Hi there! My name is Francisco, but everybody calls me Paco. I´m the captain of the wonderful Lagoon 400 catamaran in Ibiza that offered as boat hire Ibiza by CharterAlia.
On this gorgeous catamaran you can visit with me some of the most amazing beaches that I know in Ibiza. I have been asked to write a small introduction about myself so you can get to know your captain a bit. In this page I will explain how my passion for sailing developed and how I ended up living on this beautiful island.
I was born in Casablanca but I grew up in Madrid and although Madrid is landlocked my parents loved the sea and sailing so I spent every holiday on the beach. My parents had a small inflatable dinghy. Fitting it in the small car was always a great challenge. We had to let all the air out so we could fold it to a medium size package. There also needed to be space left for the 25 HP motor. That thing was so heavy that I could never carry it at once to the shore. I had to take breaks to let my arms rest, so getting to the sea always seemed to take forever.
After the dinghy, my parents bought a small sailing boat “El mariachi”. With this boat I discovered that there was a way to sail without having to carry a heavy engine. Sailing became my passion. I fell in love with it because it gave me much more freedom as I wasn’t bound to get back to harbour to refuel. I loved the silence, the awareness that it required of the wind to find the best way to use the wind to move ahead. I was really lucky because my father was a great teacher. He taught me how to knot the ropes, starting with an eye splice and all the basics of sailing. As I gained experience I also gained confidence and I started to sail more on my own. It’s thanks to my parents that I discovered what makes me happy and I´m very grateful that I can live doing what I love.
But it wasn´t always like this, for nearly a decade I forgot about sailing. I still went to the beach but not so much sailing and what had been my passion began to seem less important than some other mundane things. I had this feeling that I was missing something, so when I turned 37, I packed everything and left my office job in Madrid to travel the world.
My first destination was Australia. It was challenging to find a job since I didn’t speak English well, but I managed. I worked in restaurant kitchens, doing the dishes, as a gardener for a local company as a cold call salesman; yes I reinvented myself in every possible way to keep on the road. I hitchhiked, lived in a tent and I had almost nothing but I felt great and more alive than ever. Actually this was not the first time I felt this free. I had felt something similar while sailing but that was such a distant memory that I could not seem to remember at that time. So I carried on till it finally happened. I reencountered my first love for the sea, but she had changed.
Not only was she was more exotic than the beautiful Mediterranean, but there were different animal living in the water. I was deeply in love with this new world, and I wanted to dive deep in it. So I spent all my time at sea. I started to take diving classes, working at diving centres. I had little money but a strong determination to learn how to dive. But I ran out of money, so I needed to go back to Madrid. Here I sold my only belonging, my Ford focus car, and with that money I went to Thailand where I started to study to become a professional diver. This decision brought me another step closer to creating a life that I had long waited for. I became a diver instructor and continued travelling and staying close to my love.
My next destination was Mabul. It’s a tiny island in Malaysia. There is no Internet. There are no cars. It’s impossible to buy a pair of shoes, and you can cross the island in 15 minutes, but you can’t walk too fast because you will walk straight into the sea. I was not planning on staying here for over seven months, but I have to agree with Cousteau that; “the sea, one it cast its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever” and the sea that surrounded Mabul had me enchanted for a while.
From Malaysia I travelled to the Philippines, to the island of Palawan, that became my home for even a longer period. But the spell would eventually also break here and Calypso would let me continue my travelling. For a year and a half, two wooden ships, the Paisubatu II, and Ambai, became my home. I worked on these boats as manager. It was fantastic because we would sail around the Ceram Sea. This gave me the chance to dive at some of the world most beautiful spots, discovering the waters of Sulawesi, Raja Ampat and West Papua.
With more than 3,000 dives in my lungs and many sea miles on my clock life, I was invited to go to Ibiza. Fortunately, the blond haired woman that I had also fallen in love with, decided to join me on this new adventure. I was in Ibiza when I remembered that I used to love sailing. This memory lead me to study how to become a professional captain while working as a dive instructor in Ibiza.
I had no boat of my own, so one day I was sailing when I met a guy named José Zorrilla. He asked me if I wanted to help him sail a Lagoon 380 charter catamaran from Coruña to Huelva and later to Ibiza. On this trip I met José Navas, the owner of this website. We became good friends and we started working together.
Last summer I became the proud captain of the Lagoon 400 catamaran that you can rent to discover the most amazing beaches in Ibiza. I have finally found a way to combine my two passions: sailing and diving. And the best thing is that I get to share this with amazing people. I am very happy to welcome you on board as the captain of this amazing catamaran Lagoon 400.