David Collinson comes from a shoe making and retailing background. His family shoemaking business began in 1811. He is married to Alison and they have two children. Tragically, their first child, Michael, to whom this book is dedicated, never recovered from a heart operation at the age of 14. Their second son now works for the London Fire Service and their daughter is a heart nurse. They feel lucky to also have two great grandchildren, a girl and a boy.

The book deals with most of his sailing experience but mingled with his sailing was a career in the army. He was assigned to the Kings Liverpool Regiment but later posted to the 1st Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment. At that time the battalion was serving in the Free State of Trieste. From Trieste posted to the Sudan and Khartoum he enjoyed sailing and was in charge of the Signals Platoon, responsible for all the communications for the Battalion.

He has never regretted his Army Service. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit many places which he otherwise would never have seen.

Anyone who has been involved with sailing will know that owning a yacht or just sailing as a pastime can be a hard taskmaster at times. So, I have written this account to highlight the joy and surprises the experience can also bring. From learning how to sail a flat bottomed dinghy from the beach at Criccieth North Wales during WW2, when I was evacuated, to when I was in the army for National Service and sailing on the Blue Nile in the Sudan.

I recount my time buying and sailing a Mirror Dinghy to racing a Vivacity 20 between Hoylake on the Wirral to the Menai Straits.  Then, a change of yacht to an Achilles 24 for another year of racing and some adventures with St. Elmo’s Fire and the Midnight Race from Liverpool to the I.O.M.  Then a lovely trip from Plymouth across Biscay and round Spain to Portugal.

Delivering a yacht from Lisbon Portugal to Eastern Spain and returning it to Lisbon. Taking our Tomahawk 25 through the French canals. Three cruises with the Penguin Sailing Club round the South West coast of Ireland.

Sailing the Aland Islands in the Bothnia Sea at the top of the Baltic, and enjoying Winter Sun on a trip to the British Virgin Islands. Finally I made it to the Solent during Cowes Week to sail with my son Peter on his Sadler 29.

Altogether, a wonderful and varied life of sailing.

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