Who Am I And What Do I Do?

On the surface people might think that as a captain I navigate a sailing ship from A to B having prepared the vessel with fuel, food, water, maintenance and repairs; that I teach trainees everything to do with being a full crew member on an ocean going voyage or coastal sail.

But underneath what I am really doing is team building to create relationships where trust is built to work closely together and so that people may trust to share their darkest secrets from the depths of their soul. In short I am changing lives for the better sometimes very dramatically. When people are free of constraining baggage built up from their past, they can share openly and readily face a new future.

In more recent years my role has become more of a consultant advising ship owners and managers how to set up new sail-training missions, help them decide on their target clients or how to find funding or  to expand existing missions and solve problems including avoiding dangers or risking possible disasters.

It is important that managers feel free to choose their options even if this is against my advice provided they take responsibility for the outcome. There is nothing worse than someone else’s decision causing trouble which I must resolve. However I would still support them as best I can (but may reserve the right to say ‘I told you so‘ when it all goes wrong!).

One seemingly common problem today is that when a person makes a mistake the resulting disapproval is interpreted as ‘offensive’ or even ‘hate’. They have great difficulty separating what they do from who they are. This creates all sorts of problems and antagonism including attacks on Freedom of Speech.

One helpful analogy is when a father advises or disciplines his son. The father’s motivation is because he loves his son and does not want him to do something stupid, dangerous or risking a disaster. This is not ‘hate’ but love.


A response to those that fear refugees entering their country: –

  • Perhaps some refugees are economic migrants (as though that is a dreadful sin).
  • Perhaps some might take a job in your country.
  • Perhaps some might lower the pay rates.
  • Perhaps some might claim benefits.
  • Perhaps a very few might be terrorists because that is how they said they would infiltrate.

But what about those who have seen their neighbours killed by barrel bombs? What about those who saw children beheaded? What about those fleeing families who had everything taken from them but the clothes they stood up in? What about those who could no longer bear hearing their children crying during bombing every night? What about those who paid €2000 to be crammed into a tiny open boat with no room even to sit? What about those who can’t swim washed up on a shore in the middle of the night clambering over seaweed strewn rocks who could not save all their children? What about those who arrive having had no food or water for days even weeks?

When you see a small child draw a picture of a happy family scene followed by a picture of aircraft with bombs falling, bodies with limbs missing, pools of blood and faces with tears, could you turn your back on them? Really, could you?