8 reasons not to jump ship!

As the 2016 summer season is ending, we give crew 8 reasons NOT to jump ship. The season is now truly coming to an end. While many crew are now ending their seasonal contract, a great number of others, on a permanent contract, are now contemplating their next step. But are the about to step on somebody’s toe or on thin ice for no reason at all? 1. Patience is a virtue. A while ago I received an email from a relatively young deckhand which led me to write this article. He had finally scored a job and was describing how perfect everything was on board. In fact it was so perfect that the vessel had an excellent retention rate. To my astonishment, that was exactly his problem! He figured that since everybody stayed so long it would take a very long time to grow through the ranks. So this guy wanted to tick the boxes in his record book and rush to the bridge to take the helm. I’m worried that he is steering towards a short lived success. 2.Things are fine the way they are. Personal growth is not defined by the tangible environment that surrounds us or by […]

Sailing in a nation of sailors.

I have just spent two weeks sailing through Holland on a 100 year old classic yacht. Iduna is an 8 meter class designed by Johan Anker (famous for the Dragon class) ​and built at Anker & Jensen in Norway some time between 1912 and 1916. ​She is a Pocket Superyacht in her own right​. Her interior is not much bigger than my pocket and she is super beautiful. Her restoration was completed in 2011 and executed with great attention to detail, bringing her back to her original glory. No expense was saved and no shortcuts were taken. Life on board ​S/Y Iduna is simple and dry when it doesn’t rain. Otherwise, the old lady always knows exactly where her owner sleeps. Water that leaks somewhere through the foredeck creeps its way underneath the Iroko deck planks to drip on Edward Balke’s pillow, midships.​ ​ Edward has contacted Invisible Crew for the 4th consecutive year to provide him with a skilled sailor to assist him during his yearly holiday. This year I finally had the chance to go myself. (que: joke about skilled sailor.) Although I’m Belgian, the waters of Holland bring back memories from my early days of sailing and I appreciate their beauty now more […]

The Story of SY Iduna.

Not all yachting adventures happen on the water. This is the story of the classic yacht Iduna. The story of the classic yacht Iduna begins in 2007  when Edward Balke took a peek under a tarpaulin. It was hiding a tired wooden boat on the bank of the River Scheldt in Antwerp Belgium. Staring at the legendary pictures of Beken of Cowes was pretty much his only experience with classic yachts. But one doesn’t have to be an aficionado to be seduced by the sexy lines of a Johan Anker designed 8 metre class. He had indeed found a craft with serious pedigree and was about to save her life. “Twinkle” was how the local senior yachtsmen knew the yacht. She had won several local races in the 1960’s. Somehow she ended up in the wrong hands, or at least she was owned by someone who couldn’t afford quality repairs and maintenance. She was put on the hardstand, mothballed and neglected. One of the “quick fixes” she had received was a layer of glass fibre over the underwater-hull. The wood underneath couldn’t breathe and trapped moist. The boat was for sale for, what seemed to be, a low price but […]