We are Ian and Sarah.
We are a couple who have roots in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Having been inspired by our daughters, we decided it was high time that we had a gap year, or two!
Ian had worked in hotels, sales, airlines and financial IT. Sarah had worked in leisure, hotels, HR and teaching.
In late 2013, circumstances with our careers precipitated events. The school in which Sarah had worked for for thirteen years regrettably closed down and Ian was unhappy with his job.
We got to thinking … aided, perhaps, by feelings of slight recklessness due to a midlife crisis, combined with the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s generous pension changes.
“Hmm, our offspring are independent and unattached. Our parents are self-sufficient and healthy, ” we thought.
We had a window of opportunity and suddenly we were seriously considering buying a yacht and doing a ski season.
How the yacht adventure idea came about originally
Really it all began many moons ago. Ian was young hotel manager starting out on his career at The Chester Grosvenor. One evening, he and his fellow manager friend, Jonathan Lowrey, were chatting over a glass (or two) of the Duke of Westminster’s finest champagne about the places they wanted to go and adventures they were determined to have.
They decided that eventually they wanted to sail a yacht into a spectacular tropical bay with crystal clear turquoise waters, a white pepper-coloured sandy beach whilst standing on the bow playing a saxophone!
At that point neither of them had ever sailed a boat or learnt to play the saxophone!
Their careers and friendship continued over the years and then their paths crossed again, this time as expats working in Bangkok. A mutual friend, Kevin Quilty, was running a yacht charter company in Phuket and he occasionally, and, some might say, foolishly, lent them a boat.
Initially using a book to teach them, they gradually began to learn about sailing. Then Kevin wanted to set up RYA courses in Phuket and needed a couple of guinea pigs to train up. Ian became a DAy Skipper.
On returning to live in Europe Ian and Sarah began to charter boats more regularly and Ian completed more RYA Courses and eventually enrolled for five of the legs of the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race in 2011.
As for the saxophone, Ian and Jon did manage a ten week introductory course way back in 1986 and, much later, Ian began to play with community jazz band The Jam Factory and later The Dales Jam which he loved. Eventually, though, the saxophones were sold in order to bolster the boat fund.
So there you are, the power of a dream drummed up in a mildly alcoholic haze.