Mike Mongo reveals the worlds of marine, shoreline, and in-land eco-biology

Monday, July 07, 2008

Mike Mongo on Danger Charters

This weekend, I worked at Danger as a fill-in mate during the long 4th of July holiday weekend.

To tell, the truth, I needed the break. For what it's worth, the two full days of sun, sea, water, and work was good for my soul. More to the point, it was good for my spirit.

While I love working on computers and websites and all things tech-related, there is a downside. And that is, I get little real physical work-out putting out fires on laptops and desktops, or building networks and websites. In fact, consistently I feel as if I have been put through the wringer when I wake up in the mornings: No physical relationship to my work and the physical aspect of my being falls apart.

Working on Danger is non-stop physical activity for crew, particularly mates. Raising sails, lifting anchors, swimming, kayaking, carrying trays, serving drinks, running the length of the ship all day, it is a wonderful experience. By the end of the day, what I feel is complete physical reward and satisfaction.

For me, the mental side of being a mate is draining. There is as much attention paid to the guests as a good school teacher pays to a class of students. Only it's a class that lasts four-to-six hours at time, and twice a day. (Plus, for some with alcohol!)

But where the experience is unlike a school or classroom, is that this is vacation. The guests who come out on Danger appreciate the degree of learning, research, and experience that the Danger crew brings to the experience yet the idea is to present entertain rather than educate. Any education which transpires—and believe me, much does!—is an added bonus. In fact, it is commonly understood among all members of the Danger crew that a "great trip" is one where genuine transformation occurs for one of the trip's guests. This too happens more often than on any other excursion on the Island. This of course is why I was successful at Danger in the first place.

Nonetheless, working this weekend was a vacation for me. Imagine! A vacation of labor. That is exactly what it was. I met some wonderful people, and I saw (and did) some of my favorite things: Sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, and—most of all—educating.

Still, for me, the perfect job is teaching in a setting that fosters both physical and mental growth.

1 comment:

Seashell Annie said...

Mike, I have enjoyed your blog for quiye some time. I also work in the tourist industry in Key West and agree with your view of tour guides and boat crew as educators. Education rarely takes place in the classroom. Good luck with your computer drive.