Strait of Juan de Fuca, the 24-page pre-plan

by Andrew Malinak

[Originally published in Please Tap on the Glass at USMS Blogs on 21 July 2013.]

->> skip straight to the document <<-

This is it, my final post before the swim. Meghan and Caitlin are in town, the weather remains sunny and calm, and all indications point to a go on 28 July 2013. But we wouldn’t be able to start without the pre-plan being approved.

Last summer, I began typing up a “so you’re going to crew for me” type document to make early morning pre-swim discussions with an unfamiliar captain and crew a little easier. It is two pages and goes over what I want and expect from them on the average swim, and what they should want and expect from me. This document, along with the one-page supplement, makes up the last three pages of this swim’s pre-plan.

Early on in the planning, it became clear that the swim manager would need to have a lot written down to get across the borders and shipping lanes, so I began to draft a swim-specific pre-plan. As July approached, VTS recommended I submit a pre-plan for them to distribute to various agencies, and I was like, “easy, here it is!” They made one set of comments (thorough comments) and included emergency numbers, proper VTS procedure, and asked me to clarify some why’s and how’s. When they passed it on to the Port Angeles USCG station, USCBP, CBSA, and the Canadian Coast Guard, they got unanimous approval on the first try – something I’m told is a feat in itself.

The document is attached for your use, review, and enjoyment. It’s sections are broken up as follows:

  1. definitions; vessel details
  2. entry into Canada
  3. entry into US
  4. communications
  5. emergency numbers
  6. VTS
  7. CANPASS worksheet
  8. safety goal
  9. safety authority
  10. crew responsibilities
  11. go/no-go decision
  12. safety plan
  13. escort craft description
  14. swim rules (taken from Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association rules)
  15. current overview
  16. daily route plans with current info
  17. general crew info
  18. specific crew info.

The document can be found at my old MIMS2012 website:
http://andrewswimsmims.com/wp-conten…y-redacted.pdf

Thanks for sharing in the adventure!