Crew Compass: by Stew Lauren Loudon
Ever crave something comforting from home, something so unattainable at that instant that it suddenly makes the world feel too big? Need a part from the States while on a remote Caribbean island? Have to get hold of your boss’s favorite French honey – the one that’s only available from the morning market in Antibes?
Whatever it is that you’re longing for or needing, either on a personal level or for work, you could have it sooner than you think – with a little help from fellow yachting travelers.
On a recent boss trip, while sitting and discussing a specific sweet treat from South Africa that reminded them all of home, our crew had a sudden inspiration. Let’s use the vastness of social media in a new way to connect and unite our fellow yachties, but in other ways than the current common platform to find work. Rather, we could use Facebook as a platform to lend a hand and help each other out.
Boats travel from A to B all the time. Crew fly from here to there all the time. We travel for a living; it’s what we do.
So, with that in mind, here’s the concept. “Yachties Doing Favours” is a Facebook page open to those in the industry – anybody, anywhere, anytime. It is a platform where people can post an advert for whatever they need transported from A to B, or where someone who is willing to help can see what is needed by various people.
Our stew just had her Food Hygiene certificate delivered to her on the dock in Palma from a random stranger who was able to pick it up before flying in from Cape Town. What did she want in return? A case of beer.
My sweet-toothed captain has somebody on the way from South Africa bringing a box of his favorite chocolates, while I’ve had several responses from people traveling to Antibes from Fort Lauderdale who offered to carry a book and a few papers across the ocean for me. A friend just sent off a birthday gift for her mother in Australia with somebody traveling down under.
More than just doing favors for each other, there is a common aim to unite people in a positive way, using the means that we have to do so.
We all use Facebook and various social media platforms on a daily basis. We use them to search for work, to ask for advice, to read news articles and just to browse. Wouldn’t it be great if the group of people willing to do each other favors would expand to a large scale?
It could be anything – large or small, sentimental or essential – as long as the person has space and is willing to travel with said item. It goes without saying that there must be full disclosure between the two people involved of any items that are being transported and handled, and no restrictions on carrying said items into whatever country the recipient is in.
“What’s the reward?” I hear you ask. It, too, could be anything. It is at the discretion of those involved to decide if the person offering to help will be repayed, and if so, what the repayment will be. Perhaps a case of beer, a box of chocolates or a couple of dollars? Maybe that person is a kind-hearted individual who expects nothing in return.
All it takes is an army of generous people willing to help out. We can be a part of our family’s birthdays by getting gifts to them without the often ridiculous expenses of shipping. We can minimize wait time for parts to be distributed. We can make anything a reality with a union of helping hands.
If you would like to do a favor for your fellow yachtsmen, join the Facebook page “Yachties Doing Favours” and see what you can do! You never know when you might need somebody to return the good deed.
Lauren Loudon has worked as a yacht chef and stew for more than four years. She hails from Lancashire, England. Comments are welcome below.