An amateur Melksham sailor has his feet firmly back on dry land, after completing a seven-week trip of a lifetime across the Atlantic.
Richard Brady, of St Michael’s Road, completed the voyage from Portsmouth to St Lucia via Gran Canaria last November, on a 72-foot Challenger yacht owned by charity The Tall Ships Trust.
He said: “There were 14 in the crew and we worked a full watch system, so had to sail the boat 24/7.
“Being on watch is everything from cleaning the boat to cooking, adjusting the sails or keeping look out.
“When you’re off-watch you get no more than three hours sleep at a time, as there is always something to be doing.
“It was a fantastic experience, we had the full range of weather, from heavy storms to brilliant sunshine, and it’s such a huge sense of achievement when you get to the end.
“It was a lovely way to bypass the autumn; when it’s getting colder and darker here you’re sailing off to the Caribbean sunshine.”
The 41-year-old former project manager was made redundant from Bath’s Horstman’s Defence Systems in 2012, and used his payout to fund the trip.
He said: “I have been sailing since 1997 one way or another and for about 10 years doing the Atlantic trip is something I have wanted to do but it’s not very often you have the opportunity financially or time-wise to take the plunge.
“As an ultimate goal I would love to be able to say I had sailed round Cape Horn, though in reality I have to consider it being a once-in-a-lifetime trip.”
The charity which organised the epic voyage works primarily with teenagers, taking them out to sea to develop their teamwork skills and confidence. Mr Brady said: “I first went on one of the tall ships when I was 35 years old and within the first day I had got that confidence boost they are looking to give to teenagers.
“Paying for my trip helps fund the work they do, which I am very keen to promote. They do struggle to keep their heads above water at times, and the more people are aware of the great work they do the better.”
For more information about the Tall Ships Trust visit www.tallships.org