A Quick Salute to Captain Sandy

If Captain Lee is the Stud of the Sea, what would you call Captain Sandy? The Siren of the Sea? Yikes–no! That just doesn’t translate.

For starters, Sandy Yawn is one of the few female captains in the yachting industry, and a respected one at that. She’s warm. She’s approachable. She’s passionate about what she does. And she is a badass leader.

It’s been fun to watch Captain Sandy find her sea legs as a leader over the last three years. She hasn’t always gotten it right. But she has always admitted her errors. She’s experimented with being more of a helicopter manager, then a “pal” who encouraged her crew to be a bit more self-led. Maybe she overcorrected; the crew started to take liberties. “It’s Captain Sandy,” she famously said. “I’m not your friend. I’m your captain.”

Quick question for you–have you ever heard Captain Lee say something like that? No. You have not. That’s because men are comfortable “owning” their authority. But for most women, this is still relatively new ground.

I’m lucky that I’m the daughter of a PhD physicist mother who blazed trails as I was growing up. As a result, I really never saw limits to where I could go or what I could achieve. What a blessing! But not all of us have mothers like mine. I don’t know if Malia, this year’s Below Deck Med bosun, does. But she has Captain Sandy there, creating a wake that she can ride.

Here’s the problem–as women, we are so many things. We’re mothers, daughters, sisters, disciplinarians, employees, bosses…and so much more. Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile those things. How can you retain what we’re conditioned to believe is femininity, but still claim the type of authority so easily wielded by Captain Lee? And how can we do it without making men feel emasculated? And why do we need to worry about emasculating them, anyway!!?? Captain Lee never worries about that!

We’ll be cheering for Captain Sandy and Malia this season on Below Deck Med as they make waves in the yachting industry (way too many puns in this blog–sorry). If I could tell them both one thing, I’d tell them that when it comes to taking charge, be like Captain Lee! Make no apologies for being strong leaders. You both have big hearts and warm personalities. You won’t seem callous or hard, just because you’re flexing a little. Promise.

Here’s to you #bossladies!

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