Who's doing all this sailing?

It's Vince and Malcolm

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For charity of course

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Vince Spooner

Vince Spooner was born in Lockington Hall, Lockington, Castle Donnington, Derbyshire on 21st February 1945 (Pisces - Is this why he likes the water so much?). His mother was a housewife and his father a baker. He was born in such a lovely location due to war evacuation from Woolwich, south east London. With two older brothers to look after, and father in Burma due to the war, he was fostered out to the neighbours, not officially but with two more siblings following, for many years off and on.

Vince goes on from here...

"We moved from Woolwich to near Mottingham and then to Blackheath. I was now five and was allowed to wander wherever I wanted. The River Thames was less than a mile away and I spent lots of time playing with my brothers along the river banks, on the barges and in the docks.

Our school was only 5oo yds from the river where the local pub used to have Thames' barges moored outside with skiffle groups playing in the evenings. We used to play in the dry dock where the Cutty Sark now is and run through the foot tunnel to the north side of the river defying gravity by running up the curved walls, see the Greenwich Guide.

The first time I tried sailing was in Ullswater in 1976 where I used to go camping and water skiing with my wife and daughter. I was just approaching the shore in my speed boat, when a sailing dingy drifted away from the beach, I dropped my anchor over the side, jumped in the water and grabbed the dingy climbed in and didn't have a clue of what to do how embarrassing?

Not long after I learned to windsurf while on holiday in Greece, then a friend took me sailing in a Firefly dingy he had refurbished. A few weeks later I bought a Merlin Rocket, just the sort of boat needed to learn to sail. I joined Redbrook sailing club which was on a small reservoir on the Pennine way near Huddersfield and got the bug, racing the Merlin and then a laser, but the purchase in 1987of a guest house in Harrogate, North Yorkshire curtailed the sailing somewhat.

I spent a week doing competent crew in 1990, and day skipper theory and practical in 1996, with costal skipper and yachtmaster offshore theory and coastal skipper practical in 1997. I have sailed from the Azores to Liverpool (three crew), Ullerpool to Cork (four crew), Southampton to Guernsey (seven Crew) and Antwerp to Hull (four crew). Ron and I have chartered various boats on the west coast of Scotland and a Swedish yacht for a month in Greece.

I bought Anita ‘A’, a Contessa 26, in September 2000 from the new owner of the Contessa 32 which we sailed from Antwerp to Hull. Anita ‘A’ was berthed in Hartlepool during the season and in my yard in Harrogate during the winter, where I could work on different projects at my leisure and with the help of a good friend Ron. There were no fees to pay in my yard either.

I moved the boat to Hull Marina for the convenience of being where my daughter and twin grandchildren live, and although Hartlepool is very convenient to get to sea, Hull is more challenging with the shifting sand/mud and a strong tidal flow. The marina staff are very friendly and helpful and there are good facilities. Kildale Marine chandlers can supply most items required or can get it for you.

I have wanted to circumnavigate the UK for about eight years now and have been putting it off because I couldn´t make time, but in 2005 my friend and work colleague David Stoner Joiner extraordinaire, passed away suddenly. This has inspired me to JUST DO IT. Dave and I worked together, sometimes on his contracts and sometimes on mine. In 2005 I sold my builders yard to Ron Underhill with planning permission to erect a new dwelling house. This was the last contract Dave and I worked on together, and I dedicate this trip to his memory."

Vince Spooner