Now, before we start, I just want to make one thing clear: I would not give sailing up for the world. I love the tumultuous calm that booms its way into my soul whenever the sails are out and the boat is flying. It is a feeling that nothing else in this world can give me, much to the dismay of partners past.
However, unless you are lucky enough to own Sybaris or the like, the sailing lifestyle and the living conditions that go hand in hand are much less glamorous than Instagram would lead you to believe. No matter what the boat size or make, there will always be things we miss that landlubbers may take for granted.
Having just finished a three month stint on some extremely old, basic teaching yachts, I realised how many simple land systems I had missed when I finally landed in the UK after my delayed flight into Gatwick. I proceeded to trot around my spacious Premier Inn hotel room at 2am taking photos of amazing items like shower heads and Boomerangs of putting loo roll down the toilet (yes, I am a millennial).
Interested to see if some of my much more successful skipper friends missed anything while living my dream on classic super yachts, I started asking around. Turns out, we miss a lot of the same basics.
I can guarantee that just about everybody who has sailed on a boat for a week or more misses these. I’m not just talking about the complete lack of a shower in some cases, I am talking about the broad range of shower scenarios we have to accept when sailing. I, for example, have not had a shower with a shower head that is attached to a wall in three months. I almost shed a tear when I walked into that Premier Inn en-suite and pulled back the shower curtain. Yes, I have had land showers at the various ports we pull into, but I don’t think I need to describe the odour, shower fittings, pressure (or lack thereof) and temperature of these to you all...let us move swiftly on.
I am also now a dab hand at sugar-scoop showering. I learnt very quickly to shut out the audiences from Greek tavernas and became an expert at using just a few drops of water to completely swill my waist-length hair. Forget rinsing off your shower-poof though, that is a luxury you can ill afford.
The melodic squelching noise of a shower drain is something I do not miss when on land. Nor is standing starkers after your hand basin shower while waiting for all the water to drain so that you can open the door and grab your towel without flooding a cabin. Why is it so awful to be wet on a boat?!
The space to move around without bruising anything or putting my back out is another luxury that I am enjoying on land. Even lying on the floor is more comfortable than anywhere I can rest on the boats I have been living on. But it’s not just centuries old Bavarias that warrant this reaction, Skippers of three times the size classic yachts have the same thoughts on the matter. On a recent week off, one of my friends simply messaged, “OMG. A BED. Lots of Space. ...Heaven.”
Even the word makes me physically untense. Having slept for the best part of the season on a saloon berth, where every time I tried to turn I took another chunk out of my poor patella on the overhanging saloon table, sleeping in a double bed has been pure heaven. My body doesn’t quite know what to do with itself immersed in this cloud. Waking up in the night and sitting bolt upright while rambling about slipped anchors is also a lot less painful without an overhanging cabin roof!
As sailors we probably get a little too used to talking about poo. Whether that is because it becomes less of a daily bodily movement and more of a mission to find a safe haven to have one, I don’t know. It might also be due to all of us at one time or another being elbow deep in a blocked holding tank. A highlight of my season this year was a sea-sick guest sitting naked in the heads with reactions from both ends…into a bag that was leaking. It is times like these that not only makes me rethink my decision to skipper commercially, but it also makes me miss land plumbing, a one flush system, and cool, clean porcelain.
An odd one I know, seeing as we are choosing to live and work on rather a large body of the wet stuff. But there has been something so satisfying about getting out of the shower on land, drying myself with a towel, and being…dry. Not damp or slightly less wet, but dry enough to put clothes on without wrestling with them. I have then been able to hang my towel up to air dry without it impacting on anything else I own, or how I move about my cabin…sorry…room: Pure luxury.
This was a suggestion from a friend. After four and a half months, without a break, of living on the boat that he skippers, including a wonderful stint in Croatia during the storms in July, his list of Missed Items included: “Force 9 Gales, pissing rain and thunderstorms”. I questioned this of course, and his explanation: “they don’t seem too bad when in a brick building”. This, I have to say, is very true, and looking out at the weather as I type, I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief that I am not outside checking my anchor, or the proximity of my rigging to the yacht next door.
For centuries, as sailors, we have chosen to leave our loved ones on land while we fight wars, pillage towns and… teach paying guests how to tie knots. I am a fiercely family and friends orientated individual, and I miss them all very much when I am away. It can be a lonely life being a skipper, even when surrounded by people all the time. There is, however, a part of my brain that I seem to be able to switch off when sailing. Perhaps it is the reasonable part. The part that asks the question, “Yes, you miss them dearly, but imagine how bloody useless they would be on this yacht. Would you want them on this boat right now?”
I will stop here, before getting into minor items like kettles, sofas, takeaways, grass, decent sleep, surfaces to put things, doors that don’t rattle, the ability to switch off, soft furnishings, fridges that stay cold….
Give me any topic and I will research and write about it. I love investigating new topics for my clients and I maintain that there is no topic that I cannot write about. Reading this article, you may even think I am a pro at moving house…the friends who helped me move back in March know that that would be an incorrect assumption!
Read the full article here.
My latest blog for Cryozone Health was a mammoth one with regards to research and scientific reasoning! To make things that little bit more tricky, I wrote this latest installment out in the Ionian, in between working as a Freelance Skipper.
As always, the content I write for the amazing Cryozone has been so interesting to research, and I am looking forward to writing the next one!
To view the entire article, click here.
Another scientific article for Cryozone, this one was incredibly eye-opening. Not only had I never heard of the condition, but I was amazed to hear how much Cryo treatment can help!
Read the full article here.
I had no idea how difficult the lives of Topical Steroid Withdrawal (TSW) sufferers could be, in fact, I didn’t even know the disease existed. Researching and writing this blog has been eye opening, and the courage of the amazing Hannah for talking to me and sharing her images and journey was truly inspiring.
Now, I am no stranger to a sauna, I am never so relaxed as when I am in a menthol infused wooden paneled heated environment.
Or so I thought! I tried out the new infrared sauna at Cryozone Health and if I could have a session every day for the rest of my life I would be a happy woman. I would also be extremely healthy! Have a read of my full blog here.
Another blog for the fabulous Morris and Co Homes. I love anything to do with interiors and home styling, so this series was a really fun one for me.
For more of my interior styling, take a look at my Editorial section, where you will find my work as Shopping and Home Editor.
Read the full article here.
Hello and welcome to my new Blog, a place where I will keep you updated on the projects I am running, and hopefully provide an insight into what I can do for you - my potential clients!
I often get asked what I do on a day to day basis, and the truth is, it varies massively. One day I could be running around steaming clothes and directing models, the next I am sat at my computer writing a blog on a subject I previously knew nothing about. For some clients, I spend a solid two weeks working on a stand-out campaign such as a pop up space or a booklet/guide, for others, I work on a retainer basis and run ongoing marketing and promotional strategies for their business.
I love this variation, and it is a huge part of why I finally started my own business. Not only am I am able to do all the things I love as a job, but I am also able to provide a much better, much more tailored service for my wonderful clients using the experience gained in the industries I have worked in.
From getting my BSc in Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Exeter, to finally carving a niche with my own business has been an interesting journey, albeit a tough one at times. I have been lucky enough to have walked the golden halls of Vogue, slalomed my way through the Telegraph’s cluttered newsroom and trotted my way to the studios on the top floor of Selfridges. But we don’t just learn from the good experiences - I have had my fair share of utterly horrendous but extremely story-worthy jobs too (ask me about when I was pushed over by an angry editor in front of an A-lister...)!
I care about the work I do for you and I can bring a plethora of extra services and advice to the table. I love working in a team, whether it’s an established one or one I create specifically for your project, but I am also experienced at working autonomously. Whatever I am doing for you, the service I provide is a thorough one, and you will always get above and beyond what you may expect from an agency.
If you would like to discuss how I can help you, either via email, telephone or with a consultation, fill in the contact form, or email me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!