I joined Thomas at Funchal, Madeira sailing for 6 days including 2 overnight trips onto the Islas Desertas off Madeira and then on to the islands around Lanzarote. My background: I am a British Regional Airline Pilot - looking to journey around at a less hectic pace! I have 6 years sailing experience predominantly South England and the Med, RYA Day Skipper completed.
Administration: I contacted Thomas through the Crewbay website. I was very limited with my timing and was therefore delighted Thomas could accommodate my requested period. He was extremely prompt in all communications both initially on the website and then by email and WhatsApp. This and his website detail reflected his professionalism and his enthusiasm for this activity and his boat. All information/details passed were accurate.
Sailing: Although Day Skipper qualified I made it abundantly clear to Thomas that I did not consider myself experienced and the objective of the week, for me was to develop that. This was undoubtedly Thomas’s forte. He was kind enough to allow me to helm his boat in and out of Marinas, refuelling points and on and off anchorages. This was under his patient supervision. Under sail the tuition continued with Thomas not taking anything for granted or indeed being condescending with my lack of experience. Thomas is a teacher by profession and this became obvious in his manner of tutoring me.
SV Moira: Thomas’s boat was exactly as expected if not better. The vessel and all domestic areas - Saloon/cabin/heads etc. are immaculate. It is very well equipped as expected with navigation equipment etc. but also including leisure items - masks/snorkels etc, spare engine oil, not personally used during the week but good to see.
Domestic points: Cooking was predominantly completed by Thomas although as I enjoy cooking I also prepared 2 evening meals. This was made simple due to an extremely well stocked galley. Also, Thomas bakes his own bread! All meals were enjoyable and plentiful and although almost teetotal Thomas did provide beer and wine which I enjoyed when not under sail, clearly. The bow cabin was comfortable and could provide privacy if future sailing companions were, say, a couple.
Summary: My objective was well and truly achieved. If any potential sailing crew wish to progress and develop in this activity, gain experience on a quality vessel under the supervision of a safe, professional and relaxed Skipper then they should not hesitate in joining Thomas.
Finally, I would like to thank Thomas for the opportunity he provided, I do hope our paths cross again. I would also like to wish “Bon voyage” to my fellow mariners that may join Thomas ....... and for goodness sake keep the revs low as you’re coming into those marinas to moor up!!
Bill, airline pilot
It was a great week sailing between Olbia, Sardinia and Bonifacio, Corsica. Mostly underway with much to very much wind we saw fantastic coast lines and visited beaches to dream of. We also stayed in picturesque ports and had time for shoreside exploration.
Tom has a great, well-equipped boat and guided as safely through the waves with his skipper skills. Time on board SV Moira must be highly recommended!
Next to learning the sailing ropes in theory and practice, the daily exercise of fine motor skills in confined space and in all weather, working as a team, and being confronted with the Italian and French language and culture was all very rewarding.
We should have added a few ECTS-points to our CVs... ;-)
It is incredible how much space a 13m long sailboat affords you? Safe for when all the crew is eating or ducking wind and waves in the cockpit each can find a quiet corner to sleep, read a book, to simply dangle one's soul, to look for dolphins, or to take the helm for a while.
The atmosphere during the sailing trip in the Aegean islands is comfortable and uncomplicated. Tom makes every effort to make you feel at ease on board. What I liked the most was when we anchored in the afternoon after a day's sailing and took a walk in the fishing village and had some fresh fish in a local restaurant.
For us over-clocked control freaks a sailing trip is a challenge. The wind or its absence, gales, or the the weather forecast dictate the rhythm of the trip. To adapt to the weather conditions is a good experience and forces you to slow down. Just as it should be for a vacation!
The days on the boat were an important experience for us and it was good to do it. The waves and the wind were great and with you as skipper, Tom, we did not even for a second worry or become frightened. You seem very confident, have a great knowledge and a good feeling for the sea. Love to advertise for that :-)
Really great, all the things you know on the boat and have learned in all this time. It is not everyone's cup of tea from the perspective of my office chair.
Marina und Jan, entrepreneurs