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Nicky Haslam's 6 favourite sailing memories

Nicky Haslam's 6 favourite sailing memories

5 of 6 5/6

On board classic yacht Talitha

Equally perfect is the Getty family’s magnificent Talitha. The gleaming white and two-yellow-funnelled silhouette of this top classic yacht masks an interior filled with rare maritime art and incunabula found by antique dealer Christopher Gibbs. Victoria, model-trim in a couture rubber diving suit, plunges fearlessly into the violet depth, emerges, towels off and leads the way to a lonely, whitewashed Seljuk basilica shading a far earlier temple’s scattered columns. On leaving Talitha, your tender makes a full circuit of the vessel; above you, the immaculate crew lines the gunwales, saluting. It’s a parting that can’t fail to make one cry.

One summer in Corfu, we looked out to sea and Albania had been blotted out by a movie mogul’s monster. Asked aboard, and stepping off the vertiginous gangplank, our salty sore eyes were met with the sight of a three-storey-high, fully equipped gym, with oiled blond bunnies flexing like muscle-bound mermen. Up several stories, along miles of bland wood corridors, we encountered a child, wandering, lost, who whined: “When are we getting on the boat?” After an hour’s tour, we were ushered into a panoramic saloon. At the far end, dressed for an opening at the Met, was Nora Ephron, drinking martinis.

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