You’re a well-travelled man, what do you enjoy the most?
I love being close to the sea! I’m never sure which came first – my love for the sea – or whether it developed as a result of being in the royal navy. Chicken and egg syndrome.…
When I was in the navy, I travelled as far east as karachi, as far south as mombasa and as far west as virginia, usa. The farthest north was to murmansk in russia… but we weren’t allowed to stop there!
I’m guessing you’d have a rather exotic dream destination then?
My dream destination is the island of st lucia (caribbean) but also the west indies in general.
Have you been to st lucia yet?
Yes. Twice! My wife tracey and i went there for our honeymoon in 2004. We loved it so much we returned the following year.
What impressed you most about the island?
The scenery. It’s quite stunning and the island is very verdant being so close to the equator. And the locals – we met some really great people both times we were there. St lucia has a strong island community. The sea temperature is also warm, so i made the most of the free diving on offer.
Good tropical weather too?
We were there during hurricane ivan – on our honeymoon! When ivan was heading towards us we were advised to leave but this wasn’t an option because all the flights out were booked. So we were stuck!
Our resort organised several meetings and on the morning of the expected landfall we were advised to have all our belongings packed and put onto the beds to ensure they stayed as dry as possible. We could take just a bag and pillow to one of the more solid local buildings for the day.
As we came out of one of the planning meetings, i slipped into private fraser-mode from dad’s army: “we’re all doomed!” An american tourist crying into her tissues at the time didn’t see the funny side at all, unfortunately.
I’ve seen a lot in my life so wasn’t overly fazed by the experience. But at the eleventh hour, ivan turned left and headed towards st vincent and the grenadines so we experienced just a tropical storm in the end.
I remember playing outdoor chess during the storm – the pieces kept moving around in the wind which was quite frustrating! A staff member from the resort thought we were quite mad…
Wonderful story! Can you see yourselves going back to st lucia once more?
It would be great to live there one day. I can imagine myself getting involved with the local marine community – even my company name has a maritime edge to it.
You mentioned you’d also like to visit the west indies in general?
Yes, it’s my ambition to retire and sail a yacht around the west indies.
If my dream were to come to fruition, i’ll send you an email… just to let you know just how “unhappy” i am! (Laughing).