The Triton


Uncertainty is here to stay in the life of yacht crew


I recently had a conversation with a crew member of a private yacht who was having some difficulty with the yacht’s unclear itinerary. When she spoke with the captain about it, he had only limited information from the owner.

Welcome to yachting — and to life — where uncertainty is not unusual. It’s something we know conceptually but sometimes have difficulty accepting. It can get frustrating when we don’t get all the answers or all the informatoin we think we need.

One of the reasons for this frustration is that we don’t get the secure feeling we desire. When there is a lot of uncertainty there can be a lot of insecurity and that makes us uncomfortable.

So, for help in dealing with uncertainty, it’s important to remind ourselves of that inescapable fact of life: Life is filled with uncertainty. That will never change so we might want to get as comfy as we can with that fact.

That being said, there are times when information is definitely needed for planning purposes.  The captain and crew need to know when a yacht is departing in order to prepare. There are times when everyone cannot be in the dark, yet there are also times when you just have to accept things the way they are. Every experienced yachtie knows being adaptable is fairly important in their day-to-day activities. Plans change, owners change their minds, charter guests change their minds, and crew need to be able to roll with it.

This isn’t always easy but having a healthy attitude about it all is imperative.

Sometimes it’s nice to step away from big-picture thinking. First of all, that big picture can change, right? Also, sometimes it just feels good to operate in the present, taking care of today, keeping your focus there and just enjoying that.

I have a coaching client who keeps an appreciation journal. Every morning, she writes down the things and people she appreciates. This works well for her. She says it puts her in a positive, appreciative state of mind each day. She also says she feels it when she doesn’t do it for a few days. Things start to feel a bit off and her attitude can start to slip from that healthy place of gratitude and appreciation.

This approach might not work for everyone but if it resonates with you at all, you may want to give it a try. The bonus is that operating from a place of gratitude and appreciation can really help in dealing with uncertainty.

You may not have all the answers you’d like and plans may change more than you like, but if you’re grateful for the opportunity and appreciate the experience, you will have fewer concerns.

Another source of help in getting more comfortable with uncertainty is understanding impermanence. Everything is in a state of change. Nothing is permanent. This life is one big flowing river of change. Our thoughts change, our bodies’ change, our relationships change and it all keeps rolling along. Sometimes we would like things to stay as they are forever, but deep down we know this is not possible.

Sometimes when we are in a stormy sea of concerns, it helps to remember that wise saying, “this too shall pass”. Whatever the storm is, it will stop raging and the seas will subside in due time. Conditions will not remain permanent. It can feel at times like things seem to go on forever. A charter season can seem like forever. Heck, a single charter can seem like forever. Just remind yourself it will not last forever and stay present when conditions are challenging. Just handle today.

I hope this helps anyone out there who may be struggling with uncertainty or lack of information. Stay appreciative and grateful. Do the best work you can and try to relax with the unfolding of things. Your situation will evolve and some clarity will emerge. Try and make friends with that pesky uncertainty. You might as well, it’s not going anywhere.

Enjoy the voyage.

Rob Gannon is a 25-year licensed captain and certified life and wellness coach. He offers free sample coaching sessions and can be reached at Comments are welcome at

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One thought on “Uncertainty is here to stay in the life of yacht crew

  1. Fred Brodsky

    As an owner and a Captain, we try to keep our vessel ready to go with the exception of provisions. Weather and business can destroy the best of plans. Most owners understand and appreciate that change causes stress and inconvenience. Crews should take pride when they are able to respond and make change seamless.

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