We are Martin and Liz and we sail primarily as a couple aboard our Westerly Seahawk called ‘Two Plus Two’. We do not have a long history of sailing, living in the centre of the UK did not help.
We did though buy a Microplus 501 cabin cruiser in the late 70’s, a couple of years after being married, we spent many very happy holidays and weekends aboard Andante cruising on the canals and rivers in the UK. Two week holidays living on a fifteen foot boat, we were young once! We have also spent many holidays as a family aboard hired narrow boats on the UK inland waterways, most places from the River Trent and Erewash Canal to the River Severn and on boats up to 70 foot long.
Our first trip on a sailboat was in 2004 was during a visit to relatives in Cardiff where we went out for a day sail on a friends boat. It was suggested we try chartering a yacht in Greece, our first reaction was ‘too expensive’ but then we were shown a brochure for a company appropriately called ‘Sailing Holidays’ which looked very reasonable.
We both liked this idea, so at the end of 2004 we both completed the RYA Day Skipper theory course at a small training centre in Gunthorpe near Nottingham. This was completed successfully and on a visit to the London Boat show in early 2005 we got a deal for Day Skipper and Competent Crew practical courses out of Port Solent at the end of March 2005. Weather might be a little chilly, but we were now booked. We also joined the Westerly Owners Association at this boat show.
In December I completed the RYA Radio Course at a local training centre near Nottingham.
On Sunday 3rd April we turned up at the Sunsail base in Port Solent for a week aboard a Sunfast 37. I think we hit lucky, there were just us and another couple plus the Sunsail skipper aboard, and the skipper was definitely not just out of nappies. We had a great week, although a little cold a times including snow while in sailing in Portsmouth Harbour. We left at the end of the week with Day Skipper and Competent Crew certificates between us.
Then in October 2005 we arrived in Preveza, Greece, to join a flotilla aboard a Jaguar 27 for two weeks. Well that was it, we were well and truly hooked. We had a fantastic two weeks sailing around the Ionian.
We had a couple of other sailing holidays in Greece and I have a few weekend and day trips in the name of getting experience
Then in early 2007 we purchased Goshawk of Mon, a Westerly Centaur. This we purchased and kept at the Tide Mill Yacht Harbour in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Our first real trip was along the south coast to Gosport in 2008. We took a three week holiday, had great weather and it was a fantastic first cruise. A three week trip is so much better than two.
In 2009 we made our first voyage to foreign shores. We joined a Westerly Owners East Coast Group cruise in company to Blankenberge in Belguim. This was a little daunting having to cross the very busy English Channel then enter Dunkerque, but all was completed successfully with no incidents.
In April 2010 we put Goshawk of Mon up for sale. In May 2010 we purchased Two Plus Two, in June 2010 we sold Goshawk of Mon. Phew!! yes we had two boats for a short while along with two sets of mooring fees.
Since purchasing Two Plus Two we mostly cruise the east coast around Suffolk and Essex. We have been as far west a Poole, up the east cost as far as Lowestoft, up the Thames to London and into the Netherlands as far as Veerse Meer.
We purchased Two Plus Two with the intention of doing extended cruising once we retired, that time has now arrived.