Jan 09, 2015 Winter planning like a gardener The Pirate and I love having friends and family join us of daysails, overnights and mini cruises. Often a gardener studies the seed catalogues in the heart of winter in preparation for the next season. Similar to garden planning for the spring planting and summer/fall harvest, we begin dreaming of our sailing adventures and guest list in the winter. January finds us studying charts, reviewing our logbook, and writing to family and friends to begin the process of coordinating calendars to be sure we are in their plans for summer. We do sail all year round. We even have off-season guest from time to time, although the summer is the season for most of our hosting. Living our simple style has helped provide time and focus to invite people to be with us. When we lived on land, I don't think it occurred to us to invite people over as much as it does now. Our process: The ReviewWe begin in January reviewing the trips of the past years. List our favorites destinations and repeat-ables. The Big PictureWe next sketch out the new goals and destinations for the next year on our calendar and charts. The List We try to guess who might be available for the coming year. The InvitationsWe try not to scare our family and friends by planning too early, but at the first of the year we begin sending notes, letters and emails to check-in who might be able to join us. In the picture we have notes written on the local map to begin the fun of discussing the ‘float plan.’ We mail the note and map to each guest to see if they have any ideas for us, any food allergies or foods they prefer not to eat; any details to help us prepare.