Now that both of my children are quite grown up I’m going to take some time to do a bit of sailing. Over the years I’ve spent as much time afloat as I could get away with so I’ve learned a good deal about what’s safe and what isn’t; I always err on the side of caution, which sometimes means a little while longer in port but avoids needless worry. I am a shameless fair weather sailor. Although (surprisingly) there’s absolutely no requirement for British citizens to demonstrate the slightest proficiency before heading out to sea on a plank, I have taken the precaution of gaining some proper qualifications along with offshore experience, some of which I have no intention of repeating.
With typical modesty and despite having over 2000NM under her belt, Ellen doesn’t count herself as a sailor – but she is. She shares Andy’s preference for relaxed voyaging which is a good thing because she’s unlikely to get anything approaching racing out of him. She’s also happy to take over from Ray (our autopilot) when he resigns in a downwind, following sea. Producing astonishingly fine and varied fare from our humble galley, Ellen enjoys sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with the less confident cooks among our crew, taking full advantage of the fantastic local produce we encounter. And if you’re having trouble tying a bowline, she’s happy to sit with you for as long as it takes…