Family weekend seminar in Marstrand, Sweden

Over the years I have held seminars and lectures in a variety of places, from a barge moored on the banks of the River Seine to the impressive America’s Cup Hall of Fame at the New York Yacht Club, the auditorium of the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, from the historic headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society in St Petersburg to the cockpit of a large catamaran in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, but never in such an unusual venue as the medieval fortress overlooking the Swedish seaside resort of Marstrand.

Founded in 1678 by King Charles XI as a forward defence against their Danish and Norwegian neighbours, the imposing fortress has been preserved in excellent state and is now used as a conference centre. Once a small fishing port off the Swedish mainland, in the 19th century Marstrand became the favourite summer retreat for the Swedish Royal family and more recently a famous yachting centre.

The seminar was organised by Lange Maritime, the Scandinavian agent for Garcia, Allures and Outremer yachts. Its basic theme was preparations for a long-distance voyage and was aimed primarily at couples planning to leave on such a voyage. The subjects covered all essential aspects of choosing, preparing and equipping a boat that could be sailed safely and efficiently by a small crew.

The seminar programme allowed for open-ended sessions dedicated to dealing with questions from the audience. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere was helped by the convivial surroundings, but also by an unusually warm and sunny spring day.

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