Performance Review

For the purposes of this story I’ll call him Simon. He didn’t really have much respect for ‘da management’. He was a bright capable guy, who had a vociferous opinion on most things and could – I believe – have been difficult to manage at times. He also had a wildly subversive sense of humour. Put these character traits together and you have a perfect storm.

His 6 monthly ‘chat’ about how things were going at work was coming up. Simon wasn’t the happiest of bunnies and he was keen to get his point across.

That morning he came down to breakfast (a whole gang of us worked at an outdoor residential centre….this is back in the day). He was proudly wearing a millinery hand crafted delight on his head. Crown like but with drooping Deputy Dawg ears. The main material used in the manufacture of this contraption was tin foil.

The conversation went something like this. ‘Morning Simon, nice hat. Is it today you’ve got your performance review?’

“Yes”, he replied with glee, “that’s why I made the hat. It’s my bull shit deflector.” At which point he pulled a string and the deputy dawg ears shot up vertically to demonstrate its purpose. Just brilliant and so Simon. We all just fell about and what was even better, he wore the hat to his performance review meeting. I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall.

Why tell this story? Other than it’s a great tale. I was thinking about how things have panned out for us over the past four years. Admittedly, it’s a fairly tenuous link as stories go. However, it’s 4 years to the day that we locked the door at 2 Mount Pleasant and swapped indoor space, a washing machine and easy access to day to day living for a forty three foot floating home with the potential to cruise the oceans.

Our sketchy plan was always New Zealand. We’ve been distracted along the way. We had no intentions of going to Bermuda or the East Coast of the States or Nova Scotia or Newfoundland or the Bahamas or Jamaica. There’s a saying that we’ve learnt from other boaters which states that any boat plans are written in sand. I’m super glad we did visit these places though. The people we’ve met and the friends we’ve made, is more reward than we could have dreamt of.

Today finds us on a relatively calm sea heading towards a point 82 miles away. It a cross on the chart plotter, just north of Darwin Island, Galápagos. We’ve psychologically broken this trip down into sections. Get out of Panama Bay, get to the Galápagos, cross the doldrums and the equator. Etc. Distance to go to Nuku Hiva is 3014 miles. Distance covered since Isla Contadora, Panama is around 900. It’s hard to tell with all our zig zagging.

Our New Zealand plan drifts closer. Time to assess our performance when we eventually get there. If indeed it even matters. In the meantime, I have time to ponder new millinery possibilities.

4 thoughts on “Performance Review

  1. biddysmum says:

    Hi Helen and Dave,Just to say that Brian and I loving the blogs you are writing and read them avidly, it makes us think and remember our sailing days of 30 years ago! All very tame of course and local to the south coast and France! definitely not sure we could cope with 4000 miles straight off. Canoeing a few miles up river sadly seems to be our limit these days! Goodness what amazing memories you’ll have. Keep the blogs coming, safe sailing, best wishes, Judy and Brian. P S attaching Biddy and boys paddle boarding.


    • grace of longstone says:

      Thanks for dropping us a line Judy. It’s lovely to hear from you. Biddy lets me know how you and Brian are doing occasionally when we chat. Canoeing a few miles down the river still sounds fun to me.
      The blog has proved more enjoyable and fun to write than I ever imagined. I try to write a little story rather than just talking sailing stuff as our families and many friends don’t sail and it would get tedious for them pretty quickly. One day in the future, my plan is to use a website to get it printed up so we have a book of our adventures. All good here mid Pacific. Or mid specific as Ollie calls it.


  2. mostlybyboat says:

    Love the story! So glad you two are on the way. You certainly got out of here at the right time!!!

    Wish we were heading to New Zealand with you. It is insane here…

    Fair winds and only good stories to tell! Lillian and George


    • grace of longstone says:

      Whoa. Great to hear from you guys! Thanks for tracking us down. Not sure why but we had no contact details for you. We often chat about those special crazy Bluffton days. You can’t buy that sort of an experience. What a truly amazing group of people. And all focused around your lovely house on the water. The good ship Grace looks after us well and we’re almost half way to Nuku Hiva. Trucking along this morning at 8.4 knots. Dave catching up on some sleep.


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