Born and brought up in Hastings where the sea was a perennial backdrop to his life Richard Prior is an adventurer in the true sense; he has motorbiked down to Israel, he has sailed the oceans under sail and he has bought and restored his own craft.
Richard says as a child he spent a lot of time climbing trees in St Helens Woods, imagining himself to be at the top of the mast of a square rigger out at sea.
He says he read all he could about his heroes; Cook, Drake and Nelson and genuinely felt he had been born in the wrong century.
With his best friend Brett he took off on his adventures and when they decided to sail a 42 foot boat across to the West Indies they were not hugely experienced, Richard says: “I remember Brett saying, ‘we’re not experienced enough to sail across the Atlantic’ and I said to him ‘yes Brett but by the time we reach the Canary Islands we will be’.”
On that journey they spent 36 hours in a tropical storm in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean when he says it was a ‘survival’ situation and although terrified he says there was no point getting emotional about what was going on around him. The boat was 1500 miles from the nearest land and the he describes the sea as looking like an alien landscape: “you learn self reliance,” he says calmly.
Earlier this year Richard published a book called Lost Odyssey, it’s a collection of letters he wrote to family and friends and across two podcasts he recounted his experiences at sea and his time spent with the boat that gives the book it’s name ‘Odyssey’
Lost Odyssey is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats and in the following local book shops:
The Bookeeper. Printed Matter, Bookbuster and The Edge Cafe.