Sea-Fever blog


"Great Encouragement for Seamen" – Then and Now by Peter A. Mello
June 27, 2008, 12:01 pm
Filed under: life, maritime heritage, Mission, storytelling, work

great encouragement for seaman

Back in 1777, Captain John Paul-Jones placed the above advertisement in the New Hampshire Gazette in an effort to recruit sailors for “The Ship Ranger. Seems that the fledgling US Navy was experience recruiting challenges much in the same way that the world’s merchant fleet is experiencing today, but that’s a story for another post.

Any Gentlemen Volunteers who have a Mind to take an agreeable Voyage in this pleasant Season of the Year, may, by entering on board the above Ship Ranger, meet with every Civility they can possibly expect, and for a further Encouragement depend on the first Opportunity being embraced to reward each one agreeable to his Merit.

Jones almost makes it sound more like a vacation than the harsh realities of life aboard a revolutionary war ship.

navy first call poster

The Ship Ranger is long gone but today another active US Navy war ship is in search of a able bodied seamen. According to the Strategy Page, The US Navy is Seeking Sailing Sailors. Candidates must;

  • Be able to handle going up in the rigging.
  • Have capability to give talks and presentations (to museum visitors).
  • Not been in trouble for drinking in the past 36 months, or have had a drunken driving conviction in the past five years.
  • Not have had financial debt or credit) problems in the past 36 months.
  • Have had above average fitness reports in the last 36 months.
  • Not have excessive, or questionable, tattoos.
  • Be in good physical shape and not overweight.
  • Have passed all physical fitness assessments in the past year, and have not failed more than one physical fitness test in the past four years.
  • Lower ranking sailors (E-3 and below) must be unmarried.

Hmmm? No drinking, tattoos or wives! Sailors who can handle going up in the rigging? What happened to our Navy when I was off watch?


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Messing About In Ships Podcast #12 – Special Interview of US Coast Guard Rescue of Sailors Aboard the Yacht Sean Seymour II by Peter A. Mello
February 24, 2008, 12:11 am
Filed under: Leadership, maritime, Mission, work

Lou Vest calendar photo Jan 2008 Heather Knutsen - header

Here is the inspiring interview with the US Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew that saved the lives of three sailors aboard the yacht Sean Seymour II.


File Download:Messing About In Ships 12 – Special Interview

Interviewees:

  • Aviation Survival Technician Second Class Drew D. Dazzo, H-60 Rescue Swimmer
  • Lieutenant Commander Nevada A. Smith, H-60 Aircraft Commander
  • Lieutenant Junior Grade Aaron G. Nelson, H-60 Copilot
  • Aviation Maintenance Technician Second Class Scott D. Higgins, H-60 Flight Mechanic

Final log entry by Jean Pierre de Lutz, owner of Sean Seymour II

Robin Storm blog: Saved from the Angry Atlantic

Watch for future episodes with interviews with the C130 flight crew and the Sean Seymour II captain/owner.

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In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2008 by Peter A. Mello
January 21, 2008, 6:00 am
Filed under: Leadership, life, Mission, Values, Vision

I originally wrote the below post for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2007. Thought I’d repost it again today in honor and celebration of one of America’s greatest leaders.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and in recognition of the holiday last night I reread his Letter from a Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963). I am sure that I must have read it previously in a highschool or college civics course but I more recently became re-acquainted with it when I participated in Aspen Institute’s Executive Seminar last May. If you have not read it or need a refresher like me, you can find online and downloadable versions here.

I believe that King’s letter is an amazing work for many reasons with one of the most important being that it effectively frames the difficult conversation. This is no small feat. Sitting in a jail cell presents a limited range of options for leadership but King quickly responds to the opportunity created by the Alabama clergymen’s public statement (April 12, 1963) directed at him regarding the nonviolent demonstrations taking place in their community. It is a very powerful piece of writing and worth the time it takes to read closely.

When I think of Martin Luther King Jr., I immediately think of the words vision, mission and values. To me King clearly demonstrates the power and importance in connecting these three concepts in order to accomplish what he set out to do. As a leader, King takes advantage of opportunities to communicate his vision, mission and values to wide audiences. His letter from a Birmingham jail may have been written to the Alabama clergymen, but his intended audience was anyone who was concerned about racial injustice in Alabama and across the nation.

To me the jumping off point for all of this in the need to identify the core values that will guide the creation of a vision and the setting of a mission for an organization or cause. In establishing Sea-Fever LLC, and a new nonprofit organization to be called Sea-Changes Foundation, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what core values are important to me. (Sea-Fever LLC’s Core Values.) I will be writing more about Core Values in the future. Please check back in and feel free to join in the conversation.

Finally, it had been a while since I watched Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech (August 28, 1963). Like reading Letter from a Birmingham Jail, I believe it is worth taking the time to watch this video.

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The Privilege of Sailing by Peter A. Mello

(Cross posted in The Tabor Boy Project and the Sea-Fever blog)

Those of us who have sailed on the SSV Tabor Boy are, by nearly anyone’s measure, “privileged.” We were privileged to have been given an opportunity to participate in a unique life changing experience and we took advantage of it. Most of us were also privileged in that we grew up in middle or upper middle class families that could afford to send us to Tabor Academy, a school that offers an incredible education and so many other valuable life forming experiences.

That sailing is often equated with privilege is unfortunate because young people from every socioeconomic background can benefit from participating in the sport. In fact, an effective argument can be made that those less “privileged” would have the most to gain from the experience.

There are few activities that teach young people so many important lessons about life the way sailing does: cause and effect, problem-solving, math and science, teamwork, sportsmanship, respect and much more. Participation in a sail training program elevates many of the social characteristics of sailing and creates a very effective platform for learning about leadership in the process.

In last month’s Cruising World magazine, Kitty Martin wrote a great article about a school approximately 200 miles away from Marion and a much greater distance divide in so many other respects. However, the common thread between the 2 schools is their strong connection to the sea and the incredible power that it has to change young lives. Continue reading



Follow Up Perspective – NC Maritime Museum by Peter A. Mello
April 26, 2007, 9:53 am
Filed under: maritime heritage, Mission, Values, Vision

What Friends are for is a Point of View column in today’s The News & Observer written by David Dubuisson, a 17-year member of the Friends of the Maritime Museum and a member of its board of directors. (Previous posts here, here and here) (North Carolina Maritime Museum)

The column provides the Friends of the Maritime Museum perspective and highlights the challenges engendered in public private partnerships. 

Most importantly, it also demonstrates what a dedicated and passionate group of individuals can do to advance a cause in a community.  Building a strong cultural institution is a collaborative affair. It requires vision, commitment and hard work from diverse interests, all of which the Friends thankfully seem to have in spades. 

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Core Values (Part 1) Martin Luther King Jr. by Peter A. Mello
January 16, 2007, 9:29 am
Filed under: Leadership, Mission, Values, Vision

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and in recognition of the holiday last night I reread his Letter from a Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963). I am sure that I must have read it previously in a highschool or college civics course but I more recently became re-acquainted with it when I participated in Aspen Institute’s Executive Seminar last May. If you have not read it or need a refresher like me, you can find online and downloadable versions here.

I believe that King’s letter is an amazing work for many reasons with one of the most important being that it effectively frames the difficult conversation. This is no small feat. Sitting in a jail cell presents a limited range of options for leadership but King quickly responds to the opportunity created by the Alabama clergymen’s public statement (April 12, 1963) directed at him regarding the nonviolent demonstrations taking place in their community. It is a very powerful piece of writing and worth the time it takes to read closely. Continue reading




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