Monday, February 14, 2011

The Weather

Having driven sailboats for a living for a number of years, I have developed some skill in weather prediction. Temperature and wind direction tell you a lot. I used to be proud of being able to take a look at the sky, feel the breeze and more or less know what to expect for the next 24 hours. Farmers do the same, maybe better. People who commute on motorcycles do also. This sense you develop isn't perfect and doesn't apply to every situation, but works pretty well.

Before you start calling me in the morning to get my weather prediction for the day, I have to say that I've made a few really bad calls. There was the time we took a night sail from Norfolk to Cape Charles and spent a couple of hours getting our teeth kicked in by a powerful line of thunderstorms. My decision to sail that night was based on a bad prediction of what the unsettled weather would do.

Maggie and her copilot reading the manual while taxiing down the runway
Then there was the time I left Morro Bay in the evening for what I thought would be an easy ride to Monterey. Despite knowing the prevailing winds off the California coast were typically cold, northerly and brisk, I was lulled by a sweet, warm southerly and a strong cup of coffee after dinner. Rough night off the coast of California with a short crew and nowhere to hide.

In both of these cases, I was making predictions based on the incorrect assumption that I knew what was going to happen. Everything looked familiar and safe. On the Morro Bay to Monterey run, I didn't even have local knowledge to draw from. On the Norfolk to Cape Charles sail, I didn't heed the basics: Unsettled weather is often dangerous.

So when the oncology team reduced Maggie's chemotherapy dosage today because her white blood cell count is too low to take the full dose safely, I wanted to keep sailing. I didn't want to delay, because I worry how it will affect our destination landfall. My gut said not to slow down, not to stop. But in fact, this isn't my home port and I have no idea how to safely predict what will happen. Fact is, I'm not even driving the boat.

My prayer today: We don't know Your plan and sometimes that makes us really nervous. Trust in You is not always easy. We will keep working at it. Please be patient.

1 comment:

Dudley said...

Wow, Maggie! How nice to see your amazing smile -- and awesome hat -- on the front page of the Tidewater Review this morning! You are inspiring people you don't even know. Hope you have a great day today! -- from the Olssons