Our Stories: Anna Petchell

Written by NZBWN. Posted in Our Stories.


Not one to sit still for long, Anna Petchell has a CV of adventure to envy. From TV to the high seas and protecting our planet, Anna is an inspirational Kiwi.

Hailing from a farm in Kiwitahi in the Waikato, Anna studied communications and went on to work as a Camera Operator and Floor Manager on shows like Police Ten 7 and TV3 news. Leaving New Zealand nine years ago, she moved to London after being made redundant and had planned to work for the BBC, but chose to travel instead.

Leaving home for a life of travel, and then at sea on super yachts, Anna has clocked up more clocked up more than 60 countries, 10,000 nautical miles, learned six languages (basic), and made countless friends around the world.

That has seen her “live” all over the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the East Coast of USA, the Bahamas, Bermuda, and in the Auckland Viaduct. “Home is wherever the boat ends up – which was sometimes the middle of the Atlantic.”

This year she lifted the sail on a dream to start her own coaching business and temporarily settled in London with her partner Dave, who has also made the move away from yachts. When it came time to leave yachting she realised it was hard to find support for the transition, so she’s made the most of the opportunity and is now helping others to look at how their skills will transfer outside the industry.

“I want to help people find their true dreams after yachting. I discovered I enjoy helping and supporting people, so I undertook professional training as a coach and then as a career change coach. I have since developed a programme for those who are unsure where to go next, and have adapted this for the super yacht crew (Exit Strategy Plan).

Anna has lots of plans for her business, including setting up an online learning platform, hosting events in yachting hubs and potentially retreats.

She’s also looking to incorporate her other business plan and passion - which is to promote eco-awareness for the world and particularly the yachting community. Anna is always picking up litter wherever she is, whether it’s on the beach, in marinas or around Putney and the Thames path in London.

“I would like to encourage more people to do this - and get more people out there looking after their planet.  It’s as easy as taking a rubbish bag when you are out and about – it’s incredible how many wet wipes, water bottles and Monster energy drink cans are discarded.”

Anna is humble about her achievements, but says the highlights include getting her 200 tonne offshore Captain’s ticket, starting up a business in an industry that needs it, and against all odds getting a job in Austria, after being turned down 33 times.

Unsurprisingly, fellow adventurer Richard Branson inspires her most. “He comes up with such incredible ideas for the benefit of the world. And while doing all this remains a down to earth, honest and friendly guy. This is quite uncommon for someone in his position. He’s an inspiration.”

Find out more

Check out Anna’s coaching website.  Follow her on Instagram apetchellcoaching and Facebook @apetchellcoaching 

If you want to join her and other coaches in the network the Parliament of Coaches (a group of moreporks - kiwi coaches) meet once a month online. Contact Anna to find out more.

And if you want to get involved in helping to clean up either just buy some cheap and easy rubbish pickers and take a trash bag (every little bit helps), or find your local clean up (Plastic Patrol has the added fun of Stand Up Paddle boarding) - it’s great for the environment, keeping active and for the community.