Membership of AAA Acme Select Sea Stuff – a snip at two grand. Sorry, make that three grand

You don’t have to spend £49,000 to sail round the world and scare yourself rigid.

You can sail with me for free. Actually, make that two grand. And I think that’s a bargain.

I haven’t quite thought through the business model for AAA Acme Select Sea Stuff plc – message statement: Achieve Less – but the inspiration for this truly life-limiting experience came to me at the recent London Boat Show on ‘People’s Day’.

I’m not quite sure who turns up on other days, but as I’m a people I’d been invited to take the stage with other people who were also people, in front of an audience of people.

The difference was that the other people on the stage were achievers.

One had completed a well-known round-the-world race for amateurs; the other, a non-sailor, was about to. Well, I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, but I am actually a veteran of 12 Atlantic crossings – ‘trans-Ats’ in nauticalish.

All were in an aeroplane and one in first class, but it was my ‘steerage’ experiences that were most character-building and which made me what I am today: resentful.

I’ve also completed four circumnavigations, although Canvey was the most testing, as there are four low bridges round the back of the island. Boy, that was a faff!

As a Sailfish owner I thought I knew the true meaning of deprivation, but these round-the-world bods have raised it to another level.

Our stage show started with stomach-churning footage of the 70-footers crashing through the Southern Ocean with tons of chill, icy water being chucked into the face of a ‘people’ at the helm.

I have to say ‘people’ as it was impossible to tell which type it was, cos he or she was wearing a bright yellow offshore burqa romper suit with just a tiny eye-slit for funnelling the water in.

Great sailing challenges No1 – racing in the Southern Ocean. Cartoon credit: Claudia Myatt

Great sailing challenges No1 – racing in the Southern Ocean. Cartoon credit: Claudia Myatt

I just wouldn’t go out on a day like that. The other thought I had was: ‘Don’t they go anywhere nice with warm azure seas, golden beaches and pedalos?’

The counterpoint of this was equally stomach-churning and dramatic action footage of me trickling up the Thames on a sunny day in a light breeze wearing a T-shirt.

You should have seen it; that T-shirt was truly stomach-churning.

Of course, I say ‘action footage’, but it was hard to tell anything was actually moving as most of it was leeway, which is how I like it. You see more of the sights that way. Perfick!

When I founded AAA Acme Select Sea Stuff plc, AAAASSS for short, way back last week I never envisioned it would grow to become the go-to ‘luxury alternative’ gold standard in the global corporate one-on-one team-building marketplace.

It turns out though, that AAAASSS, or ASS for short, is not an alternative to luxury at all, for the truth is that with our extensive fleet of one boat (we’re that select), we pretty much deliver the ultimate in luxury on our lack-of-lifestyle personal stunted development packages.

And better yet, we’re also utterly hopeless at challenging ourselves.

On the other hand, the globe-girdlers are great at this, and as I listened on stage I became a bit queasy as they used lots of motivational language words like: ‘confined’; ‘challenging’; ‘rudimentary’; ‘challenging’; ‘hungry’; ‘challenging’; ‘cold’; ‘challenging’; and ‘smelly’.

I’d find that all a bit too challenging, and on the latter my co-guest elaborated: ‘I
wouldn’t want to walk on to one of the other boats after 30 days at sea’. Yuk!

At ASS we keep on top of personal hygiene in places called ‘marinas’, which have things called ‘showers’, although these present personal challenges as some can be a bit too hot for comfort.

It’s that kind of hardship that makes us better people and provides us with anecdotes on the motivational after-dinner speaker circuit.

Speaking of which, food on board was described as ‘basic’ and the process of making it ‘challenging’, as ‘you need quite a lot of body strength just to move around below deck’.

When the presenter asked me what I do for food on board I replied: ‘I go to a restaurant’.

Great sailing challenges No2 – Making it to the marina before Nando’s closes. Cartoon credit: Claudia Myatt

Great sailing challenges No2 – Making it to the marina before Nando’s closes. Cartoon credit: Claudia Myatt

In fact, when it comes to cuisine at ASS, the world is our oyster, and sometimes lobster – that’s if the punter is paying.Otherwise it’s Nando’s.

And at ASS you get all of that for just two grand. Well, you did.

As a result of Brexit the price of croissants has shot up alarmingly, so it’s now three grand.

We don’t serve croissants. But I still think it’s a tremendous bargain.