You never really know what you are getting yourself into, regardless of how much time you spend researching it, asking questions and making lists.
Playing to the strengths of your team
It’s inevitable that things don’t go smoothly, but that’s where the real learning comes in, right? And managing those expectations when they don’t go according to plan can make or break your happiness level if you let it.
We are a really great partnership in pretty much all things. We used to work with each other at our previous corporate life years ago and so we have seen each other operate under pretty stressful circumstances. We speak the same language and we are a perfect yin/yang in almost everything. Henry shows up to life only knowing how to be excellent and being good at everything he does. He’s just used to being able to do things well. He thrives on routine and making sure things are done correctly. I am quite comfortable showing up and being terrible at whatever I’m doing, my work skills notwithstanding. I have horrible ADD and struggle with the most basic of routines on a daily basis. I hate jobs that have me doing the same thing over and over again. This inherit piece of who I am makes me an amazing problem solver though. The two of us are great problem solvers, in wildly different areas.
I solve situational issues on the fly, rescheduling/booking/keeping track of changes and things because project management is my life. I live by the motto that the only thing you need to get from point A to point B is post it notes. Lots and lots of post it notes, one task on each. It’s how I manage everything…lol. Henry watched me organize the remodeling of my previous home, listing it for rent, then for sale and managing the pieces and tasks with a wall full of post its.
When we went to plan this adventure, a wall of post its was created. And we worked them! Hard. There are still a few things left on the wall back in our rental in Seattle that are remaining for us to close out when we go back home for the month of May. We’ll get them done…my lists are the thing of legends, but I know how to move mountains. Henry’s problem solving comes in the form of fixing things and understanding the mechanical and technical things. He’ll puzzle on an issue until he gets it, truly the engineering mind at work. He’s tenacious and logical and it’s a great level of security that he’s my traveling partner. And his situational awareness of every place we go is truly amazing. He knows where I am and who is around me at all times. Meanwhile, I’m just blindly petting a goat while stepping off a curb in front of a bus. It’s not an easy life he’s chosen, but he isn’t bored yet!
Anyway, back to the topic of the boat and expectations. We expected to have the weekend to work on the boat, not understanding/knowing that the boat yard basically shuts down on the weekends. We hadn’t factored that in when we decided to stay the extra day in Miami, it wasn’t even on our radar. I got sick and it wound up being a good thing that we couldn’t get on the boat, it forced a little transition time on both of us from the chaos of the Seattle goodbyes to the chaos of the welcome to Grenada. We expected that it would only take a day or two to get moved in to the boat, not fully understanding how much stuff was still on the boat. We knew that we wanted to take everything out of every area and mentally inventory it because in an emergency, you will need to know how to lay your hands on exactly what you need immediately. What we didn’t count on was how well stocked the boat was from the previous owners as far as tools and supplies go. It was a much bigger project than we anticipated and while it wound up being a great thing, it was daunting to say the least.
We made a huge mess by pulling things out of every hold and spreading them out on the forward deck. We grouped tools, toys, cleaners, misc items and started organizing them in a way that would make sense to us in the future. I worked on gutting the galley of the previous items and adding the new things I had been buying for this day for at least 6 months. Yeah, you know there were dishes and some shiny things!
Keep on keeping on
For the first 3 days, we went back to our AirBnB exhausted, sweaty and feeling overwhelmed. Between the stuff on board, the stuff we were dragging all over the boat and the stuff we were bringing onto the boat every day that we brought from home….the clutter and sheer physical amount of “things” wore us out. I am used to working on ever changing plans on the fly, and this even wore me out. Henry fared less well. He’s tidy, organized in what he does every day and in how he thinks. This was “decision fatigue” at it’s highest. And trying to manage repairs on a very large piece of equipment through a 3rd party for the past few months was a challenge, to say the least. So, between trying to excavate the mountain of stuff, we were also dealing with the people that we had hired to make the repairs. Some of which had been done excellently, some of which hadn’t been started. And that we had no answers to how long it was going to take to source these parts, how much they were and if they could even be found. We finally got the answers ourselves after being here a week, but until 5 days after we started, we had no idea of we were even going to be sailing during our first 2 months in Grenada.
You have a sailboat that you spent a year figuring out what kind you wanted. Months shopping for and planning your retirement. Oh, by the way…you can just sit in the water with it, you can’t actually sail it yet because we don’t have the right parts. It was not an inspiring way to start our adventure for sure.
Peace, love and margaritas!
Frankie & Henry