It is better to be on the land wishing you were at sea than at sea wishing you were on the land. Author unkown.
So many stories start with – we were pressed for time, conditions were not ideal but…, we had to press on, we were running late etc. obviously this is fairly self selecting, if you were ‘pressed for time but then everything else was fine’ that does not make such a good story but really for us is it worth taking chances with our house and family?
We have made decisions many times which have delayed a departure, it’s rarely fun and not something that is taken lightly but we have a rule that if we are unsure for any reason we don’t leave. We have the luxury of time to do this, for people with deadlines for returning to work, returning a charter boat, or getting to a fixed point it is easy to see how decisions are made differently and pressure is felt to do so.
It can be the simplest thing which makes life more complicated – drizzle reducing visibility, discovering the bilges full of water (that was a bit of a surprise one day, there was so much it looked like we were sinking!), even a sleepless night or gut feeling that something is just not right. I could ramble on about intuition – I wrote a whole essay on the subject once in a previous lifetime, complete with references, but the gist is that generally when you get a gut feeling it is because something has triggered it even if you have not consciously noticed what that something is.
We have felt a pressure a few times but each time have been able to rationalise, it is not the same sort of pressure – we are not going to be sacked for example or charged a huge amount of money. When due to meet the in laws one time we left then had a concern with the engine, it may have been alright it might not, should we go for the sensible, safe return to the port we had just left or should we carry on to where we were meeting them and hope that the engine would be OK. We decided to return, as it happened a correct decision as the engine did not start again, we had to jiggle things for a couple of days until us and the in laws were all in the same place but that was preferable to entering a narrow, tidal river on one engine.
We’ve had a week like that this week, engine problems followed by more engine problems followed by thick fog and reducing weather windows so a couple of days stop over has stretched to over a week and the boat has been prepared for moving at least 3 times. Yes, it can be frustrating making the decision to delay a departure but I would still rather be writing about waiting to leave than about being shipwrecked.
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