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Take The Helm

By wpdev January 16, 2012

If you have ever been a passenger on a ferry, cruise ship, or yacht you probably found yourself happily trusting the captain of the vessel to deliver you to your destination safely and on time.  Though you may have imagined the excitement of being a captain who drives a big boat around and commands a faithful crew, have you ever considered how much responsibility and complexity also comes with the title?  Better yet, have you ever considered that you (yes, you!) could one day give up the carefree life of a mere passenger and truly take ownership for running a boat and her crew?  What if your “one day” could happen this summer?


At Sail Caribbean, we know that going for a boat ride is fun, but the sense of adventure comes from actually sailing the boat yourself!  Everything about our teen summer adventures is hands-on, experiential learning starting from the very first day out on the water.  Each day, one member of your crew will rotate into the greatly anticipated position of ‘Skipper of the Day.’  You’ll get a taste of most of the duties a captain is responsible for, and steering the boat is only one small aspect of your job description that day!


Anyone can learn to sail, it just takes practice – and the same is true of developing leadership skills.  When it’s your turn to be Skipper it’s like practicing being a real captain!  You get to implement your own style for motivating and organizing your crew to keep the boat ship-shape and on schedule.  Your job is an important and challenging one, and you will need lots of help from the rest of your crew to make the day a success!  You wake up to a beautiful Caribbean morning, make sure breakfast is being prepared, check the engines with your Captain (staff), check in with your Navigator to see where you are going next, and motivate your crew to prepare the boat for departure and a day of sailing and adventure!  Throughout the day, you will take turns standing at the helm, but when it’s time to raise or lower sails, moor, anchor, or dock – you’ll be leading the way!  Whether you are organizing an afternoon snorkel or making sure your crew is heading to the beach on time for the dance party, you will be proud of yourself and your team for making the day happen.


Today you will become more confident as a sailor and as a leader; you will face many small challenges that make you realize how much you rely on your crew to communicate clearly and be lively on their feet during maneuvers.  Tomorrow you will notice more than ever when you are needed and work hard to help the new Skipper keep things moving right along.  But for now, this is your day.  The hatches are battened down, everyone is ready in their places, it’s time to raise the anchor and you know what to do – go ahead!  Make the call and steer us out to open water!

What does leadership mean to you?  What are some qualities shared by good leaders you have encountered?  Have you experienced what it’s like to be a leader in any other settings?  Please comment below and share your thoughts!

The greatest challenge during the program was staying entertained during the quarantine period. Not being able to leave your boat and not having a phone, which was a crutch against boredom, it was difficult at first to stay entertained.