Britain by Boat: 2 Grumpy Sailors

Britain by Boat: 2 Grumpy Sailors

Series 1 - Episode 4



John Sergeant and Michael Buerk stay in the south west for their final leg, where they’re challenged to sail their cutter without stabilisers – otherwise known as their professional crew, whom they’ve cached in the cabin. “If anyone points and shouts at us, I will give them an Anglo-Saxon sign,” threatens John. He needn’t have worried. The Channel welcomes them with the calmest conditions in years; the biggest drama to unfold being when Michael singes his finger cooking the sausages. Plain sailing, indeed.

Towards the end of the trip, it’s time for reflection. “We were colleagues and distant friends. Now, we’re mates… I suppose,” says Michael. I think he means it as a compliment.


Michael Buerk and John Sergeant embark on the final leg of their sea voyage. Setting out from Falmouth, the duo's craft attracts a pod of dolphins as they cruise towards Salcombe. Back on dry land, the pair head straight to a gin distillery where they are invited to make their own special naval-inspired Bonaventure brew. Next day, as the two cruise into Brixham it is clear that the voyage has been a triumph, allowing the former BBC news colleagues a chance to renew their friendship and rekindle their sense of adventure.

Cast & Crew

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