During a pandemic, flexibility is key
Ocean Navigator|November - December 2020
The wheelhouse was scattered with guidebooks extolling the virtues and sites to behold in and around the Baltic — fjords in Sweden and Norway, Danish in Denmark, history-laden Poland, and enough lager to sink a barge in Germany.
Laurie Thyrre

The chart plotters are littered with waypoints and anchorages promising long, lazy days soaking in the vistas of the Swedish archipelago. Yet days from departure, the course line from Portugal was 090° — rather than 350°. Another casualty of the COVID-19 debacle, our summer plans were completely upended, and a new plan emerged.

V1 is the speed at which a pilot must make the decision, during the take-off roll, to continue the take-off or abort and stop on the remaining runway. Similarly, when making a long passage aboard Gratitude, we have to decide at which point we will reverse course or continue to the destination if an emergency develops. Having these points in mind prevents languishing for too long or holding too tightly to any one plan. In this case, seconds won’t change the outcome, but days spent waiting for the original plan to pan out can subvert the potential opportunities right in front of you.

Never has it been more important for cruisers to be flexible. This was an opportunity to re-arrange the plan, and in doing so, we would likely be the only Americans in Italy this summer.

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