Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".






Monday, 25 August 2014

The Neilson beach team at messini

Oh what it must be to be twenty something, fit, good looking, easy going and skilled. I remember those days, from a long time ago. I have had the immense privilege to meet some twenty something's who are an immense credit to the Neilson company. Their humour, passion, skill, coaching abilities, enthusiasm for life shine through daily. They are people people with an extraordinary set of talents, aptitudes, hopes, dreams and ambitions. They work hard, play hard and never tire of providing an excellent service.

My coaching and training this week has been exemplary......and I know what I am talking about.......education and training is my profession, and forgive me for my lack of modesty, I am rather good at it. Consequently I know excellence when I see it. The sheer enthusiasm , encouragement and 'have a go' mentality pervades the entire hotel but is best seen on the beach. 

This week I have learned to drive a powerboat to a pretty exacting standard under the watchful eye of a very talented seaman. In a few weeks this man will be off to an internship and taking part in the ARC transatlantic race. Amassing his own qualifications, from ocean master to PADI dive certificates, his dedication,  commitment and ambition is infectious.  His standards and attention to detail are exacting. My learning curve has been huge each day as we do, redo, and redo again manoeuvres until I can do them instinctively. I like being challenged! When he has finished with me in the morning, the afternoon team take over. 

My two level two team leaders are cheerful, optimistic, unstintingly encouraging and enthusiastic. Their enthusiasm shines through. Today, in the lightest of winds, I got to move a laser upwind by standing upright and using my balance to induce a rocking motion. Combining it with pushing and pulling the sails in and out to coincide with downward and upward rolls, I made progress to windward. Extraordinary. Can't wait to try it in Arwen when an appropriate opportunity arises. Both highly skilled, their teaching manner is casual but exacting. RYA standards are RYA standards and are exemplified and adhered to strictly. It has been a joy working with these three people. 

To watch the amazing teamwork on the beach is a privilege. Safety boats update safety watch tower and visa versa. The launch and recovery teams work hand in hand with training crew and safety boats. Everything runs like clockwork under the watchful gaze of the beach boss. And he is genuinely impressive. It is easy to tell he has a deep, deep love of the sea and boats; of the pride he has in his family and their connection to the sea in my part of the world. It was a humbling experience talking to him, an extraordinary twenty seven/eight year old , or so, who shouldered the responsibilities of the largest dinghy beach operation in the med, with care, ease, thoughtfulness and an eye to everyone's well being. 

From the lady off to do her masters at the end of the season to the man who had previously coached a national sailing team out in SE Asia and was as yet unsure what he was going onto next, there was not a single member of that beach team I met this week, who I wouldn't have hesitated to employ when I was running expeditions overseas. It has been an immense privilege learning from all of them. I wish them success in their endeavours and plans.

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