Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work – roles on board

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work ~ Aristotle

I was asked by the Skipper how I felt about blood and needles before being offered the role of on-board medic.

And before any of you who know me panic, especially my husband for whom an injection in the rear end, by me, resulted in the most whopping bruise due to the fact that I just couldn’t stop laughing. I will simply be the one taking on the training to learn how to organise the medical kit on board, including ensuring the stash of morphine remains safe as well as making sure we correctly record any accidents on board.

I can hear your sighs of relief from here. In all honesty though I think the fact that my three children have survived to adulthood (well nearly) having experienced appendicitis, broken limbs, fevers, vomiting and every machination of first aid issues – I would really be ok.

The other role that I’ll be taking on involves ensuring that our mandatory reporting is completed, from the blogs we have to do as a crew to the customs and immigration documentation upon arrival as well as keeping track of important crew dates such as birthdays. It’s called Chief of Staff which sounds glamorous although I think in reality it’s administration in lumpy, wet conditions… it’ll remind me of a regular day in the office 🙂

The rest of the crew roles have been allocated amongst the round the world crew, mainly so that we can attend the training and then explain to our crew members throughout the race how to do certain tasks.

I am in awe of the Victualling (pronounced Vitalling) team. Those guys will be responsible for ensuring we’re well fed and don’t run out of toilet tissue – not to mention wet wipes. As well as remembering cake mix for birthdays and special occasions.

We have a Chief Engineer who’ll need to know everything from plumbing to electrics; the Chief Bosun who’s responsible for our boat being in tip top condition all the way through the race.

The sail making team who will no doubt have a lot of work in some incredibly difficult conditions. Perhaps my ability to sew a bear suit for my 5 year old will come in handy. Although I’m not sure a pair of ears or paws in the middle of the Spinnaker will go down well.

We have a safety officer and rigger – the rigger is usually the young fearless character who’ll be permanently in harness ready to go up the mast or out on the pole in manic conditions who’s responsible for the daily checks that ensure the safety of our rig – watching out for chafe!

There’s the media crew; social media guru; stop-over manager and social secretary all ensuring our crew knows what’s going on and when, including welcoming the new crew members, ensuring the world knows how we’re doing and capturing our adventure in words and pictures.

The treasurer has the dubious task of managing the funds that we’ve only just found out we need to contribute to. Basically we’re loaned the boat and anything we need thereafter is funded by us. That fact wouldn’t have stopped me taking part but it would’ve been nice to know up front. And the questions about what we “need” versus what we’d like all end with the same question: “will it make the boat go faster?”

Mother watch like never seen before - Bill & Mark in action

Mother watch like never seen before – Bill & Mark in action

The navigator’s role goes without saying along with that of watch leaders and mothers. I can hear some of you… I really can: “Mother” – what’s with that in the 21st century? I won’t go into the terminology, suffice to say that we all get a go. It’s about cooking and cleaning (yep, super stereotypical).

And the coxswains all superbly trained by the Clipper organisation to ensure that if anything happens to our Skipper, they could safely and calmly take charge of the boat and get us to a safe haven.

55 days until the training begins…

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life ~ Confucius


3 thoughts on “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work – roles on board

  1. Starbucks Man

    Remember the discussion over lunch in Lucerne? “I think I’m going to be able to learn a lot from this which I will be able to apply in the work place”.
    Starting now Alysoun!
    Interesting to read all the different jobs on board, although clearly Chief of Staff is the most important! And rightly so!
    Fascinating how, in my opinion, all seem to have a direct equivalent in the work place. And equally, although each individual has their own specific job, just as in business, the overall success of the team will only be through the combination of each individual successfully performing their job on a daily basis.
    And talking of the critical question, “will it make the boat go faster”, can I recommend “Will it Make the Boat Go Faster?: Olympic-winning Strategies for Everyday Success by Harriet Beveridge and Ben Hunt-Davis”. You’ve just got time to get that read before you go, can’t imagine you’ve got much else on before then…


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