I was born in Hützel, Bispingen, Germany the only son of a German mother and an English soldier in September 1946. Most of my childhood was spent following my father round his various army postings, which meant we never spent more than two years anywhere. Consequently I visited a total of 13 schools, only one of which was in Germany. Needless to say, I speak German fluently and am a qualified Civil Service Interpreter in German.
I enlisted into the 10th Royal Hussars in April 1967 and after my basic training was selected to become an officer. I went to Mons Officer Cadet School and was commissioned into the Queens Regiment (Middlesex Regement). During my service I served in Canada, Cyprus, Libya, Malta, Uganda, Germany, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. After 27 years service I took voluntary redundancy and accepted a limited contract as a Senior Executive Officer in the UK Civil Service and was appointed as a Services Liaison Officer in Germany, a job I did for seven years, first in Verden/Aller and then in Hameln (Hamelin).
I am an RYA Yachtmaster, a British Kiel Yacht Club, Baltic Yachtmaster and a qualified diver. From 1984 to 1998 I sailed mainly in the Baltic, North Sea and English Channel with an Atlantic Crossing West to East in 1988, before setting off in KARMA to sail around the world in 1998. What was meant to be a three year voyage ended up being a four and a half year epic. I had crew as far as Martinique in the Caribbean, but sailed alone thereafter through choice. Officially the circumnavigation ended in November 2002 when I reached Portsmouth, where KARMA was registered, but I continued on to Holland in early 2003, which is where I kept my yacht until 2009, when I sold her as I have settled to live in Germany.