Today I came across a great blog called MHC at Sea 2007: Mount Holyoke students take to the high seas during January term. It’s a group blog that captures the adventures of a crew of Mount Holyoke College students during a sail training experience onboard the Bark Picton Castle. From their blog:
Thirteen students and Professor Chris Pyle of the Politics Department will book passage on the 300 ton steel barque Picton Castle for a 14-day voyage from Grenada to Martinique, with stops at Cariacou and Bequia. Students will be integrated with the ship’s crew of 16 (on a three-watch system) as sail trainees, and will learn the arts of piloting, seamanship, and tall ship handling, much as sailors did in the late nineteenth century.
This will be a working voyage, not a Caribbean cruise. Trainees will be expected to participate fully in the ship’s operation, working aloft, walking on ropes 80 feet in the sky to set and furl sails, hauling lines on deck, manning the helm, navigating, standing watch, helping in the galley, and doing basic maintenance. Students will also write a running weblog, transmitted daily via satellite phone. Sleeping accommodations are in tiers of narrow bunks; there is no hot water for washing or bathing.
What I find particularly remarkable is that this group of students joined the Picton Castle shortly after Laura Gainey, a member of the vessel’s professional crew, was lost overboard during the transit from their homeport of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to the Caribbean. If you only have time for a few posts, I encourage you to read Laura and Laura in my heart which deal with the loss of a crew member at sea. Continue reading Life’s lessons learned under sail
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 Core Values (Part 1) Martin Luther King Jr.
Today marks the end of the second week of my newest life adventure. After spending more than 25 years in organizations with co-workers, I find launching this solo endeavor to be to be exciting and scary at the same time.
I made the decision to leave my previous position in early November and from then on through to my departure at the end of December I was totally consumed by tying up as many loose ends as I could. This really didn’t leave any time to start the important process of planning for the future. Of course, I did think about things in broad terms but as they say, the devil is in the details. So for the past 2 weeks I have been doing a lot of thinking about what is important to me in life and work. Continue reading Changing Perspective
Today marked the beginning of a new adventure. After 6 exciting, and at times challenging, years leading the American Sail Training Association I needed a change. There were many reasons why I decided now was the time, not the least of which is that I really wanted to have the opportunity to spend more time with family. Joy turned 2 yesterday and Luke will be 4 in a few months; it’s such an exciting time in our house and I did not want to miss it. (Check in with the MattapoisettMellos)
I have launched new company called Sea-Fever LLC, hence the name of the blog. Through Sea-Fever, I will embark on a consulting career focusing initially on the nonprofit sector. I am also working on a few other interesting projects which will be covered in this blog from time to time.
This blog will deal with a wide range of issues that interest me including challenges and opportunities in the nonprofit sector, new media and storytelling. I will also write about leadership which is a topic that has interested me ever since I was a young boy and which will be a significant part of the Sea-Fever program.
Finally, why Sea-Fever? The sidebar has a link to the inspiration which was the classic poem by John Masefield. My life has been incredibly influenced by the sea and sailing and to me Masefield captures the spirit, adventure and enthusiasm that all facets of life deserve.
Welcome aboard. I look forward to our journey together.
“…a star to steer her by”