How a difficult time for me had a wonderful ending…..

Day 24 – My 31 day Blog Challenge – A difficult time in my life …

I know there are worse things that could happen, and in the greater scheme of things it wouldn’t even register, but at the time it felt difficult……

In November 2008 I was living on the greek island of Aegina, having the time of my life. I had given up my teaching job in England on the spur of the moment, rented out my house, sold my car, given away all my furniture and possessions. No one can say I’m not reckless! I had been offered a small job working for a sailing school in Greece, and I would do anything to make this possible. This small sailing school was where I had first learnt to sail big yachts several years earlier. I was on my own, and decided a holiday in the sun while learning to sail was a good way to spend a fortnight.

After that first sailing experience, I was hooked. I went back to the same place time and time again, increasing my sailing skills, and my suntan. Eventually they offered me some part time work, helping out in the office, cleaning the yachts, provisioning the yachts, meeting clients, doing paperwork, and occasionally helping out as extra crew. I worked my fingers to the bone, I was paid very little, but I paid upfront for a six month rental on a flat, I had a small car, and life was good.

At the end of the sailing season in 2008, the sailing school couldn’t afford to keep me on over the winter, and encouraged me to find another job. I was a bit surprised at this, but I accepted it. Things began to get difficult, and I clearly couldn’t stay in Aegina, so I trawled the internet to see what sailing-related work was available for a middle-aged single woman. I found a website where boat owners could advertise for crew to work aboard, for no pay, but for the experience and chance of being in a new country.


After several email exchanges, I rashly agreed to fly out to Florida just after Christmas to help a random US couple sail their yacht down the Inter-Coastal Waterway and then over to the Bahamas. I was disappointed that we didn’t actually do much sailing, but we did plenty of motoring. However, it was a fabulous sunny climate, a lovely shiny new yacht, and I saw some amazing places down the east coast of Florida. The couple were terrified of taking their boat out, if the weather was more than a force 2, but eventually we reached Nassau.

Then they hit me with the bombshell….. they felt we weren’t getting on, and asked me to leave the yacht! I had only been with them about two weeks. I have absolutely no idea what I had done wrong, but although the female was friendly to me, the guy obviously didn’t like sharing his yacht with anyone else, and he made it clear he didn’t like Brits, so I didn’t argue, packed my stuff, and left. Gulp! I was sitting in a marina in Nassau with a bagful of belongings, and no idea what to do. Things had turned very difficult…..


But things always have a way of turning out OK in the end, and luckily I had a very good friend who lived in Nassau. I had been at boarding school with her for just a year, but we kept in touch regularly after we left, and now she lived just down the road! She rescued me! She let me live rent free in her garden studio room, she let me drive her car, introduced me to her friends, and took me to some wonderful places. So what had started out as a great adventure, then turned unexpectedly sour, had turned out all right in the end……..


Rose Island,  Bahamas


Five weeks later I felt I had outstayed my welcome in Nassau, and I decided I should go back to the UK and find a proper job, which I did. My future husband met me at the airport with a big bunch of flowers, A month later he left his wife, asked me to marry him, and the rest is history. A year later, we bought our own yacht and sailed to Greece……



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