|CrystalblueoceanSailing and Diving Around the World|
sailing and diving around the world
Hey guys, here is something different, and one of the most meaningful posts for me, to date. I'm delighted to tell you about Cpt. Gray Harker, a skipper that I've crewed for in the past. He sent out an email telling us that he's taken on a position as a yacht broker. I think I'm particularly happy to be able to write this post because it's a chance for me, really, to say what I've wanted to tell him for a long time. This is a Captain that I've been in awe of, from the day I met him. Have any of you had a person in your life that you wanted to emulate, to 'become just like him when I grow up," kind of thing? Well, he is that person for me. He is exactly the kind of Captain that I've been aspiring to become, in fact, the kind of man, in general. Captain Harker is one of those skippers that makes you feel lucky to be around, to pick up any little bit of knowledge from, and to watch him in action. One of the most valuable things he taught me, was this..... I asked him, during a crew gig I did with him, from Fort Lauderdale, to San Fran, what he felt was an important characteristic for a Captain to have. Without hesitation, he said, " the ability to do nothing!" I didn't expect that response at all, but I smiled as I began to 'get it.' He went on to explain that the instinct to react without thinking, in a crisis situation, is pretty strong, in many of us. However, to have the strength and presence of mind to resist panicking, and take a few seconds more, to assess a situation, is the difference between safety and disaster. Many potential disasters can easily be avoided if the person at the helm would simply give themselves an extra second or two to think things through. That moment when you think, "OMG, I'm going to crash," might simply have required a gentle nudge on the throttles, and someone forward, with a fender. But lots of people panic, jam the throttles forward, and create a disaster that could have easily been avoided.
Anyway, Cpt. Harker recently sent out an email to a bunch of us, letting us know that he's taken on a spot as a broker, with Dave Walters, out of Fort Lauderdale. Cpt. Harker is from N Carolina, and has been delivering boats to countries all over the world, for most of his life and he knows the waters of the United States, like the back of his hand. Not only does he know boats, he's also very familiar with the nautical rules and regulations of quite a few countries across the globe. Cpt. Harker knows boats, inside out, and is someone that you want with you when it comes time to sell or purchase a yacht. You'll not only be benefiting from his expertise with yachts, he'll constantly be throwing a bunch of other extras at you, acquired from a lifetime on the water, that you just can't find in books. By the time you've completed your business with him, I guarantee you you'll know a heck of a lot more, not just about yachts, but about the boating world in general, than you did before you met him.
I'm thrilled that Cpt. Harker's experience is now focused through a different venue, but a little sad because I won't be able to join him anymore, for his delivery runs, which always brought some pretty cool learning experiences. The email he sent out is posted below, where you'll find his contact info.
Many years ago my best friend and I use to hang around his daddy's gas station in Grifton. As kids we would sit and listen to the old timers talk about cars, farming and life in general. One of the gentlemen that would come in occasionally was landed gentry. He was president of the country school board, and, to us, a man worthy of paying attention. One summer afternoon, he stopped in front of my friend and I. He looked us up and down and asked, “How old are you young fellows.” We told him 12 and 13. He said, “Well I just turned 60 today. And I am getting ready to retire. But I'll tell you, If I had life to do over again. I'd retire when I was 18 and go to work when I was 60.” I didn't think too much about it at the time. In the next few years I considered what he said more and more. My thoughts were not much different than what the youth of today say.... “I want a fun job that's exciting and make a lot of money.” The money part being relative at the time for a poboy from NC, I joined the army. I remember a sarcastic Uncle Sam poster from the time that said, “Join the Army, travel to strange and exotic lands, meet different and interesting people, And kill them!” The army taught me to be a leader while it channeled my youthful exuberance to fulfill it's mission. After the army I worked my way thought the marine industry to become a master mariner. All the while I rarely had to punch a clock and I got paid to go where people pay to go.
Well, last month I turned sixty years old. So having retired from any real job for the last 45 years it's become time for me to go to work. At least as close as I could ever come to a real job. I applied for and received a Florida Yacht Brokers License and took up Dave Walter's offer of a desk at his brokerage. Dave Walters is a yacht builder turned broker with a 30 year reputation as one of the top brokerage houses in South Florida. The hardest thing about making this transition is using my contacts as a captain to build a list of clients as a broker. Anyone that knows anyone, that would like to buy or sell their yacht, please contact me at gray@dwyfl or phone me at 754-422-1311
You can go to Dave Walters website and see a complete list of our inventory. I know, most of the folks I know have little interest in yachting. But who knows they may know someone that would like to try the experiences I've enjoyed for the last 20 years.