can we help
+44(0)1983 296060
+1 757-788-8872
tell me moreJoin a rally


Gitana - That Mr.Anderson is the sound of inevitability

So Day 14 of a big trip - we know it's big, we're all aware it's a big
trip... it's an ocean passage - no-one under sells these things. None of
us is under any illusion it's anything but. Our friends and families feel
the same.

It's bigger than anything any of us has done before, we've all had fears
and concerns before departure, we've all got our problem solving hats on
and we've tried every
day to give it that little something extra to make it unique to us.
Whether it's Dave and the fish, Des and his life story - really, everyone
should talk to Des at some point about somewhere in the world, Mike with
his 'everything' skills - seriously this guy can solve anything you put in
front of him and James with his fish filleting prowess and years at sea.

It's our journey, I keep saying 'together', it should be together. Just
like Mr Smith in the Matrix, 'that, Mr Anderson, is the sound of
inevitability', inevitably after a period in close quarters niggles will
start to appear but there is a quick an easy solution! Keep conversations
open and honest. This is a TPA policy I work with and I love. At work, I
never bottle things away, I will always voice my concerns, but the very
best way is rather than gripe about all the issues you can and getting
bogged down with all the attitude of Marvin, the manically depressed robot
from 'Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy', present solutions to the
you have. That constructive comms will never be unwelcome.

No single person can or should shoulder every task on a boat - unless you
decide that you want to be a solo round the world sailor, and if you do,
don't blame everyone else for the button that didn't work, the tape that
was the wrong size - every responsibility should be part of the art of
support, delegation is paramount on a trip like this, as is trust that the
others around you are competent, skilled and willing to work hard for no
financial reward, just the emotional ones of completing something so

If communication routes remain open - there are no grey areas, there are
no elephants in the room. Those grey areas and elephants create
unnecessary stress - we all see it in the work place. Stress can be
radically reduced by sharing what you may feel is a burden, rather than
getting a s**t on and taking it out on everyone who surrounds you without
even trying to listen to 'glass half full' options and solutions.

But, do you know the mark of real success is on something like this?
The 1st place trophy to dine on for ever and a day? Nope, although that's
an amazing thing we'd all like.
The number miles you clocked up on your watch? Nope!
The maximum speed you achieved on your crossing? No, but that is still
kudos to the boat and Dave still claims Poppy's 12.4kts
Getting there is the shortage possible time with no regard for the boat?
Hell no
Getting there and never wanting to see the crew ever again? Definitely no.
Getting there in one piece, together, saying 'hell, we just did that' Yes,
yes, yes (in as many Meg Ryan yelps as you can muster without people
looking at you like you're a twisted individual).

We know we need to be self-sufficient, we're on a boat in the middle of
the Ocean... so we have more tins than the war ration panic monsters of
rural England, so much Spam/ corned beef (*gags), more pre-mix sachets
than you could send to a food bank over 6 months and an army of biscuit
rations for Des (sadly no more ginger nuts though).

We know that nothing is problem free so there's the risk the sails will
the ropes will part, the boat will roll, the engine might not play ball,
the water maker may not perform. We've seen the water makers had issues
which is why we haven't showered some of us for 5 days - Dave took a
bucket driven salt shower on deck yesterday. We appreciate we're running
the batteries down because we need a fridge, autohelm and navigation
facilities - so we turn the lights off where we can and reduce what we're
charging when we can. We know we're sailing 24/7 for nearly 3 weeks, this
is the ARC it involves sailing on the trade winds for 3 weeks in largely
the same sail configuration... so we have to be mindful of chafe and
ensure we are not creating unnecessary damage. We all know this and act
on it accordingly.

Equally 2/5 of the crew have owned boats for decades, 3/5 of the crew have
worked professionally in a seagoing industry, 5/5 of the crew are
experienced sailors with thousands of miles worth of experience - so we're
in this together, we've got the skills, so let's use them and do this

So from a journey through film references - there's a moral to this blog.

It's inevitable that human relationships will become fraught from time to
time, it's inevitable that things won't go to plan from time to time.
BUT, it's about how you handle plan B, it's about how you handle people,
it's about making plans and decisions together as they affect everyone.

So, rid yourselves of the elephants in the room, turn the glass to half
full and rather than looking for stressful situations, look to manage the
possibilities. It's in the language we use, the way we interact and the
impact we have on those around us.

Remember - aim for optimistic realism.

SY Gitana

Previous | Next