Jordan Brown is hoping his bid for World Snooker Championship glory will be plain sailing.
The Antrim cueman - practice partner of Ulster's World No.4 Mark Allen - is a seasoned flyer but will be taking to the high seas to get to Sheffield for this month's World Championship qualifiers which are crucial to his ambitions in the game.
Brown contested last month's televised Championship League in Milton Keynes, travelling by ferry and road to reach the venue.
"I have travelled everywhere by air in the past but I just feel safer travelling by ferry in the current climate," he explained.
"I will take the ferry from Belfast to Liverpool and then it's not far from there to Sheffield for the World Championship qualifiers," added Brown, who will travel across a couple of days before the action starts to be tested for Covid-19 ahead of taking to the practice tables.
And although a Crucible debut would be a dream for the former Northern Ireland amateur champion, he has more pressing concerns in the early stages at the Institute of Sport in Sheffield where the action gets under way on July 21, with the behind-closed-doors World Championship set to start on July 31 having been moved back from its traditional April/May slot due to the pandemic.
"I need to win my first match to guarantee my tour card for the next two years," Brown said.
"That would give me the opportunity to keep climbing up the rankings and get into the top 64 which would help in terms of getting to the latter stages of tournaments.
"I couldn't be happier. I am living the dream as a professional and I don't want to give that up. Not everyone gets that chance."
Brown's dream has not come easy. Up until a couple of years ago he combined his snooker with working full-time in a petrol station in Antrim. Practice had to be fitted around long days at work, which he admits wasn't always easy to deal with.
I have absolutely no doubt Mark Allen has a World Championship in him. You will not meet a player who is more dedicated. It's only a matter of time until he is world champion.
"There were times where I was working all day and I just didn't feel like practising and would head down to the pub with friends instead. My game suffered because of that," he said.
"But about four years ago I really started dedicating myself. I suppose I had lost belief in myself a bit but then I decided to give it a really good go. I realised that to be successful I would have to put the hours in. A couple of hours here and there, fitted around work, just wasn't enough. But then I started doing five or six hours at a time and started to notice the difference.
"I am lucky enough to have been able to make a living at the game for the last couple of years without having another job. I think it's impossible to work full-time and be a professional snooker player as well, although some players do have other jobs - finances can be tight lower down the rankings.
"The key to making a living in professional snooker is being consistent. There are so many really good players out there that you have to play well all the time. If you are not regularly winning matches then, financially, life is tough.
"To be honest I feel I have underachieved a bit during these two years on the tour so I would like to put that right. I drew with (2015 world champion) Stuart Bingham and Ricky Walden in last month's Championship League to give myself a chance to progress going into my final group game but then didn't capitalise on that.
"These are obviously unprecedented times and the Championship League felt unusual because there were no spectators but it was good to get back out there playing competitively again and good to get TV exposure.
"You get used to it and I feel I adapted pretty well. I enjoyed it but it would be better if spectators were allowed in," added the World No.73, who will face a similar scenario in Sheffield both at the qualifiers and, if he bags three victories, the Crucible as well.
The World Championship has already been hit by a number of withdrawals, several players facing travel difficulties from various parts of the globe, but Brown is satisfied the safety measures put in place by World Snooker are as good as they could possibly be.
"There will be Covid testing and the early matches are shorter than usual to quicken up the tournament. The time between now and going to Sheffield is all about preparation," he said.
Antrim has become something of a professional snooker hotbed, with Brown and Allen recently being joined by Michael Georgiou.
"Michael had been living in London but it was taking him over an hour to get to his nearest club and he came over to Antrim and loved it and is now living here. I have recently moved up to Portrush with my girlfriend but it's no problem getting to Antrim and sometimes I practice in a club in Limavady. That was particularly handy for the Championship League as it meant that since the Gibraltar Open, which was before lockdown, I have only been off the table for a few weeks," said Brown.
The 32-year-old admits that regularly taking on 34-year-old Allen has worked wonders for his game and feels this might just be the year when his fellow Antrim man lands the world title to follow in the footsteps of Ulster legends Alex Higgins and Dennis Taylor.
"Mark is now No.4 in the world, a career best. He is a special talent and I have been blessed over the years to regularly practice with him. The standard of his snooker in practice day in, day out is scary," Brown said.
"I have absolutely no doubt he has a World Championship in him. He showed that by winning the Masters (in 2018). You will not meet a player who is more dedicated. It's only a matter of time until he is world champion.
"The standard at the top of the game is so high. Mark, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, so many outstanding players. But for me the greatest player ever is Ronnie O'Sullivan, who I have yet to come up against.
"I grew up in the 1990s watching the likes of Ronnie and Stephen Hendry. Dennis Taylor was still around then but Alex Higgins was a little bit before my time, though I have seen all his famous matches on YouTube.
"Mark has been an inspiration - he has really helped me improve as a player."
Like Allen, Brown has found that life on the professional tour has its ups and downs.
"I wouldn't change it for the world but you have to make sacrifices. There is a lot of travelling and you spend a lot of time away from family and friends. You are away from home a lot but I think I deal with it quite well," he said.
"Mark and I travel together when we can, it just depends on the schedule. I make sure he pays for the taxis!"
It's a life and a dream that Brown has been chasing from the age of five.
"My dad got me a little snooker table for the house and then things started taking off for me when I started playing in the 147 Club (in Antrim) at about 13 or 14. Practising with Mark there really brought my game on and I made my first century at 15 and my first 147 at 16. So I was improving quickly and turned professional at 20," he said.
Brown stayed in the professional ranks for a year before slipping back into the amateur game. And that's when the fight and determination kicked in to keep going until finally earning his pro card once again two years ago.
"My bosses in the petrol station were always very good to me, giving me time off to play in amateur tournaments all over the place," he said.
Brown finally got back into the big time via Q School, which he found every bit as tough as its famous golfing equivalent.
He said: "Q School is daunting, no doubt about that. You've got something like 200 players going for 12 places on the tour. People are battling for their livelihoods - it's tense."
Just as it will be in Sheffield this month, when Brown intends to set sail for the Crucible.