Back in the late seventies, well before I got bitten by the restaurant bug, but just after deciding that Naval Architecture was not for me, I worked on a rusty nail for a few months, and sailed around the Mediterranean to many east and west African countries including Madagascar. The Indian Ocean impressed me so much that I promised myself to sail back one day on my own yacht. A pipe dream that has sadly not materialised yet.
Over the years, I have met many of those sailors who realised their dream. They come from all walks of life and various European countries. Most tend to go up the North Sea coast to the Caledonian Canal and then down the Irish Sea or the other way round. As they enjoy their food and drink at Krimo's, I get to discover fascinating seafaring stories.
Last week I met a Ukrainian couple in their sixties who came in for dinner after arriving to Hartlepool. Once they detected my interest in boats, they invited me on board one of most modern yachts I have ever seen. A 6-berth beauty, loaded with the very latest gadgets and even a desalination unit! They recounted several international sailing stories that really made me jealous.
Back on terra firma, I have begun toying with the idea of taking boating lessons...
Should I abandon my folding bike for an inflatable canoe?