Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where to begin?

For starters, I withdrew from consideration for a promotion at work. I’ve always been driven to climb the corporate ladder and this marks a major shift in the path I am on. The surreal part is trying to explain that I withdrew from consideration and was not passed over. Simply put, I don’t think people believe me. Such an action is outside the character my colleagues have come to know. It doesn’t help that I am not yet sharing my real reasons for withdrawing. I’ve been explaining that, “I am holding out for a management position” or “I am not ready to commit to an ill defined, new position for two years”, none of which ring quite true.

The other side of the story is that the position had come down to a heads up competition between me and a colleague I have a great deal of respect for. I could not in good conscious compete for a job, possibly pushing her out of hers, knowing I am leaving soon. I couldn’t think of any way to cut it where that could have been considered anything but a vile move. That’s not how I want to make an exit.

I am also coming off of two weeks of boat work. Actually, the work days were punctuated by weekend sailing trips. It felt really good to get the old girl back on the water. Three weeks ago was the first time I’ve left the dock since I sailed to South Padre. That was just over six months. I made a lot of progress, but far short of what I wanted to get done.

A few big projects included installing the new chartplotter and removing the old gps, flushing and rebuilding the old watermaker, replacing the secondary anchor line, replacing the boom topping lift and its blocks, pulling out 20 years of wiring that was no longer in use, repairing the air conditioner, installing the new shower bilge pump, changing the engine oil and filters, and a few other miscellaneous items. It was good progress, but there is so much more to do.

As a start, I just put in orders for quite a bit of new equipment. I bought an Elliott six man Solas A canister life raft I’ll deck mount, new stainless steel cowl vents for the main cabin, a hand held gps mount for the nav station, new blinds for the fixed ports, and Kiwi Grip so I can redo the non-skid surface of the decks. I am really racing the countdown clock. I am feeling the pressure to get it done like I’ve never felt pressure for any other project. I am pushing to get the decks done and re-caulk all of the deck fittings and chain plates. I need to get this boat water tight.

On a similar, but different note, I think I am going to drop about 1K for a little portable Honda 2000 watt generator. I can set this on the deck at anchor and use it to power the battery charger and refrigerator and freezer. The only other option would be to run the engine for two hours a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I am scared of my engine with ~9000 hours on it. That’s a lot of hours for original equipment. I think Rusty the Westerbeke can make it, but I don’t want to ask him to push the boat and keep my food cold. I can’t afford a repower.

There are about 55 projects on the To Do list and despite knocking them off as quickly as possible it is growing, not shrinking. I have to find a way to fly my storm jib. I have to redo the opening ports. I need safety netting along the lifelines. As for the rest……I’ll just do the best I can and sort it on the way.

I am finally going to D.C. to meet the people at SOS Children’s Villages USA. It’s important to me to meet people in person. Especially considering how much this organization is shaping the course and content of my voyage.

The new website isn’t up yet. It’s coming along, but taking far longer than I’d hoped. If there is anyone reading this good at slinging code who can help me set up an embedded google map and blog, both of which must be capable of being updated via basic text email or SMS/Text to an email address, I could sure use your help.

Reading back through this I realize I went on quite a ramble. I think writing helps me solidify my thoughts. I am tired and a little overwhelmed and it is showing. Despite it all, I am much more excited and thrilled to be seeing it come together than anything else.

I am going to try and sail around the world. I am leaving in November.


1 comment:

Mark Lehmann said...

Good for you Lee. Competition (at work, business or any other) is great but how you win is realy important and often overlooked now days.

Re: Map - have a chat with Alex at he's running a sat tracking locator called Spot which seams a good compromise.