One Tilly hat… after a long, very hot boat open day in a New York marina I left my favourite sailing hat on Qingdao. Happily found by a friend and now making the final Leg of the race back across the Atlantic without me – whilst I await their return to Liverpool at the end of July.
Before leaving New York, whilst meandering round Central Park ‘lost and found’ took on a whole different meaning. Having experimented with ferries, buses and a yellow cab we still arrived too late for the intended highlights of Central Park tour. So we set off on our own. After the uniformity of streets and avenues with numbers and straight lines the park is a soft, gentle, verdant and chaotic jumble of twists and turns. Eventually we found a small booth with a map. No longer confused and lost we assumed a more confident approach to finding the suggested highlights on our own.
Even with a map and the occasional reference to a phone, attempts to figure out the direction from the sun – mostly just overhead and rather hot – glances to recognisable tall buildings on the periphery, we missed our way, again and again. We weren’t alone. Others were looking at maps, consulting phone gps and it was actually very funny.
Of course we found the odd lake, delightful quiet spots and when you simple wander and accept that being lost is normal in Central Park and in fact perhaps the whole point – it is quite beautiful… meandering, enjoying whatever appears around the corner, the gorgeous variety of parkland and being temporarily lost, when so much of our time and our life requires us to show up as found – knowing where we are and what needs to be done.
When we are lost we open ourselves to the unexpected, we become more receptive, perhaps we engage different senses, become more aware of ourselves and our environment. If we can pause and accept our discomfort we may find we have different choices. In a moment we can be lost, then found… then lost again. Perhaps both are not just temporary, but also illusory and our challenge is to accept and navigate our way in perpetual change and uncertainty.
Developing our guiding, core principles… or in the case of the Park, finding the boundaries where Park once again meets city, may be challenging but it also becomes essential.
Now I am back home. It has been an amazing and incredible journey on so many different levels, nevertheless I am very happy to be back. One of my fellow round the world crew said one of the many things he had learnt along the way was just how much he appreciated his home and England. Naturally I am also very looking forward to being back on the water again closer to home, racing in the Solent in the next couple of weeks.
What next: When the Clipper race finishes in Liverpool I will be there to welcome my team home. Once the celebrations are over we will go our separate ways knowing we have made friends for life and for sure it won’t be long before we meet up again.
My work on the study will start in earnest as I pull together crew stories and diaries, interview study participants and complete assessments. This will not be rushed as the impact of our journeys will take time to digest and unfold. I know in myself how much has changed and I have seen it in others. My commitment is to reveal the impact of the quite extraordinary challenges we have faced and specifically explore the questions:
- What has changed, how have our perspectives expanded, what have we learnt, how have we developed
- How can this help us navigate uncertainty with more agility in the future and will this encourage or enable us to take on new challenges in the future
- What have we discovered about ourselves, about other crew and team dynamics and to what extent is this as profound and enduring as our sailing has been phenomenal and exciting.
I continue to appreciate your support and hope you will challenge me by commenting with your feedback and questions.