A Little Bit More About Colin and Nichola

Hello! We’re Colin and Nichola Wright, full time live-aboards on Emerald since 2004. We both have degrees in Electronic Engineering, which comes in very useful for maintaining our boat. Over the years we have kitted out Emerald in a way to allow us to be self sufficient at anchor, and have developed practical skills to allow us to keep her maintained in a safe manner. Having these skills and spending the majority of our summers at anchor allows us to live us this life on a frugal budget.

Life on Emerald for us is all the about the lifestyle – we’re in this for the long haul. We try to combine life afloat with a life of travel – spending time in the places we find that we love. Hence our motto – “slowly sailing to wherever our fancy takes us”.

This blog allows us to share our lifestyle with you, relating the highs and lows of life on the ocean wave.

Read on for a little bit more about us.

Emerald’s 40th birthday celebrations


Colin started sailing with his friends Paul and James at East Down Yacht Club in Northern Ireland. He then went to university in Belfast and ran off to the cold dark place of Antarctica with BAS in 1991. Here the seed of cruising was born with visits to his base at Faraday from Skip Novak, Jerome Poncet and others. He dreamt one day of owning a Rustler 31.

Back in Cambridge in 1994 he hit the gravy train of work and bought his first boat Possum, a Halcyon 27 in 1999. Two years of rebuild followed before the adventures began, including taking her up the Thames to Pentonhook Marina where he lived aboard for a while to be closer to his work.

In 2002 he saw his next boat Galago, which was described as love at first sight. She was bought, Possum sold, and he brought Galago down to Brighton where he lived aboard until meeting Nichola and reluctantly deciding that ‘we’re going to need a bigger boat’ which brought us to Emerald.

Colin’s role is skipper and all round fixer of things. As well as providing musical entertainment with his guitar.


Nichola hails from Sheffield, a city pretty much as far from the sea in each direction as you can go in England. However, family trips to Cornwall each year developed a love of the sea and poor dad was roped into being the rubber dinghy power on many occasions. Her first taste of sailing was with Summit Venture Scouts on Dam Flask near Sheffield at age 17. This ended in a dunking in the water for everyone in the boat when a sudden gust of wind sent the boom across and knocked her on the head – ending in a capsize!

At Bradford University the water bug really hit when she took up scuba diving, completing a first dive in the Sound of Mull on a unseasonably warm Easter in 1991. With over 450 dives – mainly around the UK from Scapa Flow to south-west Ireland, Wales and all along the Channel Coast plus a spot of cave diving in France – culminating in a mixed gas expedition to dive the Lusitania in southern Ireland in 1999.

Having had to put diving on the back seat, Nichola switched to sailing to maintain her connection with the sea. A RYA Competent Crew course led to Day Skipper Theory and new sailing friends. A week long Day Skipper Practical course on the English coast rounded off the training and led to the meeting with Colin.

Nichola also loves mountains and nature and can be often found exploring around an anchorage by foot.

Nichola takes charge of navigation, sewing, stowage packing guru and canvas work and helper in all other tasks when required.

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