John Willis


"We've decided to go to sea,

arthritis, asthma and me....."

Who is 'me'?

A married Bursar in Guernsey, finishing 8 years in post at the age of 57 1/2 to take 'early retirement in 2013. A 6th generation Guernseyman, working life began at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and 19 years as an Army Officer, during which Sarah and Sam were born, both now successful professionals working in London.

My working life continued in Guernsey at 37 in the charity sector, followed by a stint in finance, then business consultancy, then by a spell as a General Manager with Shell before I returned to Elizabeth College, my old school, as Bursar. All in all an eclectic job portfolio – some might even say an eccentric one, but then I have always considered 'eccentric' to be a complement.

Ships and boats are in the family gene set and it wasn't long before I became a 'boat nerd' who liked nothing better than an hour or two with 'Bristow's Book of Yachts', possibly followed by a little boat spotting at the nearest marina. Boat ownership came later in life in the form of a Drascombe Drifter named 'Seaweed' on our return to Guernsey.

'Prime Time' a Hunter 27 followed, to be replaced by 'Shadowfax' a Westerly Discus, possibly the best sea-boat of its size afloat anywhere. Ideal for tricky Channel Island waters 'Shadowfax' patiently bore all I could throw at her, seeing us safely to France, UK, the Scilly Isles and Ireland plus a number of Channel Crossings.

Sailing mainly on my own and not being in peak physical shape, downsizing seemed a sensible option so 'A-Jay', a Sadler 290, came along, 'Shadowfax' having sold herself after the first viewing. The long-held plan to sail around the British Isles should commence in 2013 and in this endeavour I am well supported by my long-suffering wife Angie ........... I will be joined, I hope, by family and friends along the way.