Oceans of Gratitude

Well, we’ve come a long way. We are well past the halfway point of this last part of the last leg, having left behind the most notable landmark, Cape Hatteras! With a bit less than 250 miles to go, we still have some weak weather fronts approaching and some light air to manage, but all in all, we’re gaining on it.

6827_storm2Edge of the Storm

Both of the last couple of days have handed me rather exciting weather systems. Each day delivered a strong thunder and lightning storm mid-morning – and I mean strong. Terrific rain, though not so much wind, only to about 35 knots – but tons of thunder and lightning! It’s incredible and beautiful to watch. At the same time it clearly humbles you in the face of Mother Nature’s potential for fury! In such moments, it’s easy to imagine how such turbulent forces have over eons reshaped mountains, rivers and landscapes.

6826_storm3_550Storm on the Radar … 

We’ve had a great run here with the help of the Gulf Stream. While I am constantly under-sailed because of the threat of storms, the Gulf Stream current here along the coast, adds a couple of knots of speed to my average. I could fly larger sails, but considering the density of storms in the area, I see no need to test my luck any further.

6833_storm_550
Looking away from the storm

As the final miles roll on, it won’t be long before I make my approach to Narragansett Bay. Right now, I’m hoping to arrive around noontime on Saturday.

Before that happens though, I would like to send out some thank yous to all those that have worked so hard to make this incredible event and journey happen for me.

From the many friends at various ports where I stopped and harbored, to old shipmates like Tim Eades and Jonathan Pond who helped me prepare Bodacious Dream. There was also the steady encouragement from friends like Alan Veenstra and Lynn Duttlinger and the ever-present support of my sister Nancy, my Mom and my whole family.

Of course, the voyage would have been far less rich and well-researched had it not been for the insights and efforts of Tegan Mortimer, our ocean scientist colleague who contributed her many wonderful Science Notes. (Look for a final one tomorrow!)

Seldom mentioned but always behind the scenes with editing, media and web work, bringing you all my stories is Mark Petrakis at Firm Solutions in California.

No doubt there are many I am forgetting to mention here, but for sure, the Bodacious Racing family and its creative leadership are without a doubt the most gracious sponsors once could ever hope to have. I will be forever indebted to them for these wonderful memories. Thank you one and all!

So, leaving my computer below decks, I’m venturing back up top now to sail some and to watch the end of the day pass.

6544_selfie_550Sun of Selfie

This is a special time of day for me… something more than another sunset photo op. On one hand, it gives me a chance to gaze into the skies in search of some telltale indicators of the weather for the night ahead. But it also provides me another opportunity to see and appreciate just where in this world I am and to reflect on the many people who have helped to bring me here.

Soon enough, the journey will be over, but the memories will continue. Thanks to all of you for following along.

- Dave, Bodacious Dream and (the equally grateful) Franklin