Routine: The Travelled Way

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same
the Lord’s name is to be praised.
Psalm 113:3 KJV

The Intuition Diaries

Routines were to be left behind, while we vacationed on Lake Michigan. Or so we thought.  We found out at the beginning of our trip that routines are important whether we were on vacation or not. Just like the rising and setting of the sun, routines have their purposes. Every time we take the boat out, we follow a checklist. Read more if you want to hear how we neglected a crucial routine, but were graced with GRACE!

 

At the beginning of July, we drove away from St. Louis, towing our boat, the Intuition. We arrived late afternoon to our destination just north of Chicago on the western shore of the lake. We checked in with the marina and proceeded to get the boat ready for our adventure of following a clockwise circuit around the shores of Lake Michigan.

We were out of our normal routine. Les was thinking about getting the extra kicker motor on the back of the boat. (This motor is our backup if the main engine fails.) I was thinking about how to arrange the extra food and other items inside the boat, so we wouldn’t be tripping over stuff for the next few weeks. It took about an hour to get everything transferred to the boat, so we were pleased with our efficiency.

Next stop—back the boat down the ramp and find our boat slip. We have a checklist for this procedure, but for some reason neither one of us pulled it out. Familiarity and past successes at this mundane part of boating became an embarrassing oversight.

Before heading out to sea, it is prudent to make sure the engine fires up and everything is working properly. So we took our usual steps (sort of) and tried the engine. NOTHING! Was the battery dead? Why is the bilge pump running? Did the fridge drain the battery on the road trip here? We were baffled.

We went back to the bilge pump question. Why was it running? Its purpose is to bail water from the cockpit of the boat or any water that is in the bottom of the boat. Under my breath, I was praying for wisdom. We opened the floor hatch and noted  water in the bottom of the boat, which the pump was dutifully offloading. All of a sudden, we remembered…the plug…did anyone put the plug in before we entered the water!? Nope, we totally skipped that part of the checklist. We scrambled and pulled the boat back on the trailer, let the water drain. Then promptly put the plug in.

The grace part: In our rush to get to our destination (the slip at the marina); I had knocked the throttle out of neutral. The engine only starts in neutral. The checklist states: “Check to make sure the throttle is in neutral position before starting the engine.” If the engine had started, we would have had a more serious problem on our hands, like how to get a sinking boat out of the harbor.

After figuring out the plug problem, we consulted the checklist, which solved the engine failure. I put the boat back into neutral, and the engine fired up immediately. What did we learn? We learned to trust the routine and always look at the checklist. After our humiliation subsided, we laughed at ourselves and thanked God for watching out for us in our foolishness.

Sunday Morning Sunrise

North Point Marina, Winthrop Harbor, IL 8.10.2012

 

 

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