A “Man of Bosham” and sailing teacher by profession, Ben Murray-Brown shared with #mnetoday his vision of the sailing potential in Montenegro
#mnetoday: Ben, how did you get into sailing?
BM: My dad used to run an adventure activity centre in England. The whole family from my Dad’s side are sailors. There are two photos on the walls of PMYC (Porto Montenegro Yacht Club) of my great grandfather on boats, what a coincidence!
In the village of Bosham, where I originally come from, you get the title ‘Man of Bosham’ if you come from one of the village’s original ancestral families and make your living on the water. As you can only gain this title through blood, there are not many people left these days who can claim this title.
#mnetoday: How did you end up in Montenegro?
I came here as the Captain of a 40m sailing yacht and was given the option to stay in Montenegro over the winter. After a few months I decided to leave the boat but stay on in the country and pursue sailing instruction again. I’d missed it. Superyachts are tiring and I decided to get back into teaching. I Also felt like I hadn’t seen enough of Montenegro that winter and wanted to explore it some more.
#mnetoday: You’ve travelled around the world, what is your most adventurous story?
I spent one and a half years sailing around South-East Asia and worked as a captain on an armoury boat in the Middle East. We were looking after weapons and putting weapons onto tankers. We spent 71 days straight at sea on a 20m boat with only men, that was tough.
As for adventures, once I took a boat to Sri Lanka and when we got near Mumbai one engine broke down during a storm. It was not an easy situation to handle and quite scary to see yourself drift 300 miles off India.
Last November I took a boat from here to Palma and got stuck in a three day storm between Sardinia and Palma with no radar, 55 knots of wind and big waves – that was pretty serious, you couldn’t really go outside.
I’ve crossed the Atlantic and saw a blue whale which was an amazing experience. When I was on the security boat coming from Hamas the water was like a mirror, so clear that you could see the dolphins swimming beneath us. That was cosmical, very romantic, we really enjoyed it.
#mnetoday: What attracted you to Montenegro?
Montenegrin girls (laughing). Seriously in terms of sailing and racing it gets quite technical in the bay, it’s very good for training and wind awareness. It can be windy one moment and the next there’s nothing. You could be lucky and get ahead and then at a certain point around the Lady of the Rocks the wind just stops and you can easily get stuck at the back. Montenegro is an amazing place to race with absolutely stunning scenery. It’s an adventure paradise.
#mnetoday: What do you do when you are not sailing?
I do power boating and walk my lovely dog. I like windsurfing, rafting, I do a lot of hiking and I used to go mountain biking. I also keep a garden on my balcony and I wish I could do more of these activities, it’s just a question of time.
#mnetoday: What do you think is missing in Montenegro?
Professional companies are still missing in Montenegro. Montenegro has great potential for adventure tours and I can see it is slowly starting now – kayaking tours, rock climbing etc. In comparison to England there is still a lot of space for development here in terms of high quality, safe adventure services, trails and routes etc.
#mnetoday: What opportunities can you see for sailing in Montenegro in the next 3-5 years?
I would like to see more locals sailing. In England, if it’s a nice day the harbour is packed. You can see it more this year, but there is still a big potential for sailing with 16 ft sailing boats, for example. They’re very easy boats for sailing on nice days. It would be great if that could be developed further. There are some locals that sail but there are not enough local boats still. I would like to see more local and foreign people sailing in the bay.
#mnetoday: Why would sailors be interested in coming to Montenegro?
The reason would be to see a different aspect of sailing, it’s a great base to do Croatia-Montenegro-Greece-Albania (if you feel adventurous). Porto Montenegro is unique to the Adriatic, though a bit pricey, but very good for the superyachts and their crew, which are well looked after once they come down here. There’s a gym, squash, crew club and crew bar, in other marinas I have been to there is not that much of a variety of entertainment for the crew. The boat is going to be looked after here and you don’t have to worry about the safety. In Asia you won’t find this. Montenegro is definitely a unique experience.
#mnetoday: What is your
credo life slogan Ben?
I have no idea on credo, it depends how drunk I’m. Every day is different, don’t really have anyone.
#mnetoday: What is your main character feature?
That’s a Tinder question (laughs). I don’t know, I guess I make sarcastic remarks
#mnetoday: Ha ha (laughs). Thank you for the time and the positive interview. It was big pleasure to speak to you about sailing. We wish you all the best in your further development in Montenegro.
Ben Murray-Brown, Lola (the dog), and friend (Adrian)
42 degree north – sailing trainings and courses