What Dave is up to, and working on, right now (March 2023).


  • working as a cognitive coach to a couple of clients.
  • supporting a couple of research projects and companies around sustainability.
  • thinking and writing-for-myself about intuition, how we think, .
  • Over the next 5-10 years I won't be working more than 20 hours a week. I take seriously the adage that my kids will only be young once, and note the tears in the eyes of retired "successful" people who see how my family live up close. But, I want to contribute to something bigger, which is why this website exists now, to let the others find me.

Mostly, I'm living: loving, playing, exploring, helping, talking. Mostly with my wife and three growing boys aboard our catamaran-home.

  • Currently we're sailing the islands of Belize. Soon we'll be heading East, depending on the winds either to the Dominican Republic or the Bahamas. Maybe a brief visit to the BVIs, then crossing the Atlantic back to Europe via the Azores some time in May/June...

Back story

I live with my wife and three boys on a sailing catamaran, simply and happily. Currently the boat can be found anchored somewhere in Belize. In 12 months, we'll likely have sailed back and be in the United Kingdom visiting our families for a few months. For a little of our sailing history, see our blog, (mostly for family and friends).

Over the past six years we have sailed from the UK to here, welcoming our third son along the way. The whole experience has been life-changing, or at least life-reinforcing. Particularly crossing an ocean. There’s something about the utter-silence of a still afternoon 10 days into an ocean-crossing and the knowledge that there’s likely nobody except your family within several hundred miles, that centers you in the present in a way most people will never experience. And fills you with awe and wonder.

Before we sought the freedom of the open ocean I held a wonderful academic job at Warwick University in the UK, as Director of Undergraduate Studies for Global Sustainable Development. My passion as an academic was for bringing a range of different ways of thinking to bear on problems, and for sharing that diversity of thought with my students. I wanted to tackle the innumerable and interconnected problems surrounding sustainability, and what better way to do this than through a cohort of engaged students?

I intended to go back to Warwick after a two-year family sabbatical sailing. Perhaps that was self-delusion, or perhaps the intervening years changed our priorities. Either way, our family won't be settling into a conventional lifestyle again. So, in early 2019 I set up a profile on Upwork, wondering if I could scratch a living as a remote researcher - we don't need a lot of cash (by UK standards) to live well. My first client was a guy called Rich Feller, who once wrote a book called Knowledge Nomads and the Nervously Employed: Workplace Change & Courageous Career Choices. I laughed a little at that coincidence.

A couple of weeks later, I resigned from the academic role. A few months later, I was saying no to work and raising my rates. My clients since have ranged across biotech, relationship coaching, AI, education, DeFi, agriculture/aquaculture, transport and plenty of other areas. Recently, people working in sustainability have started to find me, which has been wonderful.

A few clients who hired me for as a researcher in 2019/20 kept me on for... well... we didn't know what to call it, but the relationships have lasted to date. "Friend, therapist, coach" is one suggestion. "The guy who lives on a boat" another. I've been calling it cognitive coaching.

In 2020, I stopped the research, and had time alongside coaching to start writing online and playing around with Youtube videos and on Twitter and LinkedIN. Experimenting with what felt good, and what didn't.

I first mulled over expanding one aspect of my coaching - the more intellectual side, helping people organize, structure and develop their thoughts. Market-testing for went well, but after efforts to systematize and hire other coaches, it didn't feel like the start of a fun, positive-sum professional trajectory. So that stopped.

In 2021 I was developing a course, Train Your Intuition, and writing a book, Deep Life, to share some of what I do as a coach and how I think. Both were sold to a few wonderful people. The course was almost ready, and the book was with Beta readers when I became ill with covid. They remain on pause; the course in particular feels like the start of something fun that fits into the long-term contribution I want to make outside of my little circle. I'll be getting back to that.


From February to August/October 2022 I was "suffering" from long-COVID. Except, suffering isn't really the word as my experience of life was great (not without frustrations or challenges, but great), just with constraints. In March and April even coaching clients were mostly cancelled, all other work stopped; I was intermittently present with my family, but not as I'd like.

We spent May through August sailing around Belize and its barrier reef. I spent a lot of time resting and recovering while my wife and the kids were snorkeling and playing on the pristine beaches. 90 minute coaching calls once or twice a week were enough to almost cover our costs, which is fortunate as that's all the energy I wanted to put to "work" for a time.

In September we returned to Guatemala to avoid the worst of hurricane season and give a boatyard a chance to fix a mistake they made last year. I started to take on some research projects again to make some money (we do need to eat, sometimes wear clothes, and our boat needs maintaining). And to test my energy levels by working more than three hours a week for the first time in months.

I last fell asleep reading to the children in August '22, and by November could chase them around a water-assault-course for a few hours without spending the next couple of days essentially useless. There was spare energy for projects on the boat, building a sailing dinghy, and family outings. By December I was back to working a "full" week (15 hours, sometimes 20) without energy impacting my quality of life. Brain fog is a thing of the past, though some other changes persist.

In early 2023 my professional time remained focused on research, which is, compared to coaching and education, low-stakes low-energy work. It's been good, and my mind has started to turn itself towards coaching and education once again. So, I'll orient to that over the coming months, hence this update.