finlay the parrotPaul Hardaker Sailing
zuma stripe

Paul North Wales

Never in my wildest dreams, did I think that I would learn to sail, but a friend of mine needed a favour and at the time I was lucky enough to help him out and buy his boat from him. The year was 2003 and after my first couple of ventures and a few very uncomfortable sleepovers on the boat, I realised that I needed something bigger than Yo-Yo, a boat I could actually stand up in. Besides that, I had the shame bearing down on me that I had collided with someone else’s boat, it didn’t go down too well, especially with my son, and I felt I had to leave Conwy and move on to pastures greener !

Out of the blue while walking at Liverpool Marina, I came across Zuma, a Jeanneau Fantasia, who I fell for and immediately placed an offer of sale. After weeks of negotiations we agreed on a price that suited us both.I couldn’t have asked to buy it off a better person as the backup and continuous support was always there, and believe me, I needed it. My maiden voyage was to Conwy, my heart was in my mouth and the trip was shaky, but that feeling of elation when I arrived back at Liverpool was overwhelming. I felt I had conquered the earth, I had a new passion.. Sailing!

Following this, I sailed to the Isle of Man, an 18 hour one way journey that should have taken approximately 10 hours. What’s a man to do, I was a beginner and I was learning the ‘ropes’ as I went along. After spending hours sailing up and down the Mersey, I finally felt confident in Zuma and her of me. There were times when I would sit in the cockpit of the boat, wondering what the hell I was doing as I was convinced she was going to keel over, but this never happened and Zuma has always looked after me.

I have never had the opportunity to undertake a long cruise due to work commitments, but due to the economic climate I unfortunately lost my business, resulting in some extra time on my hands. Therefore, the occasion arose to embark on my dream voyage, sailing around Great Britain, the rest is history...


I was working on a construction site in 1991 when I felt a sharp pain in the right hand part of my abdomen, I went to my doctor who straight away said it looks like appendicitis and admitted me to hospital. I was operated on the next day and when I came around I was informed that I had Crohn’s disease.

What's that I asked? I had never heard of Crohn’s disease. The condition is an inflammatory disease of the intestines that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus, causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting, but may also cause complications such as skin rashes, arthritis, inflamation of the eye, tiredness and a lack of concentration.

I have been diagnosed with Crohns for about ten years now and I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones, as up until now I have had only a few stays in hospital due to 'flare ups'. I take medication 2-3 times a day for the rest of my life and eat as sensibly as I can.

There are many children & adults suffering horrendously with this disease, it is still a very grey area and hopefully all the money which I raise will help raise awareness of Crohn’s and Colitis.Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.