“What made you do that?!” As the news broke that Simon Relph and his wife Helen had handed over The Islander to me, this was the common reaction I received from friends, family and professional relations.
Of course, Simon left me with big shoes to fill after having developed The Islander into a glossy +120 page, monthly publication with a stellar reputation. I am sure that everybody in our industry is grateful for the work they have done and applauds them for it!
So, when they ask me what made me do it, I ignore the “are you crazy?” undertone. Instead, I explain with enthusiasm how it will fit in my life which -as they know- is already quite full-on with 2 kids, a yacht management business, a passion for music with a gig here and there on weddings and in bars, sailing, diving, SUP’ing, surfing and occasional horseback riding.
One person who really questioned my sanity was actually a publisher himself! I defended my case easily because I realise what is so unique about The Islander.
On paper I may now be the owner of The Islander, but it is not my magazine. I remember a scene from Downton Abbey where the father of the family looks at their estate and declares: “We are not the owners but merely the custodians who have to safeguard all of this for future generations.” That’s what I’ll be, the custodian of a magazine that -since 25 years- belongs to everyone that works in this very special, close-knit Industry.
The other difference with The Islander is that it is FUBU. In my late teens I wore hip hop baggy jeans from the brand FUBU. It took a long time before I learned that that stood for “For Us By Us”. (I still doubt I was deeply enough involved in Hip Hop culture to wear those legitimately,… but I digress…)
The Islander is FUBU; made For Us; professional yachties By Us.
One of the many amazing things about our community is that we can be found in different corners of the world. My wife An and I sailed into Auckland in November 2010, about as far away from home as we could be. That evening we, unexpectedly, had dinner with a group of 11 people that we knew from the Med and Caribbean seasons.
For this community we will work to make sure you can find your Islander magazine wherever you land. Whether you’re in St Maarten or Dubrovnik, Antibes or Fort Lauderdale,… by offering information, education, entertainment and continued community building, The Islander will always aim to add value to your life as professional yachtcrew or industry professional, so it stays top-of-mind with you!
An improved online publication and strategy will be instrumental in enhancing this. But we call on your efforts to contribute your knowledge and share your experiences -the fun and the harrowing ones!
Our advertisers, without whom The Islander never could have existed, pitch in financially and often with their intrinsic expertise, to keep their brand names in front of you while you are visiting their locations or plotting course to where they are based.
I hope you’ll sense a breath of fresh air flowing through this first issue under my direction. Let us know what you think via social media and stay informed on our upcoming network events. For starters we plan to get together every 1st Thursday of the month to present and celebrate the new edition. Find out more on our social media channels.