Bomb Disposal Talk: 20 July, Club House 7.30pm and Flying Fifteen Clinic

OK, it is some years since John Simpson defused IRA bombs in Northern Ireland. Since then he has sailed the Atlantic in a Hurley 22 (several times, solo), skippered the pilot cutter Jolie Brise, taught at the Scottish National Sailing Centre and much more.

So, if any club members are curious about which wire to cut if faced with a booby trap, or how best to get their Flying Fifteen up to speed, or how to prepare for an ocean crossing, Friday 20th July is the night to mark in their diary.

On Saturday he'll be around to help us fffettle our Fffflying Ffffifteens, Picos or anything else that fffloats.

John is from Essex originally, but you can't hold that against him, and very down to earth. So don't expect any RYA nonsense (although he is a Yachtmaster Instructor Examiner). Beware: he has a disarming way of pretending he knows nothing, when he clearly does.

If we can make him welcome and put on something to eat and drink, then the night should be memorable.

Here's a CV he wrote to accompany and article in an American magazine. Yes, he also writes.

John Simpson

In my twenties skippering a yacht across the Indian Ocean kindled an interest in long-distance sailing. So whilst working for the army on diving craft (including helping lift the "Mary Rose," Henry VIII's flagship) I bought a Hurley 22 ("Miss Content"). Living on the boat in Southampton Water whilst preparing her for long passages. Then sailing her on a single-handed Atlantic circuit. After a refit, I sailed the boat across to the Caribbean again, delivering yachts whilst there (including the States). By this time I'd met Janet and been offered a job running a Danish yacht. So I sold "Miss C", came back, married and gained two step-children!

Growing up on the north shore of the Thames estuary in England, I learnt to sail with my father on his traditional gaff-rigged fishing smack. Racing dinghies and camping/cruising with friends exploring the East Coast rivers followed in my teenage years. I started sailing professionally now (self-employed), teaching mostly on the South Coast, this included enjoying some interesting boats like "Jolie Brise," a 1913 French Pilot cutter. Janet and I bought "Blauwe Slenk" and old wooden 26ft Dutch sloop, she became the family boat for 13 years. 

During a November Atlantic delivery on a new 40ft Gaffer from Nova Scotia, I realised I needed a change. So being offered a job as Sailing Coach for the Royal Navy of Oman was great. Sadly "Blauwe" was sold. After returning from Oman (having now acquired a Drascombe Lugger) we moved to Scotland. I'm now teaching sailing at the National Centre, Janet's running a Bed and Breakfast on the shores of Loch Fyne! We aren't completely boatless. Janet has a sailing canoe and I've just bought a wrecked International 14. The kids, now grown up are both architects, Kyra climbs and Wesley windsurfs.

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