Growing up by the sea, I started to sail as a young boy, mucking around on Old Head beach in Louisburgh. As I ventured to islands around Clew Bay, and later participated in Tall Ships races around the Atlantic Ocean, I always dreamed of sailing my own boat around the world one day. Then in 2005 I took four months off work to complete my RYA Yachtmaster qualification and started to realise that my dream could actually become a reality. I just needed to get myself a trusty first mate...
After listening to Myles' old sea stories for years, I started sailing in 2008 to see what all the fuss was about. The Coastguard Day Skipper course was a big eye opener as I started to realise that it wasn't all just about sunbathing and sundowners. I kept going, taking part in some ladies race series and indulging Myles as we traipsed around marinas for his occasional dose of 'boat porn' in the search for the perfect boat. I got my VHF radio license and took an Advanced Sea Survival course, which gave a very sobering and realistic view of what life can be like on the water when things go wrong. However it has been since buying Ashling in June 2011 that sailing has taken on a whole new dimension for me. Instead of reciting mnemonics and trying to figure out the difference between a gybe and a tack, I have been getting to know Auckland's Hauraki Gulf and finally seeing the attraction of heading off on a Friday night for a weekend adventure.