I first sailed to Bermuda when I was 14 years old. It was a pretty significant milestone in my life. From what I can remember of it today, more three decades later, it was also a significant accomplishment, psychologically, emotionally and physically. Of course, I was on a 128′ tall ship with 20 other adolescents and there was also this other little factor that the ship was under the command of a master mariner.
This morning, Mike Perham, a 17 year old Briton, became the youngest person to solo circumnavigate the globe. Mike’s prior experience included crossing the Atlantic at the age of 14. Here’s a BBC video/audio report upon Mike’s arrival this morning.
In yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, Pete Thomas wrote an interesting article titled More Teens Choose High-Seas Journeys. A more accurate title for the article might have been Younger Teens Choose High-Seas Journeys as the race today is less about who will be the fastest around the globe but rather who will be the youngest.
While I find it difficult to make a definitive statement with an absolute age on this controversy, it does seem to be getting a little ridiculous. I guess there will always be 2 schools of thought about these types of things with freedom of choice on one side and youth competency and parental responsibility on the other. Mankind has always been designed to push the limits, whatever they might be.
There’s an interesting conversation over at the Free Range Kids blog that you should check out if you are at all interested in this controversy. And from a slightly different perspective, check out the comments on BoingBoing.
Here are the websites of the youth sailors so you can read their own words about their adventures.
Just over a month ago I wrote a post about the loss of an American sailing icon, Walter Cronkite, and tonight it’s sad to think about the loss of another, Senator Edward Kennedy.
The above photo was taken in 2004 aboard the schooner Aurora in Newport, RI when I was executive director of the American Sail Training Association. We arranged a morning sail for a youth group from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Center and invited our local Congressman Patrick Kennedy to experience sail training first hand. Without advance notice Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy showed up at the dock too. He came aboard to meet the young people and share his enthusiasm and passion for sailing. As we departed the harbor, he sailed passed us at the helm of his beautiful schooner Mya.
Over the years I had several occasions to meet with the Senator and every time impressed me more. They say this about all great leaders, but when you were in his presence you really felt that he was totally focused on you and what you had to say. Of course, our brief meetings were always about tall ships and sailing, topics that were very important to him. As a student of leadership, I often reflect back on my very short, yet impactful experiences with the Senator and am grateful that I had the opportunity to spend time with him.
Today’s Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog has an amazing series of photos from the Volvo Ocean Race which recently made a port stop in Beantown. The above photo by Oskar Kihlborg show navigator Jules Salters’ (UK) son Fred ready to tie daddy’s boat to the dock as he arrives in Boston harbor. Check out all of the great photos. From the Boston Globe:
The 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race has arrived in Boston Harbor. Boston is the 6th port city for the eight teams which will race around the globe for nine months over 37,000 nautical miles split into 10 legs. The ships they sail are Volvo Open 70 class racing yachts, 21.5 meters (70.5 feet) long, manned by a crew of 11. While the ships are in port, they hold in-port races as well as hosting events and entertainment for local residents. Tomorrow (Saturday, May 9th), the fleet will hold its in-port race in Boston Harbor, and later, on May 16th, they will depart for leg 7 of the race, to Galway, Ireland, concluding the race in St. Petersburg, Russia in late June. Oskar Kihlborg, team photographer for Ericsson Racing with nearly 15 years experience as a sailing photographer has been kind enough to share the following photos with us.
|Share this post :|
The popular and always entertaining Proper Course blog has challenged sailing bloggers to submit their best 2008 posts. (Simply The Best) Although I am a sailor and do blog, technically Sea-Fever is not a “sailing” blog. But what the heck, maybe he won’t notice.
With 320 posts passing under the keel in 2008, the task of identifying my “best” was a bit daunting. There had to be a few worthwhile in the flotsam and jetsam of words that flow through this blog each week. I was tempted to submit my last post titled Sea(cret) Santa (4 Days Left): Sexy Women of Maritime Calendar because it seemed to be one of the more popular ones, especially among my saltiest readers.
In the end, I decided it was more appropriate to go with my “favorite” post because I felt the only honest judge of what’s “best” would be someone other than me. (Like Sea-Fever readers, perhaps?)
So my favorite post was Richard Branson Answers My Questions About Adventure Sailing and Business Part of the contest is to answer “Why this post is simply the best?” in 30 words so here it is:
This post is simply the best because it brought together all of my passions: sailing, leadership and social media. Sir Richard Branson answered my Twittered questions about sailing and leadership via audio and that was pretty cool!
Since this is my own blog, I can take more than 30 words. This post was really a convergence of my personal and professional interests and passions. It covered Sir Richard Branson failed attempt at setting the Transatlantic single hull sailing crossing record with his daughter and son aboard the yacht Virgin Money.
Richard Branson is definitely one of the more interesting global corporate leaders in the world today. He projects enthusiasm and optimism in nearly anything he undertakes. He embodies Jim Collins Good to Great principle of establishing “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” (BHAGs) and often but not always is successful in achieving them. He’s a confident risk taker who demonstrates resiliency when things don’t go as planned. It was a thrill to be able to have a short social media exchange with him.
The Transatlantic crossing sailing record for a mono-hull was held by the schooner Atlantic for over 100 years until it was smashed in October 2003 by Mari-Cha IV with a passage of 6 days 17 hours 52 minutes and 39 seconds. In order, to beat Mari-Cha IV, Virgin Money had to pull out all the stops and sail in challenging conditions at the front end of major weather system. It’s a high stakes battle between engineering technology, human intelligence and mother nature.
I am fascinated by how emerging technologies have an impact on the way we communicate and interact today. I’m particularly interested in how leaders use these technologies to distribute messages to advance their vision or cause. Virgin Money was posting video to YouTube in the middle of their challenge of the transatlantic crossing record. In addition, Richard Branson actually began using Twitter from the vessel to update followers on their progress and after turning back he sent out a call for questions about the adventure. I sent him 3 questions which he answered via audio comments posted to his blog dispelling any thought that he might have delegated this to a PR hack or assistant. Listen here.
Pure and simple, this was my favorite post because it brought together leadership, sailing and social media and like I said earlier, that was pretty cool!
Tillerman’s challenge was a great catalyst to review my past year’s blogging efforts, think about what worked, what didn’t and how to chart a Proper Course for 2009. Thanks!
Thanks to all of the loyal Sea-Fever readers for your support in 2008. I wish you and your families a Happy, Healthy, Safe and Successful 2009!
Technorati tags: Proper Course, Tillerman, sailing, blogs, Richard Branson, Virgin Money, leadership, social media
|Share this post :|
Several days ago I posted about Virgin Money’s failed attempt to set the transatlantic crossing record under sail. Interestingly Sir Richard Branson was taking questions about this adventure via his blog, Richard Branson: Business Stripped Bare, and Twitter. Along with 20 other people, I submitted 3 questions via both media channels and Sir Richard answered 2 of them directly and all 3 in 2 his responses. Here they are:
- How do you and the crew feel being outward bound ahead of a storm that causes most other mariners to look for safe refuge?
- How do you balance the exhilaration with the concern about undertaking this type of high risk adventure with your son and daughter knowing that if something catastrophic happened to the boat there would be slight chance of rescue in the weather in which you choose/have to sail?
- How does Virgin get away with you undertaking these high risk adventures when Apple stock goes in the tank when Steve Jobs sneezes?
|Share this post :|