Founder Sam Bartlett & Partner, Francois Honnorat
Ours is quite an unusual story, I guess. After looking all over the Mediterranean for a boat that I could use to teach on in a sailing school I finally found the boat of my dreams the other side of the pond in the Caribbean. I bought it from this man, and later fell in love with him.
Since starting Yacht Ibis Caribbean Sailing Holidays at the beginning of 2010, Francois has been chief bosun, delivery crew and relief Skipper. With the addition of Hazel, Tim and Michele (down there) to the team, Francois has been able to dedicate more time to his own lobster fishing business, but still joins us on a trip from time to time and skippers our Christmas Cat over Christmas and New Year. He has been sailing since he was in a buggy, he’s crossed the Atlantic 7 times and has run his own charter company in the Mediterranean before “retiring” to lobster fishing in St Maarten.
I was a late starter when it came to sailing; although I grew up in Cornwall close to the sea, it wasn’t until I moved back to Scotland in my 20’s that I really took it up. My Dad had bought a partly finished hull in Edinburgh and was fitting it out to go sailing around the world – his lifelong dream. I moved back to Scotland to help him and to sail off with him but sadly he died before it was finished. It took me 7 years, and every spare penny I earned during that time, to finish the boat, a 38 foot sloop, and to start sailing it. I passed my RYA Yachtmaster in 1998, taught in a sailing school in Gibraltar for a while, and I sailed in Scotland, Norway, the Western Mediterranean, Malacca Straits, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong before settling here in the Caribbean.
What started out as a promise to my Dad has turned into my lifetime’s passion and I’m blessed to be able to share what I do with people like you. We sail beautiful boats in a stunningly beautiful part of the world with fantastic people… Come and join us for a while.