Did you ever take the time to experience your feelings as you were getting ready to depart for a new adventure?  You have spent weeks, maybe months, planning this trip to a new destination.  Crossing new water.  Prepping for new challenges. Studying charts.  Reviewing places to see and things to do when you get there.  Selecting and preparing your crew.  All things leading up to the command, “Cast off all lines.”

That is what the New Year feels like to me.  I have spent the entire last year as an adventure.  Tried some new things.  Went to new places.  Tested some new skills. Some of my plans worked; others failed.  All the time putting me in learning mode.  Remember you never fail; you have just had a learning experience.  I have questioned my decisions to stay at the dock based on what I had just studied about weather prediction.  Found myself to be correct and the elation was great.  Also didn’t pay attention to the weather and found myself battling the elements with all the skills I had developed to that point and testing some new ones when the old ones didn’t work.  The Lakes are great teachers, but you must remember to do your homework here.  Mother Nature does not always allow “do – overs.”

Now it is a new year.  Once again it is time to pull out the books, charts, cruising guides and pick a new spot to go to this year.  Planning begins in earnest.  What do I have to do to prepare the boat for the trip?  What do I have to do to prepare myself for the trip?  Is this an adventure I can take grandkids along or do I need an experienced crew with me?  How do I prepare the crew?  Lots of time in front of the fire place to answer all those questions.  Even the “Admiral” gets excited thinking about new places to go.

Now it is your turn to ask yourself those questions?  Where do you want your boating life to take you this year?  Is your new adventure getting to better understand your new boat?  Is it to develop new skills?  Is it to tackle the cruise planning your own trip?  Maybe it is to get your Captain’s license?  Could this be the year to renew your wedding vows?  Life can be pretty hum-drum if you just wait for the surprise.  You need to plan for it.  As they say, “it isn’t the destination; it’s the journey.”

Let’s raise a mug of grog to the New Year.  Here’s to all of our plans coming to fruition.  Here’s to the adventure of life on the water.  You’ve got the helm.