My name is Stacey, I am the skipper and owner of Lady Grace Boat Trips. Growing up, as a fisherman's daughter, from the age of just two weeks old on boats you would expect my career as a skipper to be inevitable. However, money doesn't grow on trees, boats cost alot of money and my dad taught me the value of money by making me work for what I have today.

stacey md

Growing up, my sister and I used to help dad with his summer fishing business along with his winter firewood business. Pocket money was earned by hard graft working on the tractors; sawing and chopping up wood with dust filled lungs at the end of the day. Pocket money was received after rocking about on the boats in the middle of the night in a gale of wind, back-breaking hauling of nets and finishing early hours of the morning before dashing to school that morning. Spending school lunch breaks in the school library trying to complete homework so that we could help dad in the evenings and weekends on the boat.

I left school with straight A grades and at the age of 16 I gained full-time employment within the finance industry. During my employment I studied hard to achieve my CEMAP exams and progressed to a mortgage advisor and became part of the management team within the bank. 

At the age of 18 I met my husband and by the age of 22 we were married. Although we did get our priorities in order and prior to getting married and buying a house, we invested in buying our first boat together to run as an angling charter boat. I continued to work within finance during the week, while Scott carried on as a carpenter, but at weekends we would run our charter business together.

Like most jobs of today, everything requires a certificate, so in 2009 I attained my First Aid at Sea Certificate, Fire Fighting at Sea Certificate, Health and Safety at Sea Certificate, Sea Survival Certificate, VHF Short Range Certificate and my Diesel Engine Certificate. In my spare time I went on to gain my Yacht Master Offshore Commercial Endorsement and in 2010 I also managed to get my Ocean Masters Theory Certificate.

As the business grew I decided it was time for me to get my own toy to play with and in March 2011 we bought Lady Grace. It took until the end of August to get her ship shape for passengers and for the remainder of that year I ran her at weekends and continued my weekday office job.  In 2012 I then worked Lady Grace, not only at weekends, but also during the school holidays.  After a heart related health scare, in 2013, I made the decision to give up my day job and run Lady Grace 7 days a week 364 days a year. Life is for living, no looking back, no regrets, I live every day like it is my last.

As with any new business, the first couple of years were testing, it had its up's and down's. There were times when I had to remind myself I didn’t give up my day job for the money, I gave it up for a better quality of life, to live my life without regret and make every day count. 

Since giving up my day job I have created my own app to help people identify their coastal birds, I have published my first 4 books, become a wildlife photographer, won the National Historic Ships Photographic Competition for 2018 and 2019, and I have studying hard to gain many qualifications to specialise in teaching those with learning difficulties. Lady Grace has taken me down avenues I never anticipated.

In the early part of 2017 I managed to gain the LOtC badge for Lady Grace, which recognises that she is not just a safe venue but also an educational one and is now recognised nationally by all the schools! Over the following couple of years I delved further into gaining qualifications to be able to engage all learning styles and become a much more inclusive venue. I studied hard and eventually gained my Teaching Diploma, Teaching Assistants Diploma Level 2, Complete SEN Diploma Level 2, 3 & 4, the Autism Awareness Diploma, ADHD Diploma, Dyslexia Diploma, British Sign Language Level 1, 2, 3 & 4, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Diploma, Psychology Diploma, The Complete Child Protection & Safeguarding Diploma along with my Health and Social Care Certificate. I like to think that these additional qualifications have made me grow as a person and understand how to reach out to different levels and styles of learning. I have come to realise that there is no such thing as a naughty child or person - it is just an act of frustration that is played out when we are not communicating or teaching in a way that addresses their needs.

I love working on Lady Grace, every day and every trip is a different one, I meet different people and it’s a forever changing scenery with different tidal states and varying birdlife visiting us through the year. Being on the water is a peaceful and soothing retreat for many. It is full of beauty in every direction you turn, so many magical experiences, mystical weather systems and fascinating wildlife and it is this beauty I wish to share with everyone so come and join me today to create your own adventures and special memories.

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