Thursday, September 7, 2017

Plans are useless

"I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” - Dwight Eisenhower

As we drove up and down the east coast we pondered our options. Ever since Plan B became Plan A we’ve taken something of a tactical rather than a strategic approach. In other words, having established a vision many years ago and considered the possibility of simply running away to sea, making that successful has been, perhaps, less well thought out. At first blush here’s a rough summary of where our plans are at:

July, 2017
Decide to quit our jobs and go sailing
Carol & Mike
July, 2017
Research boats
Complete (Mike’s research was already complete in 2002)
July, / August 2017
Find a boat
Carol & Mike
August, 2017
Buy a boat
Carol & Mike
Dependencies: selling everything we own, liquidating our savings and a successful marine survey
November 2017
Sail away
Carol & Mike
Dependencies: see above 
December 2017
Drink rum
Carol & Mike
This may get pulled up to September (completed for September.

Simple as that really. Given that our checklists are mostly in our heads right now, we’ve been scatalogically riffing down a list of questions that ranges from, ‘what if we’re caught in a hurricane and will we need a sea anchor’ (yes, probably), to ‘how about starting a podcast for sailors to monetize things’ (given the dearth of good podcasts out there I’m not selling my Røde mic yet).

Having spent a career in strategic planning our approach may seem a little disjointed, but on reflection it’s not as chaotic as it might appear. About 10 years ago I started getting more serious about sailing and began getting some training. The most recent was this year’s trip outside Vancouver Island to secure the American Sailing Association’s (ASA) 105 (coastal navigation) and ASA 106 (coastal cruising) certifications. A few years ago I got my Wilderness First Responder certification, and recently became a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Will that last one help crossing vast expanses of ocean? Only inasmuch as it’s going to take a whole bunch of creativity to do that successfully.

What about Carol? Well, Carol’s a kinesthetic learner and it seems the best thing is to shove her head into a book or two for a few minutes and then put her on watch for as long as she can stand it. Meanwhile, whatever vessel we end up with, there will be dozens of systems to learn how to repair. As long as the biggest items are in good working order, then the mysteries of chart plotters, radar and sine wave inverters will reveal themselves in due course.

Note to self: it’s probably time to start developing some lists...

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