What does Sailing Tectona do?
We use going to sea as a medium for inspiring positive change in people's lives. Sailing creates challenges that we support our groups to overcome. We stretch our people and push them to find their limits.
Since starting in 2018, we've seen examples of how this concept, of challenging people on the water while creating a supportive environment can change lives.
Sailing is what we do. We take people out of their comfort zone and welcome them in ours, it's an effective way for them to thrive, overcoming challenges on the water teaches lessons to life, people are faced with stressful situations which we support them out of, the sense of achievement at the end of every day on the water is an empowering feeling.
You can't switch off on a voyage, other wellbeing work we've seen that takes people surfing or climbing for a day is great but at the end of the day, people go home. On our voyages, you're at sea, on the water, a part of the onboard community, if the anchor drags at 4 am, we have to deal with it, as a team. We have to accept change and go with it. This teaches people how to manage situations that are out of their control. For our recovery groups, this element of our voyages is essential, it shows when something goes wrong in life, it's okay, we can work to overcome it.
How do you support people on your voyages?
We do a lot of pre-voyage preparation, to understand our groups, their unique needs, and where their safe stretch is.
Once we have a good understanding of our people, and we have worked to build a trust-based relationship, we can safely start to challenge them. We believe if you push people they bounce back better. In our experience overcoming a challenging situation is good for morale, confidence, and self-achievement.
Trust is a natural result of our voyages, people are there for you on a ship, you have to rely on each other to work together, this element really helps people in recovery have a positive trust experience.
We lead our sea staff to always be gracious in approach, as a team we create the atmosphere and exemplify the values we want to create in the group. We listen, encourage and challenge each other to be better, better people, and better sailors.
What does Sailing Tectona stand for?
We understand specifically with recovery groups, going sailing for a week is a small part of a big process, our small part of that person's journey needs to have unconditional love. We want to give people hope by having a good time, getting away from life, experiencing the ocean, watching the sunset. We give people adventures to live and talk about.
What impact do you think being in outdoor spaces has on people you take sailing?
When you're at sea, timing is driven by nature's clock. Sunlight, tide, winds we move around the elements out of our control.
Being on the coast, on the water it's freeing! You are out of concrete surroundings unleashed in open space, people enjoy experiencing fresh sea air. We visit unique and beautiful coastal locations, when we come across plastic in these environments people on our voyages have increased environmental awareness on the impacts of pollution.
Is environmental awareness important to you two as individuals running Tectona?
We operate as sustainably as we can. We limit the use of diesel on our voyages and sail as much as possible, we aim to be plastic-free onboard. Our food provisioning is mainly meat-free, as we don't really have a fridge!
During the refit of our ships, we work with local forestries to ensure our wood is sustainably sourced. Our boats are historically significant, we don't sail plastic yachts, we maintain and protect traditional ships that were already afloat, we hope that in 50 years' time the boats will still be sailing.
What's your vision with Tectona?
We want to send our ship Tectona across the Atlantic, on our biggest recovery voyage to date. To do this we need to secure funding for her refit, to make her seaworthy and capable of safely carrying our recovery crews. This is a long-term goal that drives us for the future.
We want to create a positive way of life for our staff, we want to support them in whatever they want to do and nurture their skill within our organisation.
We want to achieve financial stability, to ensure we can continue to provide our voyages, pay our staff and grow as an organisation.
There are many people behind Tectona, but the two faces that run, manage and live the organisation day to day are Skipper and Operations Manager Ben alongside Mate and Business Manager Emma.
Find out more about them and their passion for Sailing Tectona here!