People: Contributors to the “Deneys Reitz” experience all.
Charlotte and Don Young; alias Totsoot Totty and Cap'n Broontroosers*
The couple who “discovered” Deneys Reitz mouldering in the mud at Canvey Island on the river Thames; had her converted into a long-distance cruising boat and wrote these tales of adventure and discovery are from Liverpool and Dublin respectively.
Charlotte lived for much of her life in north London, was a Personnel Manager, Polytechnic Lecturer, and then Dean of a School of Management. Feeling that that was enough of the academic life, she joined Thorn EMI plc to work with Don as Director of Management Development; then with Don and another colleague founded YSC Ltd, now the world's largest business psychology consultancy, in 1999. After that, being an independent spirit, she started her own company, co-founded a social research organisation with Don and others, and became chair of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, which helps aspiring entrepreneurs to start and develop their not-for-profit businesses. She was awarded a Queen's Award for Enterprise promotion in 2009.
If anybody has developed a suspicion that Don and Charlotte got together through their work, they would be quite right - they have been together since 1987 and married since 1995. They have 5 children and 12 grandchildren between them - so far. One of Charlotte's interests has always been maps and navigation. One of Don's little worries as an aspiring RAF pilot was navigation and getting lost at high speed in single-seater 'planes with a limited endurance. So this is one aspect of a marriage made in heaven, or at least a very good restaurant.
Charlotte has never been one to vegetate or let the grass grow under her feet. Nor has Don. She also enjoys exploring ideas and has come to appreciate vigorous debate, so Don and she are a good match. It is the "What are we going to do next?" aspect that led them to boats as one means of moving on from full-time work. Charlotte was 70 in 2007, and intends to carry on being curious and active until they carry her away in a box. Both reckon that adult rationality is fine, as long as it is balanced by childlike curiosity and a strong, preferably quirky sense of humour. Ex-lifeboat 'Deneys Reitz' has become a good friend and companion on a growing number of adventures that has taken them some 15,000 miles to 16 or so countries since 2000.
Don was born in Dublin, moved to Lincoln in 1947 and regards himself as being proudly British with rapid recourse to an Irish identity if the occasion (or the drink) demands it.
He has worked all over the place and in all kinds of industries, but the thing that most interested him was, and still is, finding out about people and their habits.
He has been employed since 1961 in 7 companies in all kinds of industries - from food, detergents, fishing, hotels, electronics, music and entertainment - to bricks, aggregates and roof tiles.
He ended up as a director of one of Britain's larger companies, helping to found YSC along the way and now does some consulting and coaching work, but has developed a growing interest in community development and regeneration. For a hobby, he runs a website that enables him to have a rant about the current global financial system and the damage it is causing to the interests of ordinary people. (www.havingtheircake.com ).
Don has always had a fascination with the sea - this fascination is not entirely positive, as he is reckoned by those close to him to be scared of big waves. So, he is not a howling rigging, cockpit-swept-by-frothing-combers kind of sailor. No fear! He is a balmy breeze, rippling wavelet type - like one member of a lifeboat crew who claimed to 'hate' waves.
Don likes driving boats and aeroplanes, can do elementary mechanical trouble-shooting, quite enjoys painting and has become a tolerable sanitary engineer; all perfect accompaniments to Charlotte's navigational, rope-work and culinary skills. They both like a drop or two of wine as - not surprisingly - do most of the friends and relatives who share their ventures.
He was invited to a conference at the House of Commons with the words: “This event badly needs your brand of trouble-making”.
They started this book/website because it seemed like a good idea and might encourage others to set off on their own adventures, whatever form they might take.
Motto: "Growing Old Disgracefully - or at the very least, Interestingly".
*Author's note: Titsoot Totty and cap'n Broontroosers are the nautical noms de plume of Charlotte and Don Young. The originator of their names was Charlotte's daughter Lucy, who suggested that they should have serious nautical identities. As we had just arrived in Scotland on 'Deneys Reitz's' maiden voyage, we decided to adopt Scottish names.
“Titsoot Totty” comes from a fishing boat in Eyemouth. On its port side it had an expressive painting of a woman who made Dolly Parton seem flat-chested. Painted underneath was the caption: 'Tits Oot For The Lads'.
“Broontroosers” came of course from the story about great English seaman and downright bloody pirate, Sir Francis Drake. On sighting an enormous Spanish fleet on the horizon, he called for his trusty sword; his red shirt so that the crew would not see the blood if he was wounded - and his brown trousers.
CREW AND SPECIAL ADVISERS
Part Time crew: (despite their attempts at censorship, all feature in the short file in the Gallery)
Princess Sha Sha, helm, sea-going sage and grand-daughter of ex-King Zog of Albania (really). She often says: "They're only waves".
Ian 'Peg-leg' Hamilton of the broken ankle caused by falling into engine room whilst under the influence. He often says: "What the bloody hell's all that about?? And: "Yes please, I'll have another glass. Red".
Dr Harold Shipmate: "Consider Sectioning the skipper"
Sarah: “Pass the teddy bear for a cuddle, its getting rough”
Expert advisers and sometime visitors:
at a meeting of the Committee of Experts
Met. man Paul Bartlett, ("Conditions deteriorating, ye shall surely perish", “Not bloody likely, think I'm going to sea with that madman”)
Dr.Harold Shipmate, alias Dr. Alasdair Young, the Great Healer ("Consider Sectioning the skipper")
Professor Marcus Alexander, alias Markus Alexandrov (“The Prof”). “Prokoviev's Theorem indicates you must be on the Chernobyl Canal”.
“Watty” Watts, (It's nothing much, I'll fix it in a jiffy") engineer extraordinaire and trouble-shooter of mainly imaginary seaborne mechanical disasters by mobile 'phone
June Barnes, Sanitary Sage and Adviser on the Excision of Excreta ("Eeeuch! Bet THAT was smelly").
Bucket Boys Gerard and Paul (“Eaargh, barf, Oohh - that feels better!”)
Lucy of the Giant Turd (who wants to remain anonymous) (“Wasn't me, must have come in from outside the boat”).
The Monster Girls (“Shriek, look at that old fool on the next-door boat, why is he looking at us -he must be a Paedo - and 110!”)