Andrew (Tobes) Merriman
Medical student Tobes was keen to do the RYA Dinghy Instructor course but not at home in Scotland! In his own words:
I was looking for a break where I could gain new skills but really enjoy myself. A course with Fish seemed like the perfect solution.
My brother had done a similar kind of course and had spent time teaching water sports. I could think of no better way of spending my summers.
I had about two years of sailing experience with the sea cadets. I went out to Vassiliki thinking I'll be fine - and then realised I could hardly sail!
Just being in such a great location and being able to go sailing every day was amazing.
Going out and being able to handle the high winds was always really exhilarating. Helming on the trapeze of a Hobie 16 was definitely a high point. It was always great to be on the water in whatever the weather (even though it was really sunny most of the time) and it was so rewarding to pass the instructor course.
Windsurfing for the first time
Even though I was out for a dinghy sailing course, I remember getting planing while windsurfing for the first time. That was pretty special. I got off the water and told the whole windsurfing crowd. They definitely weren't as excited as I was.....
The mountain biking was great too. Vass is a stunning location and the morning rides were really beautiful. It got even more fun after I lost my exceptional fear of going downhill.
The Zeus Bar
I cannot mention my weeks in Vass without mentioning the brilliant night life and, specifically, the Zeus bar shelf. I spent many an hour on that shelf - now I spend many hours reminiscing on how stupid I looked.
Whether it was the barbeques or just chilling and watching a film, it was always easy to have a good time. Everybody in Vass is so cool that it would be monumentally difficult to not enjoy yourself.
In the hope that this quote gets on to the website, I'm going to add getting a standing ovation from some people on a yacht in the bay, when me and Barnesy spectacularly pitch poled next to their yacht!!
The most valuable thing that I gained from the course? Blond hair! Only joking....
I gained a massive enthusiasm for sailing and for teaching people how to do it. When I taught my first beginner it was such a brilliant experience that I couldn't wait to do it again. And now I can't wait until I can get more instructing done.
My advice is - go to Vass and have a great time!