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Left a group, joined a team!

The last few days have seen us undertake a variety of activity. As well as taking in a visit to Stavanger we have progressed our sailing skills and started to think about how this journey has and will change us. Ashore we have visited such cultural icons as Stavanger cathedral and maritime museum, KFC and McDonalds. Obviously different crew members place these in differing orders of significance!!

Earlier today I posed a question to our trainees; “what is the difference between a group and a team?”. We might not be a highly honed crew challenging for the America’s Cup, but we are certainly a crew who have come together in a most remarkable way.  At Jorpeland we played ten pin bowling. But I wouldn’t want you to think that we have been on some type of holiday cruise. Far from it.

Pictures: left a group, right a team.  

None more so than our entry into Skudeshaven which has received wholesome praise from local boat owners at the confidence with which our crew manuovered Swan into a very tight berth. 

 For those not familiar with this, it is not a case of the helmsman and engine doing all the work.   Warps have to be slackened, tightened, paid out, snubbed let go and made off in a very precise order.  Fenders secured and moved by the crew on their own initiative.   Ropes were “made off” (tied up) smartly and coiled down without asking.  Team cohesion in some of the more physical tasks means that they are better able to coordinate action as they hoist sails aloft or trim them to the wind.  There is growing confidence on the wheel and some have either laid Swan alongside or driven off the quay.  Although they might not appreciate it, that is no mean feat for such novice sailors. 

Nor is this confidence confined to sailing; it has transferred to their presentations and writings and willingness to take responsibility for themselves and their own learning and development.

Richard, Skipper


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