33 QUESTIONS WITH CAPTAIN DAVID POTT, M/Y THE WELLESLEY
For those of you who don’t know Captain David Pott of M/Y The Wellesley, he is often referred to as energetic, dynamic, and ready for anything. Winner of the Captain (Master 3000GT) Crew Award at the Inaugural International Crew Awards by ACREW David is known for going the extra mile for his charter guests.
Captain Pott has operated charters on Nero 90m, Apoise/Titania 70m, Sairam 52m and Jems 45m, before becoming Captain in 2015 of The Wellesley: a 32m Falcon which launched straight into an extremely successful charter season. In March 2016, David took command of the owner’s new 57m, now The Wellesley, following a major refit and extension. On a 2-month rotation, he is always ready for the demands of chartering. A long time Axxess Marine client and a dedicated family man with two young children and a beautiful wife, David and his family have recently bought a house and settled in Antibes.
33 QUESTIONS WITH CAPTAIN DAVID POTT of M/Y THE WELLESLEY
(AXXESS MARINE) How did you become involved in Yachting?
(CAPTAIN) I was lured in by the $$$ signs. Coming from South Africa fresh out of a 3-year Marketing diploma, it took only one year working in South Africa before I realized I needed more!
(AXXESS MARINE) What was your first job in yachting?
(CAPTAIN) My sister and brother-in-law introduced me to yachting, and I arrived like a cowboy on a horse wanting to snatch that first job! Barcelona was my home for the first 4 months while the boat I was on was in the shipyard. I was lucky enough to turn down my first daywork offer and replied to the captain, “Thank you for your offer but I am looking for a full-time job.” His response was, “Wow I have never heard such a confident response…. Ok! I will take you on full time then.” My smile would have been priceless!
(AXXESS MARINE) What is your most memorable experience at Sea?
(CAPTAIN) I would say entering the Blue Grotto cave in Croatia… swimming into it (it used to be legal) and seeing the blue light! Wow it was something out of this world.
(AXXESS MARINE) How long have you been with The Wellesley?
(CAPTAIN) I have been with The Wellesley for going on 5 years now.
(AXXESS MARINE) What is it that keeps you in the industry?
(CAPTAIN) Well, it’s my job, so I guess the thought of no roof over my head or food on plates.
(AXXESS MARINE) How has the acceleration of technology impacted your career?
(CAPTAIN) I was very fortunate that my first year out of University I was able to work at Kirby (the most expensive vacuum cleaner on the planet). Yes, I was a cold caller until Sony International headhunted me their key account sales rep. This gave me great insight into new technologies. Believe it or not, one of the biggest things to hit in 2004 was a 128mb flash drive (yes you could hold it in your hand!). LCD screens were just coming out and were very expensive. I remember getting my first mobile device in 1997; it was all pretty new to South Africa. So, the answer is, yes… I have seen it evolve and grow to the point of Axxess Marine’s very fancy SIM-ZERO devices (AxxessGO), which everyone wants but can’t understand!
(AXXESS MARINE) Are there marine industry innovations on the horizon that excite or interest you?
(CAPTAIN) I am pretty interested in the AxxessGO (SIM-less device) as mentioned before. Will keep my eye on flat panels for VSAT and TVROs. I hear they are working on improving download speeds, so this is something I will keep an eye on.
(AXXESS MARINE) Is there a Person in the industry you admire?
(CAPTAIN) There are too many to remember. I have learned a lot of lessons over the years from deckhands to owners…
(AXXESS MARINE) What quality do you believe a person must possess to succeed in the yachting industry?
(CAPTAIN) Diligent, Proactive, Diplomatic and Humble.
(AXXESS MARINE) What do you think is the biggest challenge that the marine industry faces in the next few years?
(CAPTAIN) I think climate changes are very evident, and I think we will experience more “freak weather.”
(AXXESS MARINE) Which marine industry events or shows do you look forward to each year and why?
(CAPTAIN) I like to attend as many as I can. I enjoyed all the events I attended this year, so let’s go on that: MIPIN, Cannes Boat Show, Monaco Boat Show, Barcelona MYBA, Monaco F1, Amico/Pesto Captains Weekend, Lusben and Benetti Yacht Masters event, ACREW Awards, Onshore Cellars Wine Tastings, and I was most proud to participate in Axxess Marine’s Charity Bike Ride (even though I don’t ride a bike!).
(AXXESS MARINE) What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
(CAPTAIN) “Be an All-rounder” −W.A Pott (my Dad)
(AXXESS MARINE) Best advice you’ve given to someone else?
(CAPTAIN) Don’t worry if you fail… (I have done it a lot.)… “Fail” = First… Attempt… At… Learning.
(AXXESS MARINE) What is the trait you most admire in others?
(AXXESS MARINE) What is the trait you most deplore in others?
(CAPTAIN) Laziness and grumpiness.
(AXXESS MARINE) Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
(CAPTAIN) “Only a monkey looks under a rock twice,” “The grass isn’t greener on the other side,” “Hey Google,” and “Check this out.”
(AXXESS MARINE) Do you have a favorite quote or personal motto?
(CAPTAIN) “Regret is caused by not doing what you want to do when you want to do it… Let there be no regrets in your life!”
(AXXESS MARINE) What do you look forward to doing when the season slows down (or does it?)
(CAPTAIN) It never slows down, which is why I value my rotation. Time with family and friends is always top of my list.
(AXXESS MARINE) Favorite trip you have taken?
(CAPTAIN) I loved the Maldives. We visited it for my dad’s 70th back in 2009. Best holiday ever!
(AXXESS MARINE) Country/place you want to visit next?
(CAPTAIN) New Zealand
(AXXESS MARINE) Do you have a favorite sport to watch?
(AXXESS MARINE) Are you involved in any sports/hobbies?
(CAPTAIN) I have played most sports; I am good in the water and have a good eye for a ball. I am not a cyclist or runner, but I will happily compete in Tennis, Squash, Paddle Tennis (a great new sport), Swimming and Touch Rugby.
LIGHTNING ROUND OF QUESTIONS
(AXXESS MARINE) Thank you for indulging us in this sort of lightning round of questions: THIS OR THAT WITH CAPTAIN POTT
iPhone (IOS) or Android? (CAPTAIN): Android for phone and Mac for laptop
Phone call or text? (CAPTAIN): Text
Digital watch or analog? (CAPTAIN): Both
Twitter, Facebook or Instagram? (CAPTAIN): Facebook
Music or pod cast? (CAPTAIN): Music
High tech or low tech? (CAPTAIN): High Tech
Cocktail or Beer? (CAPTAIN): Beer
Coffee or Tea? (CAPTAIN): Coffee
Batman or Superman? (CAPTAIN): Superman
Late night or early morning? (CAPTAIN): I’m pretty much game for either… I’m bouncing off the walls late at night and early in the morning.
Med Season or Caribbean Season? (CAPTAIN): Med, as it is more stable for the boat and crew.
A big thank you to David for taking the time to chat with us.