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Skipper Dave is obsessed by the sea


21 Nov 2018 | Last update: 29 Aug 2019

You could say I have a one track mind. The sea. But it's not a narrow track. The sea is big and a lifetime is not enough to encompass it.

My relationship with the sea started in childhood. I was a voracious reader, and my favourite books were adventures on the sea. Whether true stories or fiction, I couldn't get enough of that stuff.

Not coming from a family with a background on the sea, nor having bundles of spare cash lying around to indulge expensive hobbies, it took a while before I owned my first boat. But in 2008, I sold my house, bought the most beautiful boat I could find, and set off on an adventure voyage around the UK and then onwards to the Mediterranean. And I've been here ever since.

For most of the year I teach Mediterranean Oceanography, Climate Change, and other environmental science courses to international undergraduate students spending a year in Barcelona. When the students go home in the spring, I leave the lecture hall and take to the sea, sharing a few hours on the water with guests from all over the world. It's a hard life, but hey, someone has to do it!

My teaching keeps me grounded in the bigger picture. On a sparkling summer day sailing on the Mediterranean it can seem like the world is in great shape. The truth is, we're edging closer and closer to the tipping point where the pressures of our modern lifestyle are pushing the ecosystem to its limits. The signs are clear, for those with eyes to see. We call these people scientists, and we better start listening to them before it's too late. The consequences of ignoring their warnings will not be visited on us, but on our children.

But it's not all doom and gloom. The science also shows us that nature is resilient. Nature has the capacity to support the lifestyles we want, but we need to step up to the challenge and control the worst excesses of our resource-stripping industries. History will judge our generation for the choices we make right now. It's daunting, and invigorating, to be alive at such a momentous time.

What our customers say

Over 250 ★★★★★ reviews

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence & Hall of Fame 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Awesome day on the water!

Very interesting to see Barcelona from the water. I got a great panorama shot of the city.
davidm_PDX | | 6 May 2012

Spot on

Can't fault the sunset cruise for a perfect anniversary experience. I was a bit apprehensive as I get motion-sickness, but I took a kwells, wore some wrist-bands and kept my eyes on the horizon and had a wonderful time despite it being rather choppy. I also followed Dave's advice and stayed to the middle and centre of the boat (Gemini). Husband used to sail when he was younger and Dave was happy to let him get involved and answer questions about the boat - which is a really beautiful classic boat. Watching the sun fade over the Barcelona horizon was pretty special. (I read the reviews on here prior to booking and the photos just don't do the experience justice.) Dave is a lovely skipper with a lovely boat. Would definitely recommend Classic Sail to anyone looking to do something a bit special in Barcelona.
highspeedcow | | 7 September 2015

A lovely way to spent an afternoon!

The whole thing was very straightforward; we emailed Dave asking about certain time slots then reserved one on his website and paid a 30 Euro deposit. We arrived at the dock ahead of time and identified his boat. Dave himself was lovely and very interesting to talk to. It was a bit choppier than we would have liked but what a lovely way to cool down. It was very hot when we were there, about 30 degrees so we enjoyed the break on Dave's boat. All in all a good experience!
Gaynor H | Horsham, United Kingdom | 7 August 2015

Trip Highlight!!

We had a wonderful time!! Gorgeous views of the city and a fun time on the boat. We took all 5 of our kids ranging in age from 3-17 and everyone felt it was the best part of our trip. Would definitely recommend
kscottsmith5 | New Canaan, Connecticut | 11 August 2015

Excellent experience

The experience is highly recommended. The Gemini is a very nice boat to sail on, Dave is very kind and the price very competitive. Largely matched our expectations!
Marounistan | London, United Kingdom | 7 June 2018

Great way to escape the crowds

Great day on the water! Took my two daughters (17,20) and a friend out for a three hour sail. They really enjoyed it, very relaxing. The boat is definitely older but has a lot of charm. Our captain was Dave, he was very knowledgeable and a super nice guy. It was the perfect way to escape the crowds and noise of Barcelona. Great trip.
JCS28715 | Asheville, North Carolina | 24 August 2018

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