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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Walker

Finding magic on the water - Sail North Norfolk

I've always found there to be something so calming about being near water. Even in our hectic lives in London, sitting in my favourite spot on Richmond Hill, looking down at the winding curve of the Thames always calmed me.

When we moved to Norfolk, the dream was always to buy a place within walking distance of a beach. In June last year, that dream came true and being down on that beach, watching the waves dance onto the shore, is truly my happy place. There's something magic about the sea in Norfolk.

I love wandering on the sands, sitting on benches looking out over the cliff edges or meandering coast paths and watching the water calmly slink through the creeks. We've had incredible moments of watching dolphins playing in the waters of North Norfolk and seals snuggling their newborn pups. There's so much that can be seen from the waters edge but beyond that, there's a whole other world...and it's waiting to be explored.

There's magic in any waters. Catch a boat from anywhere in the world and you're set to have the most incredible adventure. Sail from North Norfolk though and a beauty like no other opens up right before your eyes.

We've been on many a seal trip to Blakeney Point but we've never privately chartered a sailing trip off the North Norfolk Coast. We won't get chance this year now with the season drawing in and our diaries being so busy. I don't want that to stop you though...because I've found someone very, very special and their story and remaining dates for this year 100% need sharing.

Meet Zoe - proud owner of the most beautiful sailboat, "Selkie".

After fangirling over Zoe and her instagram ever since we set up Norfolk Uncovered, I finally got the opportunity to meet her back at the beginning of the summer and those chats over lunch have stayed with me ever since.

I love stories of people who have followed their dreams. Who've taken risks and tireless pursued their passion because they've found something they love and they're never letting their dreams die. I've met so many people in Norfolk who fit that description but none quite like Zoe. Not only did Zoe pursue her dream of buying a boat and becoming a sailor, she decided to share that passion and dream with others a way that not just shows you the magic...but makes you feel it too.

Zoe's story gives me tingles. Her passion for the magic of the hidden secrets of our waters started when she worked in wildlife film production. She got the opportunity to work on projects centered around the mysterious creatures of the deep. From researching films about sharks in the Mediterranean, to volunteering for a shark research project in the Bahamas.

It was in the late 1990s that Zoe's career brought her to Norfolk and luckily for us, she found her forever home. Using her writing skills to contribute her insights to a local boating magazine, she found herself irresistibly drawn to the world of sailing. The wind, the waves, and the art of navigating the waterways all became her passion. Sailing wasn't just a hobby; it was a way of life and she wholeheartedly embraced it. She became a qualified skipper and RYA instructor and after years of dreaming, bought her own boat in May last year and started "Sail North Norfolk".

Zoe's charters are so much more than trips out on the water. When I speak to her (and people who've been out with her), you see magic in their eyes. There's a whole other secret world off the coast. One I haven't yet properly explored, but one I'm so desperate to. I've seen glimpses. So many of us have...but I can only imagine the magic that awaits once you leave the shore behind and head out on "Selkie".

Zoe tailors every single trip she does. She can run wildlife tours, take you to the most incredible secluded wild swimming spots or just let "Selkie" quite literally sail you into the sunset.

There's only 2 more weeks of opportunity to sail with Zoe (w/c 9th October and w/c 16th October) before "Selkie" comes out of the water for winter. All of her remaining sail dates and time are on her website and I can't honestly can't recommend enough that you snap them up.

If I saw dolphins from a neighbour's garden on a random Sunday afternoon in September, imagine the magic you'll find at the hands of someone who has the most incredible of skills for showing you the hidden world that is the waters of North Norfolk.


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