Northern Ireland has held a special place in my heart for many years, since I decided to do my yachtmaster qualification from Carrickfergus, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough, a decision which was made quite spontaneously whilst taking part in a racing series. I met a lot of warm-hearted, friendly, generous and genuinely funny people there, some of whom have remained friends to this day, so I was looking forward to the stopover in Derry~Londonderry with great anticipation and, boy, I was not disappointed!

The welcome we received was bigger, warmer, louder and more enthusiastic than we could possibly have imagined. A real interest in what we are doing was evident everywhere, from the mayor, Sandra, and the harbourmaster, Bill, to the taxi drivers to the supermarket checkout staff to the police to the pub landlord - who not only opened early to allow us to watch the rugby, he fed us for free and then went on to offer the top floor of his pub as a makeshift sail loft!

We had an amazing time in the ten or so days we were guests of the city and we were made to feel incredibly welcome. Much fun was had, much Guinness consumed, I sampled the wonderful, local oysters, met some fantastic people and the “craic”, as they say, was good!

Thank you Derry~Londonderry, I will be returning.

All is well on Dare To Lead...

Nigel, Angela and crew.