Yes, that has been me and in spite of my constant kvetching about being bored in NYC, I have spent this time planning.
For me planning is all about developing the main plan, thinking about the plan, thinking of every possible contingency, but understanding that something will happen that I never thought of.
Planning is all about probabilities. This is probable, but that is still possible. I avoid words like impossible or never. As Sean Connery said: “Never say Never”
Life itself is all about probabilities. The basis of Quantum Mechanics is all about probabilities and thus our world is probabilistic.
Certainly passage planning is about probabilities. One crosses the North Atlantic in high summer, July to mid-August, because the probability of strong storms, with winds greater than 40 knots is the lowest of the year. The North Pacific is similar, though with lighter winds, but a bigger risk of Typhoons.
First thing I do is check out Jimmy Cornell’s Ocean Atlas: Pilot Charts for All Oceans of the World
It’s the place to get newly published Pilot Charts with up-to-date reliable statistical meteorological information.
So, I like thinking of possibilities and preparing for those possibilities and then preparing for those things that I did not anticipate. 90% of my planning is done after I have the initial plan.
I hate surprises. I hate surprise parties. To me, there is no such thing as a good surprise. Oh, I may “hope” for things to occur: I hope I win this lottery; I hope this friend calls me, but to be surprised, is to be unprepared.
Once again I have been reading Cruising Galicia, published by Imray. A well done book, giving me many ideas. Unlike the past summer, when we had specific places we wanted to see, e.g. Tallinn, Riga, Gdansk, Helsinki, this year and next we will be more flexible. More willing to go where the wind pushes us and where we like the food, drink & people.
OK, maybe a bit premature; but I’ve never been accused of being too patient.
When I get back to Dauntless on the last day of March, my real work will start.
90% of my work is really done in the planning process. Since the end of last summer’s cruise, I have been thinking of a number of minor modifications that need to be done:
The paravanes are number one. While crossing the North Sea, in moderate seas, (6-12’, 2-4m), I finally figured out that the birds were running too shallow, causing them to be inconsistent and significantly reducing their effectiveness. Instead of just replacing the fixed line with a line 5 feet longer, I will make it so that I would be able to change the running depth of the fish while underway. Default depth will be about 16 feet, but I will have the ability to let them out as much as another 15 feet, so if the shit hits the fan, they can run at 30 feet (9m).
Small electrical things to do, like USB outlets in Pilot house, and two cabins and salon. This will also include charger outlets for my laptop and 12v outlets (So I can turn inverter off at night).
Routine filter changes
Add a switch panel for fridge/freezer so I can isolate them, without pulling fuses. So the same for the solar panels.
The Dauntless Cruise Plan 2016 is pretty much set. I’ll make a posting of it in the next weeks. I’m really looking forward to spending an extended time in France, Spain and Portugal. The trip to Italy this Christmas just reinforced how much I like the culture of the Mediterranean counties.
Once we leave Ireland sometime in May, the idea of the winter haven, as we have done for the last two years, will be no more. While we will stop as nature and will takes us for days and even weeks, Dauntless will be heading south and west.
I also hope I can minimize the time alone; it’s simply not fun.
So, it took two car rides, four trains, one bus and two airplanes to get home, having spent the last month in Ireland, Germany and England.
It’s great to have the ability to travel; it’s great to visit my wonderful, generous friends and it’s great to be home. None are mutually exclusive. Just the way I like it. I’m just an inclusive type of guy.
So, sitting here, with Squawk Box on CNBC in the background, I thought I would write about the evolution of our plans over the last few weeks.
This link is one of the Chrome tabs that open on my computer each time I am on-line.
I like getting a sense of the general weather patterns over the areas we will be traveling. Also, it gives a sense of how the situation changes or not, from one day to another. In this case, I’m concentrating on the western coasts of France and Spain, as well as the trade winds that will whisk us back to North America and all the way through the Panama Canal.
The long range plan has never changed; but as they say, the devil is in the details.
Before we even acquired our Krogen 42, the overall plan was:
First summer in New England, Nova Scotia
First winter back to Florida and Bahamas
Second summer crossing the North Atlantic
Wintering in northern Europe, the Netherlands.
Third summer in the Baltic
Pretty much as gone according to plan; Ireland replaced the Netherlands and has been the absolutely best choice.
This past summer has taken a bit more money, energy and bruises than anticipated.
This link shows the movement of Dauntless since July 2014. (Note: As you zoom in, the level of detail increases as to the actual route).
As I had already mentioned: first time is nice, second time is great, third time is an anti-climax. So as wonderful Ireland is, both in the people, the country and the cost; it’s time to move on.
Attending the Krogen Rendezvous in early October, helped us decide to keep Dauntless in Europe one more extra year through 2016 and much of 2017. My recent trip to visit sailing friends, Andreas & Annette in Germany and John, Jenny & Ben in England, have further revised our thinking:
First, my original plan of getting Dauntless’ bruises fixed and back in the water ASAP, was scrapped. I came to understand that time out of the water was good and it also made the work schedule for the boat yard easier and therefore less costly for me. So Dauntless will be on the hard until March.
Assuming all is well, then in April we will start our 2016 cruising season, which right now, may not end until we get to South Korea in August 2018 at the earliest.
So right now this is what the general plan looks like:
Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Orkneys, Shetlands,
???, west coast France
Portugal, SW Spain
SE Spain? Med?
Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands
Lesser Antilles, Panama Canal, Costa Rica
When winds allow moving North along west coast to SE Alaska
Cross Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Japan, Southern coast of Korea
So that’s it in a nutshell. 20,000 nm, (36,000 km) in 29 months, 700 nm/month. That’s seemingly a lot, but there are some very long legs, with about 10-12k miles over only three months. Also the last 9 months of the trip will take us halfway around the world. Ummm, that’s a lot. So it may happen that we will add a year in there probably in the Pac NW or British Columbia.
This allows the first 20 months, from April 2016 to November 2017, to be cruised at very comfortable pace.
So stay tuned. Mark your calendar and if you want to do more than just read about our adventures, drop me a line. There will be a lot of miles and days that are better done with company than without.