Lessons Learnt from Sailing Part 1 – Captain or crew?
Lessons Learnt from Sailing Part 1 – Captain or crew?

As someone who likes to be in control there is one thing I do where I am happy to do as I’m told – which might surprise some people!

It’s sailing.

I love being on a boat, I love the sensation when the sails go up, the engine goes off, the wind takes over and you can really feel the boat move.

Some of my happiest times have been spent sailing around the Hebrides – and that’s not always for the faint-hearted. Storm-bound off Skye, a stormy passage across the Sea of the Hebrides, sheltering from the weather on the west coast of Jura (one of the darkest places I’ve ever been!).

But – I know that on a boat left to myself it would be a disaster. I hope I can make a contribution as part of a crew (I’m a dab hand with the anchor ball!) – but I need someone who really knows what they are doing – someone who is an expert – to make sure we don’t hit disaster. There is so much potential – from visible obstructions to the unseen dangers lurking beneath the water. You need to understand the waters you are sailing in, the boat you are sailing in, to listen to forecasts, assimilate information and make decisions based on so many factors including those beyond your control such as the weather.

I remember on one trip sailing towards the Skye bridge, on a wet and windy day in August, looking at the height of our mast and then at the height of the bridge as we approached and thinking how on earth were we going to get under. But we did – we were in the skilled hands of a skipper who knew what he was doing, and wasn’t taking any risks, either with his crew or his boat.

One of my favourite books as a child was ‘We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea’ by Arthur Ransome, one of the Swallows and Amazons series of books. Through a series of mishaps, the Walker children get swept out to sea on a yacht and end up sailing through the night across the North Sea in a horrendous storm (picking up a kitten on the way and avoiding getting mown down by a ferry by the innovative use of a Woolworths red plastic plate). When they got to Holland they had no charts and didn’t know the waters – but the pilot came aboard and guided them safely into the harbour. Once there, and most fortuitously, they bumped into their father (I know!!) who took charge and sailed them back across the North Sea as they slept below in the cabin, safe in the knowledge someone else was at the helm. Yes, they had managed the outward crossing on their own – but how much easier it was with an expert at the helm!

The point I’m making is that you don’t always have to do it on your own, and sometimes it’s better not to – and that goes for business as much as sailing! Sometimes being in the hands of experts will get you where you want to be with minimum stress and optimum results – and if you’re looking to move your accounts to the cloud then Bridge Financials can be your skipper and your pilot, to help you navigate your way through unfamiliar waters and get you safely to your destination.

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