36 year old Londoner Jack Delf turned his passion for sailing and adventure travel into a new career.
In Jack's own words: I had enjoyed a successful media career in London but knew that a lot was missing from my daily existence. I only felt fulfilled during my holidays.
Away from the corporate world
I've always enjoyed travelling and outdoor pursuits, particularly sailing, and would plan trips to far flung destinations to experience life away from the corporate world and my London commute.
My lucky break came when I was made redundant and received a few months' settlement pay. Rather than immediately take another media job I decided to spend six months training with Flying Fish.
I needed to see whether work in the world of adventure and activity holidays could be as much fun as my fortnight holidays had been!
My favourite memories of the course? Difficult to say...the nights out with the other students were always memorable, seeing dolphin, flying fish and sharks altogether on the surface in Botany Bay, and fire fighting training in the UK are memories I'll always treasure.
I think my real favourite must be the first night sailing out of Sydney Heads as student skipper. In total darkness and a heavy swell, the wind rose above Force 8 and the engine packed up.....
The most valuable thing I gained from the course was the realisation that I could work in sailing and adventure travel. Until then I had always assumed that you needed lots of luck and had to start very young, not in your thirties like me.
Jobs all over the world
After Flying Fish I realised that I could not allow myself to fall back into corporate drudgery and I know all the other students felt the same. When the course was over they scattered to jobs all over the world.
I ended up in Kotor Fjord, Montenegro, wondering why the most beautiful harbour in the Mediterranean was home to only four yachts. I decided to stay and build my own yacht charter and activity holiday business.
In the beginning I would be asked "what credentials do you have to run this business?" I would always say, "I trained as a Yachtmaster in Australia!"
I now have two small tourist agencies in Montenegro and arrange yacht charters and berths, victuals etc. We are organising small group adventure and activity holidays. www.montenegroholiday.com has all the details.
My advice to anyone thinking about training as a Yachtmaster it is to stop wishing you were doing it and just do it!
The opportunities are all there but you can't find them unless you take the first step. Great sailing jobs are not usually advertised in the London Evening Standard.