Monday, August 27, 2012


South Burlington, Vermont

We've been at Jenny's house for four days. Today we return to the boat. The past 24 hours I monitored closely the weather in Marathon, down in the keys.  I worried about our friends there.   Based on what I saw, the winds were mostly in the 20 knot range, one gust to 45 knots, it sounds like Marathon dodged the bullet.

Below are two of the things that we do to remind ourselves about important things.

  1. On our fridge/freezer we turn it all the way up when the engine is running to build up  store of cold.  We put a green marker in the latch as a reminder to turn the temperature back to normal when the engine is off.
  2. We use the wall surface at the top of the companionway ladder as a white board.  One comes face-to-face with it climbing up.  I write special reminder notes there.  In the picture it says SEA COCKs, reminding me that sea cocks are closed because we're leaving the boat.  They must be re opened when we come aboard and before we start the engine.


The problem is that these, and other methods of memory reminders, fail to work for us any more.  For example, recently when we stopped the engine, Libby removed the green marker, turned down the fridge, then put the marker back.  In her mind, the marker is where it is supposed to be all the time and its reminder function is lost.  I too fail to be reminded by reminders.

We could combat familiarity by inventing a new method of making reminders each time, bu then we would have a hard time remembering what the reminder was for.  It would be like inventing a new password for each Internet site ever time you visit it.

I think the technical answer is to make check lists for each situation and to develop a culture of using them.  We would need a large number of checklists for different functions.  I also fear making the culture overly disciplinarian by insisting on their use so often.

1 comment:

  1. Dick - Here's a different method you might want to consider concerning the engine seacocks. Whenever I close mine I hang the engine key on the actual seacock itself. I might have to think for a minute as to where I left the keys but I don't crank the diesel with them closed... Thanks for such a fine blog! Chip


Type your comments here.