38. A Little about Me

Observant readers may have noticed that there is very little about me, as a person, on this website. In fact, there are probably only a handful of pictures with me in them. That is not because I am particularly shy or because I think that I am not presentable (although some might argue that my new hairstyle is a little unpolished). The reason for this is that I prefer to write storeys about people, observations and my project rather than myself. That said, I have decided to share a little about me, for anyone wondering who it is behind the keyboard. Hopefully not enough for anyone to profile me or, indeed, judge me.

I am a global citizen in my 50’s. Swedish only by accident of birth. And I have finally decided to realise a life-long dream. To move aboard my boat and set off towards where the sun sets. That’s not entirely true. I made up my mind years ago and I always knew I was going to do this. And I have been very open about it and told anyone that cared to listen. In fact, I must have been a real pain all those years when I was planning my great escape. But to me, it was never an escape. Just the next stage in life.

My immediate and extended families have been very supportive. That includes my ex-wife, my parents and my two sons that are grown up now. They all took part when we sailed Saoirse from Sweden to Croatia. I’m not sure they knew that it was the start of a grander plan. I knew it and I think I tried to communicate it. Either way, I am grateful that they gave up several vacations to help me start my project early. And I am also very happy that both my boys continue to take an active part in the adventure.

Morgan and Daniel. All grown up!

Prior to my retirement, (I don’t actually call it that, I just stopped working) I spent most of my career at an industrial insurance company. In London first and then Stockholm. With reasonable success. I certainly have many friends from that period of my life. Many that follow my progress, both former colleagues and clients. Some of them still call me for advice. I am sure that will stop soon, as my period of being relevant must be nearing its end. But I will always look back on my corporate life with both pride and joy.

Boats of all sorts have always been an intricate part of my life. And I know that I, as the miles have added up, have probably become a reasonably experienced sailor. But I would still categorise myself as an adventurer rather than a sailor. I have never been interested in racing and I’m not really into ‘holiday sailing’. With holiday sailing, I mean when you sail around in an area for a couple of weeks and eventually go back to where you started. I want to get somewhere and I like the project part of what I do. To me, Saoirse is a vehicle and a home. And if I continue West I will eventually get back to where I started anyway. Without turning around. And I will also see a lot more places along the way.

I also want to meet a lot of different people. Both locals and other cruisers. The latter category contains a whole host of fairly unique characters that, for one reason or another, have chosen a very different lifestyle. Some of them even make me look reasonably normal!

Gérard the dancer. French solo sailor on his way to the Caribbean via Senegal and Gambia. My neighbour in Lanzarote. Funny guy but clearly bonkers! Will inherit my old mainsail and lazybag.

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