I decided to do the Yachtmaster traineeship because I wanted to change career and needed a high quality course.
I had been working in finance in the City of London for six years and was desperate for some fresh air!
The chance to travel and see some of Australia was a bonus.
I had started sailing at University in dinghies, then crewed on a friend's yacht, so had about 15 years of fun, social sailing before Flying Fish.
My favourite memories of the Flying Fish course include seeing migrating whales and meeting people who have become very close friends.
Cowes Week was also quite special! I was main sheet trimmer and navigator which kept me busy.
Low points? Some of the hangovers were BAD.
The most valuable thing that I gained from the course was confidence and understanding that the Yachtmaster ticket is like a driving licence. I mean the experience you gain opens your eyes to the scope of knowledge and experience still to be had.
You learn to be safe and competent, and to know your limits and where your skills need to develop. Every day is a learning experience on a yacht.
As soon as I qualified, I went to work for Neilson Active in Greece for two seasons as flotilla engineer and yacht trainer. This was my preferred choice of three job offers I got through Flying Fish recruitment service.
I went on to work as an engineer on SY Freedom. I am still learning lots and planning to go for my Y4 engineering qualification.
With my current yacht I am getting lots of sea time and miles, and going to some of the nicest parts of the world: the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Bermuda, East coast of the USA
My advice to other potential students? Do it. If it's a career move, work hard, do your time on the flotillas as you'll learn a lot, and don't expect to run a superyacht after six months. The life is hard work but very rewarding.
Also, sail as much as you can to gain experience on different types of yacht, and get some qualifications that help you stand out from the crowd like AEC, YM Ocean, scuba tickets etc.
Lastly, be patient. You will have some very high points but expect some lows as well – just plough through them and you're sorted.