It doesn’t come easy for me to say that, but I am a lawyer. There it is! I am, and I am a sailor. I don’t like to give myself much credit but for either but those are the two main themes of my life, so I better start feeling comfortable in my own shoes. Now, back to being a lawyer. Of course, I am not the traditional type who sees clients and attends courts. I left that behind me a long time ago. Nowadays I am a corporate lawyer working remotely. What a joyful arrangement!
I affectionately refer to my work laptop as the ‘kiosk’. I usually start my kiosk at 8 o’clock BST, unless I feel I want to start work later. I often stay in bed for the first hour or two, have a coffee, sort out my emails and answer queries. I often get breakfast in bed (thank you, Mark), although I do strive to get up early enough not to be a bed potato, but it doesn’t always work.
We arrived in Stornoway marina a couple of days ago and today the weather, as forecasted, served us rain and wind up to a force 7. As we are in a marina and with the weather being what it is, the fan heater is on and I’m having a pajama party all day long! I am sitting with my laptop either at the chart table or the lounging area, immersed in drafting contracts and analyzing budgets. I am intending to get myself in a ship-shape form after work which means I will find the showers, enjoy the limitless hot water and get properly dressed. I must admit, I used to have similar days when living in a house, except for a readily available shower.
The marriage of sailing and work is very much possible as they can be planned and moved around according to other factors, such as tides, my calls, 4G network, wind and so on. Yes, 4G or at least 3G/H network is crucial for my work as I need to be online to deal with emails, calls, messenger chats and in-house system updates. The network coverage around the UK is mostly reliable and two mobile phones onboard with two different network provides a safety net for staying online. Only once have both phones showed ‘no service’ but in that situation I found a closed coffee shop and sat on the doorstep to use their Wi-Fi! I would have preferred the coffee shop to be open so I could have indulged in coffee and food whilst banging on my keyboard like a maniac, but no comestibles is better than no WiFi!
Admittedly, I sometimes work on the go. This is planned around network availability and it works well. Mark is a self-sufficient single-handed sailor so I can afford to take my mind off the sails and winches for a while. When sailing is not especially demanding, working is easy but when the boat is rocking and heeling over, I don’t feel the best down below but I’m getting used to it.
People often say that working from home or anywhere outside of an office would be impossible for them as they wouldn’t be able to concentrate or be disciplined enough to do it. After years of driving long distances to work I cannot relate to this sentiment at all. I am grateful that I don’t even have to own a car, never mind drive to work. Apart from a lack of ability to conjure concentration, people ask me all sorts of questions like, what if a seagull steals your laptop (yes that was a genuine question). Well, I hope the smelly scoundrel chokes on it and doesn’t google anything too dodgy, although it would have to go some way to out-google Mark! My worst disaster so far has been a broken laptop when I fell while carrying it into the forward cabin! One panicked call to IT sorted this. I now have a brand new one which was delivered to a harbor office on our route and Mark was grateful that there was no damage to any woodwork!
Working and sailing has its challenges but it’s the best thing in the world, especially sailing. My ever changing views couldn’t be experienced during the few weeks of holidays I get per year if I spent my time in a normal office. Northern latitudes serve us a fair share of cold and rainy days but sitting in the cockpit tent with the laptop is so much better than an airconditioned office with a view of a street outside. Currently we are in Stornoway, if you want to check on the map it’s at the end of the world – the Hebrides! From the boat we can see Stornoway castle, the high street, fishing boats and yachts in the marina around. Normal office days are a long way behind me, and I want to keep it that way!
Hebridean Walk down from the Stornoway Castle.
Beautiful little garden with a pond along the Hebridean Walk. Perfect place for reflection!
"If I only had a fishing rod to catch a salmon!"