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Reality Check

I have been talking about this trip for several years. Yet other than fantasizing about it and telling other people, I am not much further ahead than I was in December 2015 when I started this blog!

This winter I decided to get serious and signed up for the Sail Canada Intermediate Theory Ashore class. It is a total of 5 evenings; we have done two so far. Several points of basic seamanship came up, such as recognizing bouys and markers, what to do in fog. I learned these basics eight years ago, haven’t had to use them much.

I can confidently say that I don’t know what I am doing.

Donald Rumsfeld, former US Secretary of Defense, had a famous briefing in which he referred to known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. I think I have a new category, unknown known knowns!

Earlier today I watched a video from the YouTube vlog series “Follow the Boat”. It features a couple who have been sailing for 10 years and are currently in Indonesia. They announced that in 2020 they are going sail to Japan, approximately 2,500 NM from where they are now. A mere 2,500 miles and the amount of work they are anticipating for their boat, and their navigation and cruising preparation is going to take about a year. Presumably they have some other plans for cruising Indonesia and South East Asia but they still view this trip as significant.

I am planning to travel 16,000 NM in the same amount of time, and I am lacking a boat, plans and skills. Plus I have to sort out the rest of my life such as responsibilities with family and work.

So what to do?

  1. Be clear about who I have to become. What new habits and discipline do I need. Fundamentally this is why I am doing this in the first place, to become a different, better version of myself
  2. Accept that this is a huge project and demands all of my time and attention
  3. Detail what I need to learn such as seamanship, navigation, boat maintenance and repair
  4. Anticipate roadblocks and how I will handle them. This is big.
  5. Itemize list of responsibilities that need to be resolved
  6. Resources to get help. Big. I am not comfortable asking for help.

Reality. Check.


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