitely not Gary’s words however I am sure his words would have been in the same vein should he have spoken them out loud. The look was enough for me to understand that only I could sort this gremlin in my head. I booked 2 days of private tuition with Nick – one word for it, brilliant. I will be ever grateful to Nick Morgans who saved our dream of one day sailing the oceans. On completion, confidence was restored and whilst in no way would I call myself a good sailor I had stopped saying “Oh SHIT” when we heeled over. A year later we moved to the sea and bought Sandpiper Of St Helier our present boat, a Sigma 36, I love her so much and in her and Gary I trust.
Now, this crazy dream really does start to take shape and inspired by the quotes below I am determined to keep making small steps towards the dream of sailing oceans.
Travel whilst you have your health, don’t wait until you are too old to enjoy it. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work however you can. No one wishes for more money in their last days, but experiences and memories are priceless.
Tanya Moxon, a lady with a deep-seated fear of the sea but here she is pushing back on conventional life and enjoying a full-time life upon the open seas. Tanya is the founder of Fearless Feat Ltd, a leadership coaching company who supports others to perform at their best.