Please tell us a bit about yourself

I’m an ex-infant school teacher and started sailing in my early thirties. Having realised that I had been at school for 30 years (since I was 4), I took a belated gap year and ran away to sea, ending up working as a cook and hostess on a Swan 51 charter yacht. When I came back I heard that TSYT had bought 4 Challenge 72 yachts and were looking for volunteer cooks. I did my first voyage in February 2008 and was hooked. I passed my Tall Ships skipper assessment after the Fastnet Race in 2011 and gave up teaching to become a freelance skipper 4 years ago. I occasionally sail as relief cook on square riggers and love to cook. I don’t have very much spare time, but sleeping and reading feature quite highly when I do.

Please tell us a bit about your role at Tall Ships

The role of sail training skipper is a very diverse one. You might find me making hot chocolate for 12 year olds and tucking them into their sleeping bags on the foredeck to look at the stars or teaching adults how to take sights with a sextant. No two trips are alike and no two groups are alike. Variety is the spice of life.

What has been your most memorable moment at Tall Ships?

All voyages have memorable moments – judging a bake off between 3 13 year old boys from a Pupil Referral Unit and trying to eat cake with no hands, crossing the ARC  finish line in Rodney Bay, St Lucia, after skippering my first transatlantic, watching dolphins play in the phosphorescence in the bow wave in the final stages of the Fastnet Race when everybody was knackered and a bit down, seeing  someone who first sailed with us as a 14 year old trainee now succeeding in a very prestigious job in the sailing industry…shall I go on?

What is one thing you think people should know about Tall Ships?

It’s highly addictive

Please describe your job in 3 words

Awesome, exhausting, exhilarating

If you were famous, what would you be famous for?

Establishing the non-democratic Geary republic and getting the world properly organised!