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Are You Prepared for the Unexpected?

Printmaster ArtNorthern Washington is not only a beautiful place to live, but it offers unlimited opportunities to sail.

When we moved here, my husband and I joined a local yacht club whose members enjoyed boating and cruising together. While knowledgeable about sailing, we wanted to be part of a larger group of seasoned boaters who had cruised these waters.

They shared stories about sailing trips, hazards they encountered and mistakes that thankfully were not tragic. We learned what supplies to take when cruising long distances and where we could purchase supplies or fuel in desolate areas where there were few marinas or stores.

Cruising long distance in the San Juan and Gulf Islands requires more than taking your boat out for an afternoon’s sail – it requires preparation and local knowledge.

Serious cruising required that we be prepared for the unexpected.

What do you do when fog rolls so fast you have little time to orient yourself before visibility is reduced to zero. Are you prepared to handle your boat in strong winds that whip up huge waves requiring a drastic reduction in speed and knowledge of sailing your boat through eight + foot waves? When arrival at your destination is seriously delayed, are you prepared to enter a marina or anchoring place in the dark?

While cruising can be exciting and enjoyable, it can also be very treacherous if you are not prepared.

Serious goal setting also requires preparation of the unexpected. The obstacles you might encounter are probably more forgiving than the ones you might experience on the water. But unless you prepare for potential setbacks or obstacles, you might experience a lot of distress and give up on your goal.

Goals require an investment of time and money. Like any investment, understanding the risks as well as the benefits is important. Sailing required an investment in equipment that might never be used except in an emergency. When building our home, we had to be prepared for increased costs of building materials. Enrolling in a college degree program, one needs to be prepared for many hidden costs that might not be anticipated.

Do you have an emergency plan set up to handle the potential setbacks and obstacles you might encounter with your goals? Exploring possible solutions ahead of time for potential problems can save a lot of time, stress and energy.

Marlene Anderson



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