About Me

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Life's journey has been varied. As a 30 year career soldier its been geographically, emotionally and intellectually nomadic, at times exciting, sometimes frustrating, its had highs and lows and it has challenged me, sometimes beyond what I thought possible. On the whole I have been lucky. I've developed a reputation for being unconventional, even unorthodox. I've made mistakes, plenty of them. Success and failure have left their marks. I've been able to develop my passions and interests. From the office to the trench, from ocean sailing to Antarctic exploration, from the philosophies of Kurt Hahn to the lyrics of Tom Lewis, and much more besides and between. Now I want to share them.

I am trying to bring meaning and sense to these experiences, learning from the past so as to signpost the future, not just mine but anyone else who might benefit vicariously. This blog, set in Shetland sailing aboard "Swan", a 100 year old ex herring drifter delivering youth development and sail training opportunities for young people, is a living reflection on that journey.

To share it read on . . . .

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Little steps make big steps

Three recalls from previous posts:
  • Frustrating shopping trips with little obviously achieved and time eaten up.  Sometimes a necessary evil and an essential precursor to success.
  • The little issue of the cutlery draw. 
  • Recovering Fred in a simulated MOB exercise.

Now hold those thoughts – or go back and reread them?!

Today three little steps bore fruit; emergency torches housed throughout the vessel,
 we also have a prototype boom crutch 

 I have no idea how it will be received but both Scott and I are delighted that it has reduced deck clutter and made getting about much easier.  I also think it brings additional safety benefits.  I hope that it won’t stumble against the “that’s not how we have done it before” argument.  (Just to be clear I completely understand and support authenticity as a powerful argument in the preservation of the vessel.)


Now for the third; spot the two differences:




Give up?  OK, they are very small but here they are:
Replacing the nuts and bolts with R-clips to hold the stantion posts in their housing might seem like semantics and not worth two-man days of shopping and work with grinders, punches, heavy hammers, socket sets and some cursing. 
And why replace a bespoke shiny rigging bottle screw with a lashing?   

Well, in an emergency we can now rapidly drop the guard rail and stantion posts with a pull of a clip and the slash of a knife. 

Quite useful to say, launch the life rafts or recover a man over board.

So again it’s the little things that are important detail.

Now it’s back to work; I have also discovered that although the fire pumps work, the hose fitting doesn’t connect properly to the pump. . . . .   probably a bath in paraffin will do the trick, that’s the connector not me!!


1 comment:

  1. I love reading this blog Richard...thanks for the extra explainations for none sailors like me