Family First

Mini West’s Afloat

In psychology, decision-making is regarded as the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several alternative possibilities. Every decision-making process produces a final choice, which may or may not prompt action.

Sometimes tough decisions need to be made, sometimes you need to make a mind over heart or vice versa decision and sometimes you just need to accept the reality of the situation at this point in time and go with what you feel is right.

It has been a very interesting couple of weeks where cognitively I have been pushed to the limits and decisions have had to be made. I have had to weigh up multiple options, (courses in direction) and come to an actionable decision. The Napkin plan, was always about a balanced lifestyle, finding that harmonious panacea of a work life balance of sailing in the warm months and IT interim work in the cold months. However timing and fate plays an important part in this and I have had to think hard about that binary split, the pros and cons along with the consequences of my decision making.

Sailing is best when done for Fun

This hard thinking resulted in me in turning down a dream job in sailing where I was to be employed for the rest of this summer season. This was to go out sailing every day in the Greek Southern Ionian sea, where I would be taking customers on charter day trips around the islands. Sounds idyllic to most and fulfils the ideology of being a yacht skipper full time and would have given vital further experience for the next step to become an instructor , however the reality is that it would mean living away from the family on a full time basis and my beloved Baloo until November. All living expenses in Greece would have been covered but the weekly salary, quite frankly wouldn’t cover a family meal at the local Indian restaurant, let alone cover the ever increasing electricity and gas bills at home ! Putting financials aside, living away from the family at this point in time is not what I want and what I think best for my offspring. I concluded this whilst sailing across the Atlantic with no communications during the Azores trip that I never want to be in that situation again. Whilst I would have communication and the use of Skype and Facetime to keep in touch, living away full time for the next 12 weeks is not something I want to do, I love sailing but family must always comes first and I am not prepared to do that for nothing but selfish personal gain.

The decision to stay was cemented by a fabulous weekend with friends and the family sailing around the Solent. This was the first time since the Yachtmaster that I had sailed for fun and we went where we wanted to..Yarmouth, Beaulieu & Lymington with a mix of mooring buoys and an anchorage. Great fun was had by all, even a minor wrong turn on the way back to the home marina did little to dampen the spirits, it added to the laughs and brought about further learnings.

YouTube Video

This weekend away on the Solent really helped, it gave me an opportunity to sail alone with confidence around the challenging Solent but also solidified that sailing should be something enjoyed and not endured. Next step for me beyond yachtmaster offshore is instructing, but too much of good thing at once and you have nothing to work towards or look forward to. I have spent already too much time away this year and I want to spend time with the family and live at home and strike the balance with work and play. My children are 11 & 15 years old, whilst they are growing up fast and walking the tightrope of independence, I feel it’s important to be present and pick up the pieces when they inevitably fall off and require help.

So with all this family love, I felt the time was right to gybe and pursue a technology opportunity for the remainder of the year, ( I still have 2 weeks of sailing around Croatia in August)!, Staying true to the original plan this will only be an interim opportunity where I can leverage all of my 25 years technology experience and still have flexibility going into 2020 to keep options open.

I decided to lay down the foundations for the future and on the 17/07/2019 West Afloat Ltd was incorporated, remarkably quick and painless having leveraged the learnings from DCHA Solutions. The aim is to use this as an efficient haven to monetise future interim leadership both on land and at sea. Can’t recommend enough my accountants Inniaccounts and if you want to take the step in using them then please use this referral code or quote CA9722, there is mutual benefit in doing so with reduced fees !

I am delighted to be starting a partnership with 101ways and being assigned to a client to step in as their Interim CTO. At time of writing I can’t disclose exactly who it is, as it has not been announced internally yet, but it’s an exciting global leader leveraging lots of data for consumable information gain, exciting times with lots of digital product being crafted.

I will be back on the water again though in August, this time in Croatia, can’t wait for that and keep a look out on Instagram for pics and Youtube for vlogs of our adventures and mishaps !

If you enjoyed the video, please remember to ‘like and subscribe’ on Youtube to West Afloat, there will be more to come whilst out on the water really soon.

Thanks for Reading, Watching, Commenting & Following



2 thoughts on “Family First

  1. Thanks Simon, great feedback.

    I hope you are enjoying the summer?, let’s catch up early September when school holidays have passed.



    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Hi Dan, I tried to comment on the site but the link wasn’t working.

    If you don’t mind me saying, I think this is my favourite post so far – as a new dad, it got me thinking how I don’t want to miss any part of my own boy’s journey to adulthood. Felt quite emotional by the end!

    Keep up the great writing.

    Kind regards,




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