Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Planning the 1st Trip Home

Do I over plan?

Even before the purchase is confirmed, I'm building the plan for bringing Eximius home. When it comes to event planning, I tend to put myself into a virtual event - mind experiment if you like. I literally consider every anticipated action during the event, and that's what I have been doing for this journey.

I use Google Sheets a lot, they are great for having access to them from anywhere. I can keep them locally on my device(s) so even if we're off the net, I can review or edit them.

So the first thing we did for the planning of this trip, was to review the Waterway guide, it's a great book and now their website even includes info from Active Captain. We started by looking at the marina area - Manatee Pocket in Stuart, checking the depths and tides for the date we'll be setting off. That set the start time of the trip as the Marina has to launch her at high tide. We need to arrive at the boat's new slip around mid afternoon on Memorial Day, we want to arrive during daylight.

My boss, Dale, has been really a good friend over the years I've known him, and this trip is only possible because of his flexibility. So Dale was ok with me taking the Friday off before Memorial Day weekend and, if push became a shove, then the following Tuesday would be ok too. So the available time was setup.

Then we looked that routes to getting the boat down here, a choice of inside the ICW (the ditch) or outside, on the ocean. The inlet at Stuart is risky, requires a good bit of fresh local knowledge because of the reported shoaling in the inlet. So we'll take the ICW at the start. We could pop out to the ocean through Lake Worth Inlet, that would avoid a whole lot of bridges, but the next viable inlet is Hillsboro Inlet, that's a long stretch for our first time on the boat. So we figured we would head down the ICW to Old Port Cove where we could anchor. It does require us to leave Manatee Pocket by noon which works for the tides too. From Old Port Cove we would motor on to Lake Boca and perhaps meet some club members before going down the rest of the way inside, or if we feel confident and the weather is cooperating, head outside at the Hillsboro inlet and head down to Port Everglades.

With the rough route planned, I printed out important points on the route from Garmin's Home Port and Google Earth. Those pages were laminated as they would be in the cockpit.

During all of this, we both must have used the phrase 'If it passes survey' a hundred times.