Mark was inspired to start his own adventure


Growing up in a small fishing town, my early experiences on the water were through my late father, who owned a few diving boats. I’d also had the opportunity to take part in scuba diving exhibitions in the Caribbean-I’ve always loved the sea but never owned my own boat.

The inspiration for my first boat purchase came from watching YouTube sailing channels during lockdown. Watching the freedom of permanent liveaboards fuelled what became my new passion.

“I began to see the outreaching community of the RYA”

The boat search grew, eventually leading me to Lefkada Island in Greece where I found and purchased Escape- a Jeanneau Trinidad, a 14.6 metre masthead sloop, through a local broker.

I signed up to do the RYA Day Skipper Theory course at a local RYA training centre which was invaluable. Next was the Day Skipper practical and this is where I began to see the outreaching community effect of the RYA.

Many pastimes claim to have a community but rarely, if ever, have I encountered such helpful and kind people who were genuinely eager to help and train a newbie.

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Something magical

When ready, I’d venture out for three or four days at a time, anchoring locally and generally getting used to handling the boat.

My confidence grew and I enjoyed making passage to Ithaca and some of the local islands single-handed. Meganissi, Paleros, Varko bay and Kalamos were all early favourite places to visit.

Ithaca, for me, remains a firm favourite. There’s something magical about the Island with its mythical essence and incredible beauty.

“The support makes a huge difference for someone like me”.

A wide picture of a boat on a lake

Escape has now been fitted with new scuba gear so old passions now meet new ones. I’m thinking of expanding my training with an RYA Coastal Skipper course or even a Yachtmaster.

I find the RYA a very supportive organisation that makes a huge difference for someone like me. As a member, I even get a discounted fee in my marina which is a great bonus.

Find out how RYA membership can benefit you

RYA membership is for people who love being on the water. Join a community of over 100,000 people protecting and protecting the boating that we love.

Find out how RYA membership can benefit you.