Friday, September 18, 2015

Coping Strategy

Renee and I hit the wall last weekend, overwhelmed by preparing the boat and house and the ever-decreasing number of days before our planned departure date. After a mutual freak-out and intense “sharing of feelings”, I decided I needed a coping strategy. Renee already has one; she just keeps stoically plugging away, gets up earlier, and goes to bed later.  Hers may not always be the most efficient strategy, but it works for her and she maintains continuous progress.  Me, I need to stop, analyze and develop a plan of attack. My progress tops until I figure something out.  Our strategies tend to reinforce each other, but also can be a source of conflict and frustration.

So my coping strategy was to take paper and pencil and layout two pages in my notebook. The first page is a list of all significant tasks that remained to be done arranged in timeline columns with headings “Must Do to Leave”, “Enroute”, and “Later”.  The second page is a three-week calendar.  I took all the tasks under the “Must Do to Leave” column and fit them into the calendar.  The result: We won’t be leaving on October 1st.  It’s just not possible.  But we can get close.

If all goes per my revised plan, we should be able to depart on October 3rd or 4th. That’s actually a bit better than our original October 1st target because it allows us to leave on a weekend so that people who want to can wave goodbye from the dock. More importantly, they can buy me drinks the evening before!

We’re almost a week into the plan and actual progress is tracking pretty closely, but not perfectly. We hope not to, but we the schedule might end up slipping a few days.  That’s okay, but each day of delay will give us less time to enjoy sailing down the California coast and fewer days to just kick back and relax along the way.

The fixed deadline we need to make is the start of the Baja Ha-Ha rally in San Diego on October 26. Working the schedule backwards, we need to arrive in San Diego by October 21 to re-provision, care for the boat after sailing down the coast, hook up with our Baja crew, and enjoy the pre-rally events. It only takes 3-4 days to sail non-stop for San Francisco to San Diego, but we’re not doing that!  With only the two of us sailing and so that we can pick good weather windows for sailing and for our mental health, we need a minimum of two weeks.  So that means we have to leave no later than October 7.

So we now have a departure window- sometime between October 3 and October 7.

Meanwhile, Renee is finishing house projects, I’m buttoning up boat projects and doing the final outfitting of equipment and supplies and we are both starting to box up the stuff in the house so we can start moving it into storage.

Today I’m going to install and activate our IridiumGo satellite device. This will provide basic communication (text, simple email) and provide weather forecasts and routing while we’re sailing. When I get it working, I’ll send my first blog post “via satellite”.