Allan Dornan originally hails from Stirling in Scotland. His first experience of sailing, was in his father dinghy on the cold waters of the Scottish lochs, a favourite was Loch Lubnaig. There were a few catastrophes which could have put him off for life.

Later in the early 90's he bought first an Enterprise dinghy, Clod, then a 20ft Yeoman keelboat, Sea Breeze, which was sailed at Horning and the Snowflakes sailing club in Horning on the Norfolk Broads. The highlight of the sailing calendar there was the famous 3 Rivers Race which Allan campaigned on a number of occasions, and on the third attempt actually managed to finish for the first time.

In about 2001, Bev put the idea into his head that he needed to do something with his life. That was the start of a quest to sail round the world, that saw him and Bev going to sailing school for navigation and practical courses such as RYA Day Skipper, Safety at Sea and Long Range Radio courses. One of the oddest courses had then stitching up chicken breasts and injecting oranges at the Ships Captain's medical course.

A new Fountaine Pajot Belize 43ft catamaran, Bagpuss, was ordered and sailing holidays booked in Cephalonia and the Cyclades in Greece and on a similar catamaran in the Caribbean so they could practice on other peoples boats.

In 2003 Allan and Bev set off from LA Rochelle in France, with their Day Skippers ticket but still relatively inexperienced, with a vague plan to sail westwards and perhaps all the way round the world. In December 2004 they arrived in New Zealand, feeling they had rushed the trip a little and thought about a year vegetating in New Zealand. During that year, Bev became pregnant and the plan needed to change. The boat was sold and Allan went back to work in Insurance and IT.

The water was calling but funds would only allow Allan to buy a Hobie Cat. The first one, a Hobie 14 Turbo, was a disaster, cheap but everything was broken and it never made it to the water. This was replaced by a Hobie 17, which did at least touch the water but also required almost every part of it to be replaced.

In 2012 funds permitted the purchase of a bigger boat and a Jeanneau 39 DS, Bella, was finally the practical answer after a wide search that had taken in Melbourne, Sydney, Sanctuary Cove and Hervey Bay in Queensland and even the Dusseldorf boat show. He had a good look at a Spirited 380, Martz 46, Phisa 42, Catalina 445, Sabre 42, Ovni 435, Nordship 35, Allures 39.9. and Tayana 48.

In 2015 a chance encounter at Blokart World in Papamoa, led to the purchase of Minx, another beach cat, this time a Katalyst H2. It's an unusual roof-rackable, unstayed mast boat. It hasn't been out much yet but is a promising diversion when the summer cruising season is over.

Allan's mind is now turning back to another cruising adventure, but where and which boat? Definitely somewhere warm and the boat will be a catamaran. Time will tell...