My journey home from Whangarei was a continuation of a great trip. The bus to Auckland was luxurious and even had free wifi so I could keep Lori updated on my progress. The infrequent bus schedule necessitated my arriving at the airport five hours before my flight departed. I checked in, got rid of my luggage, and headed up to the departure lounge to discover a pub showing the World Series on TV. Wow, perfect timing! I got to enjoy the best extra innings World Series game 7 ever as well as a couple of pints of craft brew and some nachos. When the entertainment was done it was time to head over to my departure gate.
Overnight flights are not my favorite. I had to take the red eye at least once a month during the last ten years of my working career, and I got pretty tired of them. For my work trips I did discover that some powerful prescription pain medication made the seats a whole lot more comfortable and let me sleep. I was rummaging through my backpack at the airport in Auckland and was pleasantly surprised to find a little baggie of those pain meds that had apparently hidden there for years. My flight home was wonderful.
I have been giving the reasons why this cruise was such a success a lot of thought. It can primarily be attributed to Clay’s leadership.
I have written many times about how critical team selection is on a small boat passage. Clay hit a home run here. The team was completely compatible, and their individual skills complemented each other. A couple of times topics of discussion among the crew ventured into potentially contentious areas and Clay, always on duty to keep us happy, deftly steered the conversation back into safer waters.
Clay’s meticulous approach to preparation and his conservative approach to weather, sailing, and safety optimized the likelihood of a drama free cruise, and that’s what we had.
Of course, a well fed crew is a happy crew. Gail made sure we were happy with many precooked dinners during the passage, a fully stocked galley, and gourmet meals when she was aboard.
Clay and Gail, when is the next cruise?