My ocean rowing boat was more than just a way to get across an ocean. For months at a time, she was my home, my life support capsule, the only part of my world that wasn’t sea or sky. At times I longed to escape the confines of this 23 x 6 foot prison cell, but mostly I appreciated how well she was designed to keep me safe from harm.

In the roughest conditions, capsizes were sometimes inevitable, no matter how well ballasted she was. Luckily, she was designed to self-right.

small boat big seasProvided that the hatches to the cabins were sealed shut, the boat would be unstable in the upside-down position. The air trapped in the two cabins, fore and aft, was lighter than the supplies and ballast stowed below decks, turning the cabins into buoyancy chambers. So eventually she would slowly turn herself the right way up again.

We probably capsized 10 or 12 times on the way across the three oceans, and it was never fun, but every time I admired how she would always get herself back to rights.

What a great metaphor for how we survive the trials and tribulations of life. When life sends a particularly huge wave and we feel like our world has been turned upside-down, that’s the capsize. But, provided we’ve battened down our hatches – which you can interpret as doing the self-care that keeps us resilient and strong – we’re designed to pop the right way up again.

Even when another wave comes right along and knocks us down the other way, we can go on capsizing and popping up again as many times as we need to, until the storm has passed.

For some reason, this reminded me of a certain TV toy commercial from the 70s…. weebles wobble but they don’t fall down. Enjoy!

Other Stuff:

Adam Freeman-Pask

I’ll be sharing the stage with Olympic rower Adam Freeman-Pask to deliver a keynote at the National CSR Awards on 12th May. It would be great if you could come along! Or if you can’t come along, spread the word! You can get a 50% discount using ‘CSR50’ on the conference booking page.

Thanks to tech company Qubit for a great time at their conference last week. Great to spend time around such a vibrant young bunch of folks!





  • How nice it is to carry on after what the storm has taught us.For most of us living life is like rowing across oceans.

  • Always good to hear your updates. I followed you through the ocean row and listened to your on shore chats. Keep communicating. Bob

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