Tuesday, October 2, 2007

With commitment comes clarity

One of the advantages of committing to a project is the sense of clarity this can bring. Because I'm going to Labrador next year and my energies are directed towards that, so much else that I could be doing is excluded - so I don't have to think about it. There's just no time to do anything on the B list of "what might be nice or fun".

For any project, and any adventure or journey to succeed, a number of aspects need to come together all at the same time. It's rather like a barn raising in which heavy timbers must be raised in a certain order and brought together at the same time. So far, my major headings are finance, research, outfitting the boat and book & other works. This time I've decide to try using a mind map to keep on top of all the aspects. Hopefully, this will allow me to keep a good idea of how the project is developing overall as well as the thousand and one details on which success really depends. In the past, in my journeys in the Amazon for example, I either got so engrossed in the details of outfitting and planning that I lost sight of the overall purpose and scope; or my head was so far in the clouds as to what I might accomplish that I forgot to pack matches (a potentially life-threatening omission in the rainforest!).

Stage one is to brain-storm the whole project in all aspects and then pinpoint the holes. I'll post the mind map by the end of the week.

I've called the coast of Labrador "North America's forgotten coast" and I'm already having trouble even getting a map of Labrador! Every single map includes Newfoundland as well, with Labrador as an inset. What is necessary is a large map just of Labrador itself. For some reason cartographers and oceanographers don't need to talk to one another. Maps don't have details of the sea bed and charts rarely have any useful information about the shoreline. So maps (of land) and charts (of the water) are essential.

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