Britain by Boat: 2 Grumpy Sailors

Britain by Boat: 2 Grumpy Sailors

Series 1 - Episode 3



Senior seadogs Michael Buerk and John Sergeant anchor in Cornwall’s Fowey estuary which, under azure summer skies, feels almost like the Adriatic. Everything unfolds at a leisurely pace, as the lads jump ashore for a shopping trip. It takes Buerk about five minutes to open a plastic bag and buy vegetables to “keep scurvy at bay”.

Back on the boat, Sergeant channels Ernest Hemingway as he battles the local mackerel. He doesn’t catch so much as an old boot – which, in a way, sums this series up. There’s no artificial tension; no manufactured drama. Just two pals having fun on holiday, backed up by some heavenly scenery. And very refreshing it is, too.


Michael Buerk and John Sergeant embark on the third leg of their sea voyage, which sees the former journalists sail around the south Cornish coast, from Fowey to Newlyn. In the historic harbour town of Fowey, the pair take part in a team-building exercise in a kayak, and end up challenging a fellow kayaker to a race. Back on board the Bonaventure, the first challenge is to leave Fowey under sail rather than using the engine. Later, the intrepid sailors hunt down the local RNLI and join them in a rescue drill.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Michael Buerk
Presenter John Sergeant
Executive Producer Natalie von Hurter
Executive Producer Jonathan Stadlen
Series Director Paul Taylor
Documentary Lifestyle