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

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

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