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On the Rocks or in the Channel

BOATS026To have goals that are successful, you not only have to define exactly what you want, but you also need to know how you will get there.

When my husband and I decided to explore the San Juan Islands in our sailboat, we first needed to determine where we wanted to go and when.

But we not only needed to know our final destination and the time of departure and return, we also needed to know the best route to take, what navigation hazards were involved, what waters were safe for our sailboat, etc.

Knowing how to read and understand charts (the water’s road maps) and monitoring navigation and weather channels were critical. We needed to know how to avoid hidden obstacles (submerged rocks, reefs, etc) and shipping lanes (there are no freeway markers), and the location of marinas and safe anchoring spots to take us out of strong winds, currents and low tides at night.

Our boat needed to be well equipped: a depth sounder, fuel, anchor, adequate lines and a dinghy to get to shore when anchoring out or for emergencies. There needed to be adequate supplies of food, water, and clothing for cold, wind and rain.

You don’t prepare for such adventures the week before you leave. Long before we began serious cruising, we had taken Coast Guard navigation courses. We purchased charts and other navigation equipment. We not only knew our boat, but had become skilled at sailing her. We talked with other sailors and read books on sailing.

A lot of work? Not at all. The preparations were well worth the rewards of sailing in the beautiful waterways of the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands.

There are no words to express the beauty of a secluded anchor spot with only the sounds of nature and the setting sun. Or the playful marine life that surrounds you as you cruise; the birds that sweep low over the water on their way home for the night. The memory of such events and many more is forever etched in your memory.

So it is with our life goals. When we know what we want and are willing to do the homework to get there, the rewards forever enrich your life.

What kind of preparation is required for you to reach your goals? Perhaps it is learning how to manage your time and be self-directive. Considering the obstacles that stand in your way ahead of time can make the journey easier.

Marlene Anderson




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