Building a new life by sailing round the world


If ever there was a real life Flying Dutchman it would have to be Nick Pochin the 68-year-old skipper/owner of Festina Lente, a Discovery 55. When Nick’s wife Sue died in 1992, after 25 years of happy marriage, Nick felt life had no meaning. He decided to get a boat and sail round the world ‘If I died it didn’t matter anymore.’

Fortunately four years on he met Gilli and she refined Nick’s sailing plans: they sailed a Jeanneau 42 down to Gibraltar and spent eight years exploring the Med. Then they started to plan a circumnavigation with the Blue Water Rally in their new boat: Festina Lente.

Unfortunately Gilli had to drop out of the voyage to look after her ailing parents and Nick’s round-the-world voyage was made with various crew members ending up with a group of young Polish yachtswomen whose sailing skills were a huge bonus to completing the voyage in 2007. I joined Nick and crew for the leg from Port Tewfik, Egypt through the Suez Canal to Crete. Now he has written the story of his cruise: Poles Get Closer, £11.99 plus £2.99 p&p. To order a copy Tel: 01270 625207.

But by now Nick had the bug. Not for him a return to shore life and the family business in Cheshire. His boat is currently in Lagos, Portugal and as soon as he has a crew organised Nick is off again, this time to Brazil, Cape Horn, and up the western seaboard of the Americas to Alaska. ‘Sailing is my life now,’ he says.