May 2, 2011 by Crane Wood Stookey
When it comes to engagement, efficiency can be a remarkably poor way of accomplishing things. It may be good for getting specific things done, but for engaging people or offering them ways to grow and learn, efficiency just isn’t very efficient.
On a Nova Scotia Sea School adventure voyage, the food for the teenage crew is kept in watertight plastic buckets. The Sea School’s boat is completely open to the weather, and everything gets wet and stepped on. Read more…
March 27, 2011 by Crane Wood Stookey
Wind whistling in the window screens makes me nervous. When I was a child, in summer my windows were left open for some cool air, and when the first thing I heard in the morning was wind whistling in the screens I knew it was windy but I would have to go sailing in my Optimist Pram anyway, to sailing class or to a race, and I would be frightened. Even before I was fully awake, some part of me would hear that sound and I would open my eyes with fear in the pit of my stomach.
My brother David, 11 years older than I, was a hot shot racing sailor in college. One day when I was about 10 it was so windy that, to my great relief, my sailing class was canceled. Then David said, “Get your pram rigged up, you’re going to learn some heavy weather sailing.” “No way”, I said, over and over. But David Read more…
March 21, 2011 by Crane Wood Stookey
My last post was the analogy of the Rock Tumbler. But how does this analogy actually work?
Captain John Beebe-Center was captain of the schooner HARVEY GAMMAGE when I sailed aboard her as Chief Mate. It was my first job on a sailing ship, and I had a lot to learn, especially about working hard. The HARVEY GAMMAGE was known in those days as the HEAVY DAMAGE. She was old and tired, and lots of things kept breaking. Read more…
December 31, 2010 by Crane Wood Stookey
This is an invitation to you to please tell a success story of being in command, or being commanded, in a useful way. A generous way. An effective way.
Perhaps it’s your own story, perhaps it’s about something you experienced with someone else.
Please share your story in the comments, so we can all be inspired by each other.
December 5, 2010 by Crane Wood Stookey
Tacking a traditional sailing ship is a complicated maneuver. It requires the crew to handle 6 very big sails, releasing them on one side of the ship and pulling them in on the other, in the right order with the right timing and in a hurry as the ship turns.
Most of the time Captain Andy got us ready to tack by calling out the initial command of “Ready about”. Then it was my job to organize the crew for the various tasks. I would say, “You two stand by the foresail sheet, you two to the leeward headsail pins and you three to the windward, you to the main”, and so on. There was a fair bit of shouting across the deck directing each task, and I believed that the smoothness and efficiency of the operation relied on my voice. The crew learned to believe this too. But we learned a more elegant and effective way from Andy’s cap. Read more…