Sailing is my passion! What’s your’s?
I was recently sitting contemplating how life has changed for me over the last 15 years and I smiled a big smile to myself at how life can be so different, but not in a bad way in a really good way. It’s very easy to be stereotyped by people you have around you and often they really don’t know you at all, which does amuse me.
My passion now is very much my husband and two boys, but 15 years ago my life was very different. My husband has always been my number one priority but then something huge came into my life, apart from my career, which was sailing.
I fell into sailing through my work colleagues in London who heard that I’d done some dinghy sailing when I was at school and encouraged me to join them as they chartered a yacht every summer and they needed another lady to make the crew up. My husband encouraged me to go and I was pretty nervous, to say the least, when they told me they had chartered Tracey Edwards’ yacht, Maiden, that she came second in the 1989-90 Whitbread Race. Poles apart from dinghy sailing and a challenge, but I was so up for it!
My first yacht Maiden voyage ended up being a Channel crossing from Southampton late on a Friday night in a gale. There were 4 crew who had never sailed before so it was a complete ‘baptism of fire’ for many of them, including me. When it came to me being on watch you couldn’t even stand in the galley and we were each, more or less, lifted through the hatch one by one and clipped on at the same time as being bucketed with water. That night was extremely frightening but, at the same time, a completely exhilarating night. I knew if I could survive that I could get through any challenge in my life. The next day at Alderney in Guernsey we were becalmed and that was the start of the most amazing sunny sailing week ever.
Over the next year I ended-up sailing on Maiden many times and was lucky to be involved with training the recruits for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, as the owner of Maiden organised the Clipper race the following year with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and asked me to help at the training as they were short of crew.
A great sadness, at the time, was being offered to do the Hawaii leg of the Clipper Round the World but being unable to take it up as my place of employment wouldn’t release me for a month. Since having children I have put sailing on the back-burner but it isn’t forgotten and it is something I will get back to again. I know that, one day, I will either do a leg or complete a Clipper Round the World Challenge.
Never give-up hope of getting back to what was special in your life previously and make sure you cherish the memories you have of that time. I know I do. Have you got an interest that you’ve had to put on the ‘back-burner’ that people don’t know about?
Perhaps there is something in your life you have put on hold. It would be great to hear your comments. Do also connect on Facebook at: facebook.com/nicky.claydon.9