Dave’s “Spirit of a Dream” is published!

Hello again,

As an interesting and hopeful alternative to the news, I would like to let you know that my long-awaited book is just a week away fro release. Spirit of a Dream has met the final approvals and will be officially released Tuesday, October 2nd. That day just so happens to be the fifth anniversary of my departure from Jamestown Harbor sailing alone around the world.

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I recall October 2nd, 2013 being a perfect day. Bo and I departed about noon after spending some time with friends who had gathered for the sendoff. Joe Harris on Gryphon Solo ll sailed out and met me. Together, like old friends, Bo and Gryphon Solo ll sailed alongside each other for a time, before Joe turned back for home and I continued over the horizon. It was a sparkling day on the water, one I’ll never forget.

If you are looking for a way to drift away from the everyday, a copy of Spirit of a Dream might be just the ticket.bo_gryphon_550

In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from the book about that October day:

“The beauty of sailing offshore begins when the harbor blends in with the horizon. Gradually, almost unnoticeably, the horizon becomes indistinct in all directions as we enfold with the waves and head for a place defined by a set of coordinates on this enormous, round planet.

As the sun falls below the horizon, I’m alone and no longer attached to the harbor behind me, but to a course set by mysterious, magnetic forces below the surface of the earth. Without land in sight, a grid of latitude and longitude defines my existence.

As the last of the evening light disperses across the sky, Bo and I follow this course, slipping back and forth from conscious to subconscious. The sea and wind have control of my destiny, leaving me with the simple task of existing in harmony with them, respecting the things I cannot see or control, and honoring my desire and dreams. Bodacious Dream and I sail as trusting friends across the ocean as I drift through sleep and memories.”

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As you might have guessed, I’m thrilled to be seeing the book through to publication, and I’m very grateful to be able to share the experience with you. I hope you’ll find the story engaging and easy to connect with the personal reflections I share.

I invite you to purchase the paperback (or E-book soon!) through my good publisher at Seaworthy Publications or at Amazon. And by late October, it should be available through your local bookstore or marine chandlery.

More info can be found at http://spiritofadream.com, which we’ll be expanding on in the near future.

Thanks for your patience on this journey. I hope you enjoy the read.

- Dave, Bo, Franklin, and Otto… and the many Spirits of a Dream

Summer 2018 Update!

Wow, this summer has been so busy, I’ve been unable to keep you up on all the happenings. I hope yours has had its share of fun too. Before I fill you in on the Atlantic Cup, the two Mac Races and my new involvement with The Chicago Maritime Arts Center, let me catch you up on the progress of my book, Spirit of a Dream.

spirit_195The road to publication takes a lot of patience, but the wait is nearly over. The first proofs have arrived, and after a few tweaks, we are quite happy with them. Now we are awaiting the arrival of our Library of Congress catalog number. Once we get it, Seaworthy Publishing will push the button, and Spirit of a Dream will be available on Amazon! That could be a week or two, but hopefully no more than a month!

I’m obviously excited about the book’s publication and can’t wait to share the stories with you. Hopefully, the extra time and hard work have been worthwhile, and will provide you with an excellent read. While we await the arrival of Spirit of a Dream, let me fill you in on other great adventures from this summer.

First off, the biennial Atlantic Cup ran in its usual late May, early June time frame. With 11 boats competing from Brazil, France, Norway, South Africa, USA and sailors from other countries far and wide, the racing was exceptional, very competitive and as challenging as offshore racing can get. Through it all, Earendil, sailed by Catherine Pourre and Pietro Luciani held their consistency to take top honors and win the cup. Catherine was the first winning female in the history of the race.

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Photo @BillyBlack

Earendil was followed by Toothface sailed by Mike Dreese and Tristan Mouligne and then by Amhas with the venerable Rob Windsor and Micha Davis trimming to a close third. Oakcliff Racing, my old boat Bodacious Dream, on which we won the Atlantic Cup in 2013 and with which I then circumnavigated the globe in 2014, had a great final race. They pressed the whole way for a top position, showing that Bo is still one fast boat!

For the past two Atlantic Cups, my involvement has chiefly been with managing the AC Kids Education Program. This year, our crew put on the best event so far, sharing the program, the excitement and the wisdom of the sailors and the ocean with over 2000 kids of all ages and backgrounds! While 9-12-year-olds make up the bulk of the students, we were inspired by the inquisitiveness of first and second graders too and by the determination of high school students who were studying marine biology.

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Photo @BillyBlack

As always, we learn as much from the kids as they do from us. One student spoke out in class by saying, “If plastics last 100 years or longer, then all the plastic we’ve ever made is still here on the earth!” That one really gave me pause. Even I had never looked at it quite that way. No matter where or how you disposed of the plastic you’ve used in your life, it continues to live somewhere. Always give plastic a chance to live a new, recycled life.

Here’s the video from the Atlantic Cup Kids Program. Watch it to the end to hear the final, fantastic statement from the young girl. Her sincerity says it all… ”It’s our earth darn it!”

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Next up, 11th Hour Racing gave us, its panel of ambassadors. the opportunity to designate a non-profit organization that we felt most closely aligned with and could help expand each of our own interests and efforts. I chose the Chicago Maritime Arts Center,  after being introduced to them by my close friends, Phil Pollard and Grant Crowley over at Crowley’s Yacht Yard, on East 95th Street in Chicago.

Screen Shot 18The CMAC consists of a group of passionate boaters inspired by the founder, Capt. Toby Lindo, who launched the program which works with school-age kids to build and operate small boats and so hopefully stimulate some tangible changes in those kid’s life experience. Through the process of building a simple skiff and launching it on the Chicago River, these kids get the chance to do something not easily available in their inner-city neighborhoods.

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I was lucky enough to attend the second session this summer and wow, what a kick! Kids were using drills, handsaws, measuring tapes, paintbrushes and other tools to build a 10-foot-long Bevin’s Skiff. On launch day, they carried the boats to the water’s edge and with a few words of dedication, quickly slipped them into the water, hopped in and took to the oars. The first few uncoordinated swipes with the oars soon turned into proficient sweeps as these strong young kids took charge of the day and hopefully set a new course for their lives.

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The leadership of the CMAC is focused on building out their program to provide this opportunity citywide. Gaining valuable wisdom and insights from other programs throughout the country and leveraging local expertise, they have made a great start, and I have every confidence that within a few years, CMAC will be impacting many young adult lives that will ripple positively across their communities. Check them out on Facebook too - they are definitely worthy of your attention and any spare change you might be able to share with them.

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Lastly, the Mac Races! These races are the main event in a Great Lakes sailor’s summer. First up this year was the Bayview Mac Race, which began at the southern tip of Lake Huron and ran the length of Lake Huron to Mackinac Island. I raced the 280 some miles with my good friends on Defiance, a JV 67. Light or mostly non-existent winds actually covered the entire racecourse, except for the last 20 miles when a fresh northerly provided beautiful, clear, upwind sail to the finish. We were excited to be the third boat across the finish line, behind Windquest and Wizard, although the handicap correction dropped us further down the rankings. If anyone ever tells you big winds make for hard sailing, tell them that light or no wind is equally as taxing for competitive-minded sailors.

The following weekend, under rainy, grey skies, and a building northerly wind that would stay through the entire race, aboard the good ship Tango in Blue, we started the Chicago Mac Race. This year I got the unique chance to sail with a crew that included my godson, Harry Barrows who, at 18 was getting the chance to sail his first Mac race! If you’ve heard any stories of this year’s Chicago Mac, they’re probably accurate. We pounded along into 20-25 knot upwind conditions for two continuous days until the winds eased a bit and the skies lightened up. Hour after hour of being doused by waves, while hanging on the rail, as the boat heaved and bashed its way into the next wave. Nights of endless blackness, fatigue and shivering in our cold wet skivvies unleashed an endless stream of stories once we reached Mackinac Island.

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This story ended happily though with a tired, elated crew as we topped our section in first place. Without that extra boost of adrenaline at the finish line, that first glass of champagne migh have left me horizontal on the dock.

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If that wasn’t enough for one summer, on June 30th, I was honored with induction into the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation Hall of Fame. Many friends and family gathered for the ceremony at the Michigan City Yacht Club, the place I call my home harbor, to celebrate. After 45 years of sailing, I have quite a collection of plaques and awards, but none of them are as precious as the ones like this one, that come with the respect of my peers. This honor is especially precious.

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So, that’s been the summer, and for it, I am one lucky sailor. I hope yours summer has been full of good memories too. With the coming of fall, look for Spirit of a Dream.

A smooth sail to you into whatever adventures fall and winter might bring you.

Regards to all,

- Dave Rearick

Spring Reading & Atlantic Cup Fun

Hello everyone! … Spring is on the calendar even if it’s not in the air yet. Amazing it’s April 6th and it’s too cold to work on boats in the Midwest. I have to say in my earlier years, I recall sailing Geronimo down the coast with a beard of ice hanging off the bow pulpit.

crw_225x300So, while avoiding boat work this weekend, you might enjoy reading the April issue of Cruising World. There’s a familiar face on the front cover and an article by the very same writer on the inside. The article tells the story of last fall’s sail across the pond (the Atlantic Ocean) aboard he 33-foot sailboat Hope to Ireland, Scotland, Norway and Sweden. It’s fun, and I think you’ll enjoy it and the photos. Bruce Carter took most the images, and there are some great shots. I bought a few copies of the magazine at the local Barnes and Noble, so I know you can find it there if someone hasn’t bought them all up yet!! You can also find them at some West Marine Stores and get it online at this link.

I hope reading that article will tide you over until the much-anticipated release of my book, Spirit of a Dream. Spirit of a Dream is in the process of being published at the moment, and we hope it hits the shelves by the end of summer. Stay tuned for continuing updates on the release date.

Also, stay tuned for Atlantic Cup Kids updates. I’m presently talking with multiple classrooms in Portland, Maine. It is so much fun inspiring the imagination of students. Today I learned about Needle Fish from the students at Hall Elementary School.

Stay the course – spring is coming. I’ll fill you in on what’s happening in the next update. If you can’t wait, you can always follow us at www.atlanticcup.org

- Dave

Approaching an Exciting 2018

Hello Everyone, and Happy New Year!

I hope this note finds you well and warm on the first few days of the new year. I have a lot to share with you, but first, as you may know, it has been seriously cold here on the shores of Lake Michigan. Shortly after Christmas, a polar vortex blanketed much of North America. Old-timers have shared with me that Lake Michigan has to “smoke” for three days before she freezes over.

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After the requisite three days of smoking, the ice began to form. It started along the shore and patches of floating ice began to collect out on the open water as the winds blew them into rows.

The temps have been mostly in the teens, but on the 30th, they dropped into the low single digits. Winds built from the north gusting to 30 mph creating huge waves and making life challenging here on the lake. On New Year’s Eve morning, there was ice all the way to the horizon. While it may not be summer sailing weather, it’s nature caught in another beautiful movement.

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Some more interesting information about the lake – the lake level has been high the past year causing a good deal of beach erosion and threatening the dunes. While the early ice brings relief for the lakefront, forming a natural sea wall, it also creates a counter issue. Nature, always brings with it pros and cons. An early ice and a cold winter create a significant coverage of ice on the lake, greatly affecting the evaporation rate, which then allows the overall lake levels to rise. If the polar vortex continues this year with significant ice on the lake, lake levels will likely reach near record levels next summer, at which point beach erosion will become an even bigger issue.

So, onto some exciting events coming up this year…

To answer everyone who has asked, “How’s the book coming?” I have good news! The manuscript is finished and we are engaged with a publisher! We expect that by summer, you’ll be reading about the exploits of Bodacious Dream and our sail around the world. I know many of you read our trip reports with great excitement. In the book, you’ll get the chance to read the untold stories. Accounts of the physical and emotional challenges, the stormy weather and mechanical failures, not to mention the deeper and more reflective moments I couldn’t share at the time. We look forward to getting Spirit of a Dream out to you soon. Put this book on your summer reading list, and we’ll let you know when we can receive pre-orders.

May 2018 will be the next running of the Atlantic Cup – the great Class 40 race up the Atlantic Coast. Again, this year, I’ll be helping with the Atlantic Cup Kid’s program. In 2016, we hit the limits of our capacity to share the program with kids. Somehow, we’ll have to expand that capacity, as we know there will be more kids wanting to join us this year. These kids are our future and providing them with this experience is vitally important.

I hope you’ll join us again and follow along. And as a blatant request, if you or your company would like to be aligned with the program and the future of these amazing kids, we are still looking for sponsors to help us cover the cost of the program. Almost 100% of the human effort is donated time, but there are still many expenses involved in reaching out to teachers, visiting classrooms during the winter, arranging transportation for kids, setting up the race villages and providing all the amenities that make the Atlantic Cup the premier ISO 2-person sustainability sporting event in North America.

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To capture your imagination and satiate your sailing appetite, the Volvo Ocean Race is going on right now and 11th Hour Racing has a boat in the race. Skippers Charlie Enright and Mark Towill, two of my fellow 11th Hour Racing friends teamed with Vestas Wind and 11th Hour Racing to enter the race. If you’ve seen those big windmill turbines generating renewable electricity, you’ve seen Vestas products. They make the windmill blades and turbines. 11th Hour, as you’ve probably read from my blogs and emails, has a long commitment to promoting sustainability throughout the sailing community. The Vestas 11th Hour Team is a great advocate for our ocean… and the crew is doing a great job. Follow all the action at https://vestas11thhourracing.com/. Here’s to the crew! Good Luck in the next leg from Melbourne, Australia to Hong Kong.

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The Volvo Ocean Race also has an educational component like the Atlantic Cup. Share it with your kids! https://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/sustainability/education.html

2018 promises to be a great year for me, I hope it’s a great year for you as well. Please stay in touch, follow along and remember, “Life is a grand adventure, live it all, live it always.”

Happy New Year,

- Dave Rearick

Hope’s Voyage Concludes!

Hope’s Voyage is now at an end. After leaving St. John’s, Newfoundland in early August, we crossed the North Atlantic to Ireland, sailed up the Irish Sea to Scotland and across northern Scotland via the Caledonia Canal before finally arriving here in Sweden after crossing the North Sea.

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Bruce Carter, our onboard documenter, has been making updates to the Facebook page… Check them out HERE

The goal of our journey aboard Hope, has been to sail the old Viking Routes. For Michael Leland, the owner of Hope, this has been his lifelong dream. I am grateful to have been a part of it and to have helped him live his dream, just as I was fortunate to have help living mine aboard Bodacious Dream.

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A quick recap: We left St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada on August 4th and had a pretty quick and fair crossing, arriving in Dingle, Ireland, 13 days and 1800 miles later. We encountered three frontal passages, the last being fairly significant, which helped push us the last few hundred miles.

I took a break to fly back to the U.S. for a week and then rejoined Hope in Dublin. From Dublin, we continued north to Port Ellen on Scotland’s Isle of Islay, and then up to Fort William at the western entrance to the Caledonia Canal. The passage to Port Ellen provided light winds, until more sporting conditions pushed us onto Port William. Sailing among the islands many narrow passages, tidal rapids and strong currents were very common. At times, we were only able to make 3 knots to the good while sporting full sails and a 23-knot wind. This may have been one of the few times I’ve ever said, “Thank God it’s blowing 23 knots!”

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While the scenery in the North Atlantic was fairly typical – water and sky – we were blessed with numerous sightings of whales and dolphins. Bioluminescence followed us at times and as always, the sea birds kept track of us, constantly weaving back and forth across our wake. During the coastal routes through Ireland and Scotland, the days were predominately rainy with low hanging clouds in the Highlands. This weather provided us with endless stunning moments as each turn unveiled another moody but spectacular vista. The video below shows of the conditions we encountered approaching Mandal, Norway.  A bit edgy as we approach a lee shore with shallowing water; the waves continued to build!

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The one disappointment for of us was Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. She never showed herself while we sailed the 20-mile length of Loch Ness, and we weren’t shy about making ourselves known, flying the green spinnaker most of the length of the Loch. It was special to sail this Loch as sailors who had sailed their boat across the Atlantic. Congrats Michael for accomplishing your dream and goal!

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From Inverness, Scotland, we made our last two passages. We crossed the North Sea with winds as high as 30 knots building seas to 20 feet as we approached Mandal on the southern tip of Norway. After a couple of days to allow the weather to calm down, we sailed the additional 160 miles to Henan, Sweden, the birth place of the vessel Hope. We took a few days in Sweden to visit the shipyard where Hope was built and Gothenburg before heading for home.

We hope you’ve enjoyed following along.

All the best and we hope you have a great Fall season before the boats get put away for the winter. Our thoughts go out to all those impacted by the hurricanes and earthquakes. The forces of nature on land or at sea are awe inspiring and often frightening.

- Dave and the crew of Hope (Michael Leland, skipper, Moose DeBone, first mate, and Bruce Carter, documenter)

The Chicago-Mac and on to Ireland

What a great couple of Mac Races that we wrapped up a few weeks ago. We had some very good and highly competitive sailing on Defiance though our results don’t express quite the same enthusiasm.

The Chicago-Mac turned tough once the forecasted cold front arrived Saturday night about midnight. Just prior to the north wind shift, a squall hit with 40 knots of wind. Sunday was spent beating upwind to the north end of the lake in 20 knots of gusts. While the conditions were challenging, the lake was as majestic as ever. A number of boats dropped out of the race and a few of our toughest competitors were among them. We were fortunate to work through the challenges, only parting (breaking) two halyards (the rope that pull the sails up the mast) in the process.

Here is a video from our onboard media genius, Maciek Wszelaki.
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The Port Huron-Mac had its own challenges. From the start to Cove Island was a 150-mile upwind battle between Natalie J, Heartbreaker and Defiance. Our crew worked extremely hard and consistently to best our competitors to the turn at Cove Island. Unfortunately, the following leg was downwind, which isn’t our strong suit. However, the fun of it all was the last 60 miles as the winds built to a hard 25-30 knots and the sailing was extremely exhilarating. We had Defiance surfing at 20 knots at one point. During the peak winds, it was too edgy to allow Maciek to video, but as it eased off some, he got his chance. Here is a video from a bit later as the winds eased down to 18-20. Still fun to watch.

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I want to thank the crew of Defiance for giving it their best as regard’s 11th Hour Racing‘s efforts for sustainability. The crew joined in the effort with gusto, though not quite so enthusiastic about boringly pumping filtered water, but everyone made the effort and were rewarded with less than half a bag of garbage once we reached the island. Hats off to you guys! The lake thanks you too!

HOPE3_300So, what’s next? Well, August 1st, I will join the vessel Hope along with her owner Dr. Michael Leland, along with Bruce Carter and Mike (Moose) DeBone in St, John’s Newfoundland, Canada. We will continue Hope’s voyage across the Atlantic, following in the wake of the Vikings legendary passage to Dingle, Ireland. From Dingle, we will hop around Ireland, traverse Scotland’s Caledonia Canal and then cross the North Sea to end up in Hanan, Sweden for the winter. Next summer, Dr. Leland plans to return along the Viking’s western route via Iceland, Greenland and the Canadian Maritime Provinces.

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Hope, a Najad 32, is a strong boat and we expect to have a great time. Please join us and follow along at the link. I will probably do some updates along the way, but the majority of the Blog will be available at http://www.mcyc.com/hopes-voyage/. And here is a Facebook page… https://www.facebook.com/Hopes-Vikingland-Voyage-342408386187676/. And here is the FindMeSpot App link… http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=02RIijtnZrpEuhBfyJ1dKfjIoITgBrlUO

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It’s been a busy summer trying to keep all my irons in the fire, but for the next few weeks, sailing will take precedence. To my clients and creditors, I hope you can survive till I get back! More than that, I hope you’re all having a great summer as well, and I look forward to sharing Hope’s stories as they develop.

For everyone who has asked about “the book,” the final edits are in and we’re now looking for a publisher! Hope to have it in your hands soon.

Enjoy!

- Dave

The Mackinac & Other Adventures

I apologize that news of my wanderings and adventures has been so sparse of late. These past few months have been filled with the simple adventure of working at a feverish pace to build things and make a living.

Sailing remains my favorite escape of course, and I do it whenever I can – recently, as part of the crew of Defiance, a J/V 67-footer out of Chicago. We had a great time and posted some impressive wins. This weekend, July 15 and 16, we’ll take on the Great Lakes in the Chicago to Mackinac Race.

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You can follow us in Division One on the tracker through the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac website. http://cf.yb.tl/chicagomack2017# Click on the Tracker tab at the top of the page.

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Defiance is a powerful boat capable of great sailing and runs with a crew of 14. My challenge this year is to help them become sustainable with recycling and garbage. We will be using reusable water bottles and filtering our own water out of the lake to keep the recycling bag of garbage to a minimum. This not only helps the environment, but also better syncs life onboard with the wonderful world we sail in. Furthermore, it helps Mackinac Island, which has had a recycling and composting program for as long as I can remember. We hope to arrive at the island in 11th Hour Racing style with one bag of garbage and a good finish for Defiance.

Defiance(This awesome photo by Maciek Wszelaki, looking aft from Defiance)

For now, it’s a busy day getting packed up and to the boat to finish prep for the Race. I’ll follow up next week with more about August and a wonderful trip scheduled from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Dingle, Ireland, Scotland and ending in Sweden! I’m really looking forward to that!

Good luck to all my friends sailing in the Chicago Mac. After 30 some years, there are quite a few of them now!

And all the best to each of you for a great outdoor summer!

- Dave

Looking Back & Signing off on 2016!

Here on the shores of Lake Michigan, we’ve experienced our first snows, which put an end to the suspense as to when the mild fall would move over so that winter could get on with it. I’m usually fine with snow, at least up to half an inch, but 3 inches forces you to reconsider and put aside the flip-flops and boat shoes. My winter chukkas now sit prominently near the front door.

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It was a great summer season, but like most of them, it passed too quickly. With that in mind, there are a few things I’d like to catch you up on.

As most of you know, The Atlantic Cup Race and the Atlantic Cup Kids Program took up much of the first half of my year. It was an amazing experience for me and for the many kids who came down to the docks. I’d like to share with you a new great pro-looking  Atlantic Cup Kids program video up now on YouTube. You may notice an older, white-bearded guy rolling the cart and hoarsely singing – that would be me. Forward it or share it and help spread the word!

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My personal thank yous go out to the many people who helped with the program, who gave time and energy to the kids, and those of you who supported it financially. We are very grateful for all your support.

This fall, we also learned the Atlantic Cup had accomplished something quite amazing that you won’t read about on the front page of the newspaper; so this time, I’m going to loudly ring our own bell! Owing to the hard work of the entire race staff, led by our sustainability expert, Brian Funke, and with the inspired support of 11th Hour Racing, The Atlantic Cup became the FIRST sporting event in the USA to receive an ISO 20121 certification for sustainability. Let me explain just what this means. The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) develops and oversees an international certification process, which many companies go through to meet or exceed certain performance standards to become ISO accredited companies. It’s a very rigorous certification process and I find it just way cool that The Atlantic Cup, and no other event - not the US Open or Wimbledon, not even Major League Baseball with the Cub’s “green” Wrigley Field, has EVER received this certification.

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This is a result of the hard work, commitment and leadership of Julianna Barbieri and Hugh Piggin at Manuka Sports Event Management who run the Atlantic Cup Race as well as the entire staff and all the competitors who each believed in our collective responsibility to serve and maintain our environment. As a proud member of that team, I want to extend my congratulations to everyone associated with the Atlantic Cup. Here’s a link to the whole story: http://www.atlanticcup.org/sustainability

And, if that bar isn’t high enough for you, The Atlantic Cup is also the only regatta world wide to achieve platinum level status in sustainability from Sailors for the Sea - a leading conservation organization that engages with sailing and boating communities toward healing the ocean. 

A couple other notable events took place this summer. We had another great Mackinac Race (my 30th) – spending 30 hours sailing from one storm cell to another. I don’t recall seeing so many thunder and rain squalls and rapid wind shifts in any of those previous years. Here’s a video I shot after a night of getting knocked around big time!

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Lake Michigan continues to be a seductive and unpredictable demiurge. Today however she looks calm and relaxed, her edges white with the froth of toppling wavelets as she absorbs the spinning snowflakes.

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Back in August, I played the role of Official Observer for Scott Wolford’s world record marathon swim attempt. This young man…(51 years old – Ha!) was planning to set an unassisted, world record of 120 miles by swimming from Chicago to Michigan and back. I was proud to be invited to help with his efforts and record the event for official review.

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Unfortunately, the weather stopped Scott after about 19 miles, but with the energy he exhibited climbing back on the boat, I’m certain his efforts next summer will produce a new world record.

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Besides being a crazy good swimmer, Scott is dedicated and committed to teaching children about the environment and clean water. His children’s book, Gino the Minnow is legendary. Check out Gino’s or Scott’s sites on Facebook. Gino the Minnow or Scott Weston Wolford. Now there’s a good Christmas present idea for your kids.

The rest of the summer here on the Great Lakes included a few other races and some very pleasurable sails with friends. My days of late have been filled with various types of work; an article I penned for Sailing Magazine - a kind of beginner’s guide to shorthanded (or single-handed) sailing is right HERE in November’s issue.

Out of the water, a custom-made kitchen cabinet package I designed and built was just  installed in a special use residence in Evanston, IL. And then there was Thanksgiving… where as each year for the past 20 or so, my house becomes full of family and friends. It was an especially great year to be together and to be thankful for each other.

We look forward to the coming New Year with great hopes for the completion and publication of my book Spirit of the Dream, which is undergoing final edits. We also hold our hopes high that we will stand up and dedicate our collective energies to tackling the many challenges that our world, our environment, our kids and our families must face.

May your holidays be grand and may our light shine bright in the New Year!

And as the French say, Au Revoir (meaning “until later”)

- Dave and Franklin

Atlantic Cup Kids Wrap-Up!

new_logo_300The Atlantic Cup! What a great way to start off the summer! The race was a great event, the competition was fierce and the camaraderie as always, the best. You can learn more about the race, review the results and see great photos and videos on The Atlantic Cup website. And while racing was the main event, my focus was on the Atlantic Cup Kids Program - and what a great time we had! While it was my first time coordinating the program and much of my days were spent pondering variables and fretting over possible disasters, when the actual events happened, they were just amazing. As one visitor remarked to me, “This is ‘epic!’ – and it was!

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I spent the beginning of the year making arrangements, contacting teachers in our three cities to explain our program and visiting classes of kids to talk about the ocean, sustainability and to excite them about the Atlantic Cup and our Kids Program. When it came time for the first actual Kids Day event in Charleston, SC, I was grateful that we had strong plans in place, because that morning, there were nearly 600 students from over 10 schools who came to visit us! It was tremendous sharing the various learning activities and watching the kids take their first steps onto a boat – many of them for the first time ever! John Miller did an amazing job of coordinating and arranging for the students from the Charleston School System to attend – exceeding our limit of 400 students by 50 percent! John explained that no sooner did he open it up for attendance, then he had 600 students sign up… and he had to close down enrollment.

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Many thanks to our great staff and our volunteers and the support from 11th Hour Racing,  all of whom rose to the occasion. We had five learning stations— 1) “Whale Blubber and Plankton” run by Sailors for the Seas, 2) “Sustainability” with Brian Funke, 3) “How Boats Float” by Meredith “Megatron” Caroll, 4) “Knot Tying” and 5) “The Ultimate Adventure” - where kids were able to visit one of the boats and talk with the skippers.

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When the day was over and we paused to consider the level of success, it became clear to me that no matter how anxious I was about getting everything right, the sight of so many laughing, inquisitive kids was all the proof I was looking for. Check out our Photo Albums on our Atlantic Cup Kids Facebook Page Photos Page.

As the boats raced into the Brooklyn Marina, so did the Kids program. Brooklyn presented us with something of a challenge. The Marina we had expected to be operating out of was not yet finished with construction, and so we had to move into facilities that prevented us from allowing kids to actually get on the boats. But in spite of that disappointment, the great Atlantic Cup staff, 11th Hour Racing, the skippers and our volunteers once again put together a great program. Hundreds of fourth graders showed up, even recognizing me as Captain Dave and peppering me with questions. We finished the day giving a group of high school students a better understanding about the inner workings of the marine industry, and where within it, they might pursue vocational opportunities.

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Portland, Maine was the last stop of the Atlantic Cup Race and where we had another few hundred kids attend the program. One of the most inspiring parts of the Portland event, were the third grade students from Ocean Avenue School who after spending a semester in an “Expeditionary Learning” program studying lobsters, created an entire station of their own to share their acquired knowledge with us and all the other students. It was very inspiring to watch students teaching other students! 

On Day 2 and Day 3 in Portland, while the boats competed on the inshore courses of beautiful Casco Bay, we set up an entire area of the race village dedicated to kids and learning. Here we saw many kids, along with their parents, taking advantage of the interactive learning opportunities, trying their own hand at knot tying, picking up whalebones, learning about sea mammals and the ocean. When all was said and done, over 1000 students took advantage of the 2016 Atlantic Cup Kids Program. And at the end of the race at the Awards Ceremony aboard the replica old Spanish Galleon named El Galeon, we presented the Kids Favorite award to the crew of Talanta.

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We were all inspired by these amazing students and by their energetic teachers who helped us to make all this happen. Many of the students we talked with had never been on or even seen a boat before, and only knew about the ocean from school. We’re happy to say we’ve now touched the lives of over 1000 young people and likely helped change the way they will in the future regard their relationship to the oceans that sustain all our lives. 

knotty_300For me, I was most inspired by a young girl who I found looking sad and frustrated at the knot tying station. When I asked her how she was doing, she said she couldn’t tie knots. I asked her if she had tried and she shook her head and looking down said, “I can’t do it.” Together we started with the figure-eight knot. After she accomplished that, we tried the clove hitch and then moved onto the bowline. Each time she tied a knot, her smile grew bigger and more confident. When she finally pulled off the hardest one, the fisherman’s bend, we jubilantly high-fived each other… and I watched her walk away, ready to take on the world! I suspect one day she’ll be one of those who will patiently do the same thing for some other young kid. 

rope_pull_300Thanks to all of you who followed along and supported our adventures with the Atlantic Cup Kids Program. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. As the season progresses here, we’ll find some new avenues to channel our energies and to showcase our educational programs. Stay tuned for more updates on that.

As always, our learning guides are available on BodaciousDreamExpeditions.com under the drop-down menu called “You Explore.” They are also available (in a slightly different format) on the http://atlanticcup.org/Kids page.

And if you haven’t done so already, please like our Atlantic Cup Kids Facebook page. This is useful for attracting sponsors, who can help us to advance our efforts. Who knows, one of those sponsors might be you! Besides that, you’ll see some really cool pics of kids (of all ages) having the time of their lives!

atckids_250And a special thank you to all who helped out… especially Sam, Anthony (AT), Meredith (Megatron), Julianna, Hugh, Jen, Brittany, Sarah, Jen, Billy, Susan, Michelle and Steve as well as all the skippers, teachers, administrators and the many volunteers who showed up and pitched in with such great enthusiasm. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone … so, thank you too! And big thanks to 11th Hour Racing for their help and support with The Atlantic Cup and our Atlantic Cup Kids Program.
Until later,
- Dave

P.S. If you know of a school which might enjoy a presentation by Captain Dave about his circumnavigation, the ocean, sustainability, sail-craft and other fun things, please contact me directly at… dave@atlanticcup.org

Atlantic Cup Update – Curious Kids & Racing Ships

I’m writing this from one of my favorite places in the world, the State of Maine! We had beautiful weather this week after a rainy weekend. Hey, it is June in Maine and it is just beautiful out here! And on top of that, today June 9th is our third and final Atlantic Cup Kids Day here in Portland. What a ride it’s been!

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The Atlantic Cup once again presented by 11th Hour Racing has been going great! The racing from Charleston ended with a very challenging finish in the light winds and strong currents of New York Harbor. The Spanish entrant, #123 Tales won the leg in a record-beating 72:48:03 finishing 90 minutes ahead of #145 Eärendil (74:21:43), followed 30 minutes later by the all-female team of #118 Oakcliff Racing, with Liz Shaw and Libby Greenhalgh racing my old boat, previously named Bodacious Dream. What a great showing for their first time sailing together!

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The race up from New York City (from the Brooklyn Marina more specifically,) to Portland gave the sailors a real workout. After rounding a virtual mark off Nantucket, they sailed downwind in heavy air – 25-30 knots reaching speeds of over 20 knots before the winds eased. Once again Tales II, followed by Eärendil crossed the finish line first.

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Equally exciting was watching the finish line from our makeshift race offices as three boats, #95 Talanta, #118 Oakcliff Racing and #128 Toothface entered the inner harbor and jockeyed for third place. In the final few yards, Toothface edged out the others to take third place. Now that was great racing!

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Over on Facebook on the Atlantic Cup Kids page, there is a live feed with me commentating on the finish, though our view was distant from the action. We’re not at the professional level yet, but hopefully we’re good enough for you to follow the closing action.

The inshore series begins this Friday the 10th. As far as Kids Days goes, we had a great success in Charleston with nearly 600 kids, Brooklyn brought us well over 100 kids and in Portland, we’re expecting at least 200 kids today – with many more expected for the Inshore Leg on Friday and Saturday at the race village in Ft. Allen Park.

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Among the exciting things in store for Kids Day will from Presumscott School’s 3rd grade students, who have been studying lobsters this semester and will be presenting their resulting program for us. I’ll have more on that soon. One interesting thing I just learned from these students is the Gulf of Maine is warming up faster than any other body of water in these latitudes.

el_galeon1Our office here on the Maine Wharf is in the middle of the working waterfront of Portland, Maine right next to a beautiful tall ship named El Galeón from Spain.

The waters surrounding us here are those of Casco Bay, and its estuary where the fresh rivers waters meet the ocean and its tides. The great interaction between the two bodies of water creates a rich and nutritious environment for sea life.

portland-head-lightI’ve prepared a work sheet on the Casco Bay region based on some great information from the very knowledgeable Abby Doane over at Friends of Casco Bay. It’s amazing how important the unique environments of each of the harbors we’ve sailed from are to the overall health of the ocean. Read my Education Guide about Casco Bay - which you can find RIGHT HERE!

So, as we move into the last phase of the Atlantic Cup, for which I’m a proud ambassador for 11th Hour Racing, I very much appreciate so many of you following along with us, learning with us and helping us move our activity-based learning agenda forward into the future. I only wish I could share with each of you the enthusiastic laughter and great questions from the kids who toured our race villages.

fan_fav1Stay tuned for another update after the end of racing on Saturday. It promises to be an exciting final leg. In the meantime, please take a minute to visit the Atlantic Cup Kids page and vote for your favorite team! We have a great trophy for the “Fan Favorite” to present at the awards presentation on Saturday.

And then head on over to our Atlantic Cup Kids Facebook page… and catch up on the posts and photos since the start of the race on May 28th. And while you’re there, LIKE us if you like … so you can stay in the loop moving forward!

Until later…
- Capt. Dave