A little appreciation goes a long way!

So we’re on week 5 of this crazy, amazing, super hot Croatian sailing adventure. We’ve hit a few speed bumps (frayed steering cables, calcified loo’s, some interesting guests, just to name a few!) and we’ve met some amazing people. Last week, Sea Princess had company, with Makarska II crewed up, full of guests and travelling alongside us. Marlie joined the team as a hostess aboard Makarska II, and Vice was her skipper. They had a challenging bunch of guests and did such an amazing job of managing the whole week! I felt a little helpless watching them deal with these guests from the safety of Sea Princess.

We had our first lot of friends oIMG_7452.JPGn board too, with Katherine and Mick jumping on for a week of their honeymoon. It was SO GOOD to have some familiar faces around. You know that feeling where you know you have people in your corner?! Yeah, well we had that feeling all week and it was amazing! Especially as Nick spent hours on a steering cable issue we were having. Mick helped him out one night in Vis and I know that just having that kind of support from someone other than me made a huge difference for Nick.  And Katherine and I were quite happy down in the saloon munching out on nibbles and sipping prosecco!

Marlie is a gem and I have totally adopted her. She is a trouper of the awesomest kind. Having absolutely zero sailing experience, she was thrust into a very challenging situation where she had to welcome guests, navigate her way around a yacht galley, clean the boat as best she could given the tight timeframes that the charter company gave them to work with, and then straight out of the marina, the guests got sick with one of them puking repeatedly in the loo down below. Talk about baptism by fire!!! And she approached it like a champ, doing what she could, asking for help where she needed to, and just generally hunkering down and doing whatever was required of her. I totally take my hat off to her! I wouldn’t have handled what she was dealt with anywhere near the grace and positivity that she somehow managed to maintain ALL WEEK. And she still managed to be generally fun and sunny to be around, totally hooking both Nick and I! Oh my goodness can that girl laugh!!! Talk about infectious!

So we were stoked when this week, her second week with Med Sailing Holidays, she got a fantastic crew of guests who are generally open, talkative, considerate, positive people to be around. And she has a new skipper, another local (well local to the general country!) called Jurko (yur-koh with the r rolled). They make a gorgeous looking crew pairing, as they both have crazy, beautiful mops of curly (CURLY!) blonde hair! I am surrounded by blondies!!!

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Our philosophy when working with people is that if we look after our people, getting a feel for how they work and what they need, that they will in turn look after us when we need it and they will work hard alongside us because a connection has been made. And working with Vice (Marlie’s skipper in her first week), Marlie and Jurko has been no different to our usual manner. We’ve made them family. Checking in with them on a regular basis to make sure they are doing ok, especially when guests are a tad challenging, making sure we are vocal about things that they do well, communicating with them as much as possible so that we know that they are in the loop with us… These are all things that we think are vital to working constructively alongside others. And we work really hard to look after those around us. Little things like making sure that Marlie and Vice had something to eat one night at the beginning of their first week. I knew that they were both trying to budget their food, I knew that they had had a testing time with their guests and I also knew that Marlie was still getting over a cold. It was a small and easy thing that I could do to let them know that we appreciated them and their hard work. And I like to look after people. I like to be looked after, so it makes perfect sense to me to do unto others what I want done for me. I know how amazing it feels when someone does something as simple as cook a meal for me when I’m tired physically, emotionally and mentally, and all I am required to do is eat it and show my appreciation.

And it does feel great when the people that you work with genuinely appreciate you and the effort that you put in. It’s even better when the clients that you work with, your customers, appreciate what you do for them and aren’t backwards in showing it. It’s the best kind of motivation! And it makes hard times feel just that little bit easier to wade through.

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Genuine appreciation is so important. I do my utmost to practise it in all my relationships, especially in my marriage. It’s not just about using words that sound good. It’s actually developing a genuine gut feeling of gratitude for those around you and the awesome things that they do, whether big or small. Being grateful is a practise that I work hard on, because sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down by the things that annoy me, the things that I struggle with and the things that I don’t like. And I don’t want to be the kind of person who makes constant demands of people, who never says sorry and who never makes unprompted exclamations of appreciation and gratitude! So I have made it a habit of blurting out how much I appreciate people, which gets me some funny looks but hey, I’d rather be called weird for being TOO grateful, than be that person who drains those around them instead of building them up.

And I am truly grateful when I am surrounded by like-minded people. It makes such a HUGE difference to my entire being! Katherine and Mick, if you read this, THANK YOU for your awesome support and for just being on board with us. Being a part of your honey moon was super special. Marlie, Vice and Jurko, if you guys are reading this, you guys rock and you are NEVER going to get rid of me *insert creepy evil laugh here*

Here are some photos of our past week, Marlie’s last week with us. It has been a blast!

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