Saturday, 16 January 2016

Duncan Pell Fast Track Yachtmaster Course Blue Oyster Sailing Barcelona Gibraltar Morocco Portugal 2015/16

Blue Oyster Fast Track Student Duncan Pell
RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore Student Duncan Pell. I’d no idea what to expect when I set off for Spain. I booked my place in February 2015 when it seemed a great idea and an impressive project to tell friends about. But then came reality, it was summer and I was in Barcelona to start fifteen weeks of Fast Track Yachtmaster Training. With very little experience of sailing, I was nervous about the challenges ahead and whether I could tolerate all that time living on boats - I wondered what the instructors, students, food, cabins, weather and exams would be like.
            Well, in short, it was brilliant fun. Definitely challenging but very rewarding. The sense of triumph when the examiner shook my hand and congratulated me on passing, was fantastic. But it wasn’t just my achievement and I’m very grateful to many other people. Particularly to the patient, friendly and encouraging Blue Oyster instructors - Mark, Susie, Charlie and Oliver. Then there’s all the students who helped make life aboard so enjoyable.    
            I sailed over 4000 nautical miles with Blue Oyster visiting the Balearics, Gibraltar, North Africa and many Spanish ports. I sailed on seven boats and met about sixty students of different ages and backgrounds. Would I do it again? It’s an emphatic ‘yes’

Duncan Pell
Sailor, writer and businessman.