EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Acting as captain and primary navigator for a sailboat as I do is challenging at times. Back in the old days before I had a Loran or a GPS unit, life was much more difficult.

Step one in navigation is to get out a chart of your local area that hopefully has both your starting point and your end point. On Long Island Sound, although you can sometimes draw a straight line between where you are and your destination, more often than not you need to do a little zigzagging to avoid the rocks. (Just so you know it is always a good idea to avoid rocks.)

Since space is limited tonight, we will avoid the problem of your destination being directly upwind from where you are and not get into the complication of having to tack your way there. Instead we will just focus on the problem of setting a proper course (of course) and what elements need to be considered.

As you know, time and tide wait for no one. (Not really relevant, but I thought I would bring it up anyway.) On Long Island Sound, the tide for most navigation problems is either running East or West depending on whether it is rising or falling. For those who want to pick up a few nautical terms, a rising tide is referred to as the flood and a falling tide is called the ebb. On a flood tide the water is moving to the West and on an ebb tide it is moving to the East. (Long Island Sound lies primarily East and West.)

Okay, so where are you going? If East or West you can be either riding the tide (always a good idea) or being pushed back by it making your journey take longer. If you are heading North or South you are being pushed to your left or right depending on the state of the tide. How do you find out about the state of the tide? Well, you have to look it up in your copy of the local tide tables. (It is actually not as complicated as it sounds, which is true for most things in life.)

Moving right along (and you are always moving when you are on the water even when you are trying to stand still), one of the more useful approaches to knowing when you are going to get to your destination is to compute the required elapsed time. You sort of keep track of your speed through the water, factor in the tide and to a very large degree you will not only have a safe journey but when “the time is up” you should be darn close to your destination.

Networking isn’t a lot different. It is a navigation problem of sorts. First, determine where you are and next, determine where you want to go. The “destination” in this context is a target company list. The charts available for your information and use can be created using our Member Directory Search feature. Step one is to know your Chapters and Special Interest Groups. If you plug in what makes you special in this way, you can create a tailored map of where you want to go. If this broad selection creates over 100 names (our limit for your chart), you can narrow your search by adding more criteria of geography or by setting a more narrow “Include Records Updated After” criteria.

Our Member Directory Search feature is very intuitive and easy to use. If you lose your way, you can always call me for assistance. It is always a pleasure to help a lost fellow sailor navigate what appear to him/her as uncharted waters.

Like charts used for navigation, our membership directories have a LOT of information in them. The more you study them, the more information you discover and the more useful you realize they are.

Unlike the membership directories published by most organizations, ours are intended to help you identify appropriate harbors … oops, I mean new friends through a careful comparison of their background to your targeted destinations. That is why employment histories and chapters and special interest groups are a part of every listing. (As Yogi Berra once said: “You can see a lot just by looking.”)

The careful use of the information tools available to you as a member should make your journey safe and enjoyable.

You can even make friends with a few rocks along the way if you like. (Just don’t hit them.)

Regards, Matt

Comments are closed.