I was born in 1943 into a naval family. After boarding school I went to St Andrews University in Scotland, where I spent far too much time climbing mountains or skiing down them. I did, however, manage to get a degree in Economics.
My first job was in a Merchant Bank in the City of London. I didn’t like this and soon left to qualify as a solicitor. I set up in practice, with two partners, working in commercial law from offices in Kensington and South London. After 12 years I retired from the partnership and went into the oil and gas business, where I ended up helping to run a publicly quoted oil exploration company after the Chief Executive had been arrested and jailed for fraud and theft. I had the unnerving experience of being the whistleblower who uncovered the fraud which led to his arrest.
I have sailed all my life owning a number of boats, from a 1903 gaff cutter to fast racing trimarans and a plodding Dutch steel motor yacht. I have also owned a share in a sailmaking business and had a boatyard in South Wales, specialising in maintaining and restoring classic wooden yachts.
I am now retired. I write books and I and my wife, a pharmaceutical patent researcher, divide our time between our house in Sandwich in Kent and our house in Gascony in France, near the Canal du Midi.