Ok, its almost impossible to eliminate a schedule completely. We know how damaging a schedule can be to having a relaxed time and reaching that place of freedom, the reason why we go cruising in the first place. Not only damaging, but schedules can be downright dangerous as well, subjecting us to making decisions that override weather judgments and other fundamentals. So if we can’t eliminate them, what can we do ? Best option is to have a fallback timeline, pre-planned and in the breach, if Plan A goes to pot. That makes it easier for us to let go of our precious, but lets face it, completely arbitrary as far as nature is concerned, schedule. This is how it played out in the lead up to crossing the Atlantic from Cape Town to the Caribbean.
A schedule emerged, quite of its own accord, about 3 months ahead of our approximate departure from South Africa. A number of factors aligned, the expiration of Luckyfish‘s safety certificate on Dec 27, the opening of the summer weather window, 90 day visa expiration, etc. It all pointed to leaving South Africa early in December 2015. Then, I recalled Moitessier’s plan was to always try arrive in a new port on a full moon. A quick check of the phases of the moon for St Helena showed a day or two either side of Christmas Day would be perfect. Subtract 9 days from Dec 25 and suddenly we had a schedule. Lets leave Walvis no later than 16 Dec, which meant clearing Cape Town early December. We now had a Plan A.
Plan B revealed itself a short time later.