22 September 2017

Making Difficult Navigational Decisions By Flipping A Coin

Note: Our blog lags reality by many, many weeks. So, while you're reading this post about our cruising adventures in the Bahamas, in reality we're back in Indiantown Marina for hurricane season working on dreary boat projects. Cruising in the Bahamas was far more fun. {Sigh}


How do you make really difficult decisions? I mean seriously difficult decisions, not decisions like whether to have extra sprinkles on your hot fudge sundae or not (the answer is always yes, by the way).

Are you one of those people who puts together lists of the pros and cons and then makes a sensible decision after careful consideration? Or are you like us and just flip a coin, letting fate decide what to do?

There we were, anchored at Royal Island near Spanish Wells in the Bahamas, trying to decide which way to go to head back to the States. Should we go north through the Abacos and over to West Palm Beach or should we go west via Bimini and then over to the Miami/Ft Lauderdale area?

We went back and forth and forth and back and around in circles for a while. By then we were so tired from our mental exertions that we took a nap, followed by sundowners in the cockpit. That's because we're strong advocates of the school of thought that says:

"Have a difficult decision to make? Why not put off until tomorrow what you don't want to do today?"

We're good at procrastinating. We put the "pro" in procrastination. All you have to do is look at our very long list of boat projects that haven't been completed to know that.

But, eventually, you have to make difficult decisions. We got through the Egg Island Cut near Royal Island and had to decide which way to go. And so we did. By flipping a coin.

Heads meant that we would go via the Abacos and tails meant that we would go via Bimini. At least that's what I thought they meant. Turns out Scott thought heads meant we would go via Bimini and tails meant we would go via the Abacos.

Yeah, you read that right. We can't even decide what heads and tails stand for. It's a wonder we get anything done or manage to sail anywhere.

Eventually, we headed north towards the Abacos.

Turns out it was a good decision. The weather was favorable and we had a pleasant crossing. There were even rainbows and dolphins. Who knows, maybe going via Bimini would have been a good decision too. Then again, maybe we would have had bad weather and scary sea monsters in our path.

I don't have any good pictures of our crossing to share with you, so here's one of Scott's feet at anchor while we were having sundowners in the cockpit and procrastinating difficult decisions.


Cruising Log | Saturday, 8 July 2017 - Monday, 10 July 2017

Went through Egg Island cut - not sure which way to go. Flipped a coin and headed to the Abacos. Sea state variable - 1-3' to 3-6'. Light winds. Several freighters - two passed close to us. Current slowed us down off of Great Abaco Island. Rainbows and dolphins spotted. North Bar cut was easy-peasy. Nautical Miles = 60. Anchor up at 6:30 AM at Royal Island. Anchor down at Tilloo Cay at 6:30 PM. Engine = 12 hours. Spending = Nil.

Anchor up at 9:00 AM. Anchor down in Marsh Harbour at 11:30 AM. Hit the grocery store, did laundry and got water. Bunch of kids hanging around at dinghy dock messing with boats. Nautical Miles = 12. Engine = 2 hours 30 mins. Spending = $33.46 (15 gallons city water - $2.70, 15 gallons RO water - $6.00, groceries/household - $23.26, laundry - $2.50).

Went in early to town before "dinghy dock gang" got there. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine Hours = Nil. Spending  $28.75 (groceries).

How do you make decisions? What's the hardest decision you ever had to make?

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  1. Maybe flipping a coin is the best way to make decisions. Takes away any stress you might be feeling about it. ("Oh, well. We have to choice in the matter... the coin says we've gotta do THIS..." Kinda like an all-purpose magic 8-ball.)

    Our most difficult decision was whether or not to leave Maryland and move to Georgia way back when. My hubby and I sat up all night discussing it until we agreed the best move for us was... to move.

    1. We should get a Magic 8 Ball - that would be a fun way to make decisions :-)

  2. I'm a pro / con list type of person, but in the end it depends on the weather and what the boat feels like doing!

    1. Weather was definitely a factor that we considered before flipping a coin :-)

  3. Piet Hein recommends the coin toss method as well, "...no, not so that chance will decide the affair while you're passively standing there moping. The moment the penny is up in the air you suddenly know what you're hoping."

  4. You couldn't even decide on the coin toss - now that's funny!

  5. If we're on our boat there are a lot of factors in decision making and we've never flipped a coin in making them. They are based on the issues facing us. Weather, wind, tides and the like. I do like that you are pros at procrastination. I do that at home often.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. We took all the normal factors into consideration and either route had pluses and minuses so we just couldn't decide.

  6. Do you ever procrastinate on the decision about sundowners? Answer not really required - I wouldn't either.


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