Dave’s Upcoming Talks in the Midwest…

Greetings to all from the frozen Midwest!

I’ve just returned from a road trip to and from California in a cargo van and wound up arriving home in the middle of a blizzard brought on by Winter Storm Linus! Even at the slow pace of 40 mph in the deep snow, covering the 5000-mile round trip in 6 days of driving time was quite a contrast to ocean-traveling the same distance which would have taken five weeks! On the open road, I sure missed Otto and Franklin!

So, I’ve been having a lot of fun recently speaking in public and talking about exploring the world with kids and tying it in with our ongoing relationship with The Atlantic Cup Kids Page … and their work with my tales of the ocean. Here are some photos from recent events.

room_seminar_550 Ready for the Kids Exploring the World seminar at Strictly Sail in Chicago.

knots_550 Knot Tying station courtesy of The Atlantic Cup Kids

alex_seminar_550Alex points out South Africa on the large globe at the Chicago Seminar

In my last update, I promise a list of my upcoming talks. So here goes!

Saturday, February 14, 2015: Michigan City, IN @ 1:00pm
I will be talking at the Michigan City Yacht Club. This is my home club for the past 30 years or so. I spoke to my friends there in the spring of 2013 after returning from crossing the Atlantic singlehanded. The story will continue with the circumnavigation, bringing everyone up to date with the journey! The talk is scheduled in the afternoon at 1:00 pm so we’ll be finished in time to spend the evening with your valentine. Contact coop@mcyc.com for more information and reservations.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015: Chicago, IL @ 6:00 pm 

(From their Website) Chicago Sailing, Inc. is proud to invite you to an evening of sailing adventure with our close friend, Dave Rearick. Dave will present an in-depth recap of his recently completed 25,000-mile solo circumnavigation aboard ‘Bodacious Dream’, a high performance 40-foot sailboat. Join us the evening of February 17 to meet Dave and learn just exactly how large this planet is and what it takes to traverse it successfully. Dave’s passion for sailing is infectious and his story is captivating. Reserve today by calling 773-871-7245.

(By the way, if you’re in the Chicago area and you’re interested in getting in on the fun of sailing and don’t know where to turn, Chicago Sailing is a great option. Come to the talk on the 17th and meet the staff and other sailors who have learned or enhanced their skills on Chicago Sailing’s fleet of charter boats.They offer introduction to sailing courses as well as advanced classes and charters. More at http://www.chicagosailing.com)

Saturday, March 14, 2015: Racine, WI @ 12:30 pm
The United States Power Squadron District 20 will be holding their spring conference in Racine, Wisconsin. If you’re a member of the Power Squadron, I’m sure you would enjoy this event. For more information, contact admiralbill@sbcglobal.net

Friday, April 17, 2014: Chicago, IL
The Cruising Fleet of the Chicago Yacht Club will be having their Meet the Fleet event at the Monroe Street Station in Chicago. I will be regaling them with stories of sailing the open ocean and the wonders of cruising the destinations l visited when circumnavigating. This event is open to Chicago Yacht Club members and their guests. For more information Contact: info@chicagoyachtclub.org

There are a few other events in the planning at this stage; I’ll let you know when they are firmed up. If your organization or school would be interested in having me come speak to them, please contact me.

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And here’s a photo of the Eilberg Award, presented by the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society for seamanship. It’s an honor to be included with such notable names in Singlehanded Sailing as Steve Pettengil, Tim Kent and many others. Thanks friends!

So, for now, back to the snow shovels! More soon! Information that is, not snow!

- Dave 

Walking to the End of the Year

What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, I was sailing in the Southern Indian Ocean having left Cape Town, South Africa bound for Wellington, New Zealand – alone aboard Bodacious Dream on the desolate sea at Christmas time, but fully alive and living my dream. Maybe some of you remember those Christmas posts. The year before that, found me in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean bringing Bodacious Dream home to the U.S. from Portugal. While holidays at sea often bring up emotions of sadness and loneliness, being away from family and friends – for me, it’s also an occasion for gratitude, and a chance to focus on the surrounding natural beauty and so by-pass the distractions of our crazy world.

Dave_Franklin_550Dave, Franklin and Christmas Dinner 2013!

This year I’m home in Indiana enjoying the holiday season closer to family and friends. I will admit though that on occasion, and most often late at night, my thoughts wander back to the dark wide-open ocean under the grand canopy of stars. There is always that essential beauty and power in nature which if you allow it to work its magic, can reconnect you to life in all its splendor.

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A Southern Ocean Sunset

Enjoying Christmas as I do, I find myself re-playing a few favorite tunes from one of my favorite holiday albums, Christmas Goes to Sea by Lee Murdock. I especially like the song about the Christmas Ship – which tells the tale of the schooner Rouse Simmons that brought Christmas trees down from the northern end of Lake Michigan to Chicago in the early 1900’s.

lee_murdock_200Another favorite, Blessed Christmas Morn, is about leaving harbor on Christmas morning … and the feelings of the departing sailor who was leaving behind his folks who were growing old. (The link to the sing is here!) …

(Click on the “listen” box to the right and then close the popup windows - click “leave the page” and you should be able to listen to the music. :)

Those of you that followed Oakcliff Racing, (Class 40 #118 formerly named Bodacious Dream) know the young men from Oakcliff did an amazing job, winning their section and placing second overall in the first running of the RORC Trans-Atlantic Race! Congrats goes out to that crew for such a great performance. As I shared with them, Bo knows where she’s going. Get her going in the right direction and she will make her way. Bodacious Dream always showed me her spirit and her urge to lead—not just on the racecourse and across oceans, but in life as well. She has done so once again, leading these young men on the great adventure of their first trans-oceanic crossing … and taking a top prize at the same time!

In keeping with the spirit of Bodacious Dream and leading forward, we are starting to ramp up our future. The book that everyone keeps asking me about is coming along, slowly, but coming. I now understand why it takes so long to get books written! I hope to have it done this spring. In the meantime, Franklin and I along with a 4’ inflatable globe have been asked to do a number of talks. Some of these are specifically for kids of all ages and Franklin and I agree, these are the most important talks. Once again, it’s kids we need to help lead forward. I’ll send out another note soon with upcoming dates should you be nearby and care to attend.

Atlantic CupAdvancing our interest in sharing with kids, and carrying on the Bodacious Dream, we will this year be  expanding our involvement with The Atlantic Cup, by collaborating with 11th Hour Racing on their their Kids Pages and their educational outreach program. This is going to be great fun as Manuka Sports Management seeks to expand the reach of the learning programs tied to the Atlantic Cup.

So, there’s a lot going on for us in this coming new year, but what I’m looking forward to most now is what has become a tradition for me over the past 25 years – that of taking a midnight walk on Christmas Eve wherever I am.

bd_winter_225This year, I’ll be at home and will walk the chilly shores of Lake Michigan where my learning of the natural world began some 50 years ago. This walk will be different than the past few years when I walked laps around Bodacious Dream’s deck – but no less significant. Regardless of where on the globe Christmas finds me, if you are near, you’ll most likely hear me humming Silent Night. (Lee Murdock does an especially nice version of this on his CD as well. The link to that song is here!)

So, I’ll leave it at that … and close by wishing you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays … and to one and all, an especially full and wonderful New Year! May it be healthy and full of wonder!

- Dave, Bodacious Dream and the snow-lovin’ Franklin

The 2014 Atlantic cUpdate

The Galapagos Islands are almost in sight and though I’ll be there in less than a day, I’m going to take my time, so that I arrive in the morning hours of Thursday and thus have the day to make my way safely into the anchorage and secure Bodacious Dream for my stay.

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Pretty close to land … 1.34389S , 90.88464W

Once I tie off, as always, I’ll have to take care of the customs and immigration paperwork and then … (hallelujah!) … head to the showers! Phew! Overall, it hasn’t been too bad, but the last few days have been quite warm and a cleansing shower will make a lot of things better. So, give me a couple of days to sleep and sort things out in the Galapagos and I’ll return with a game plan to share as to what interesting things I might get to explore.

Atlantic CupIn the meantime … it’s May 1st tomorrow, which means just 10 days until this year’s running of The Atlantic Cup Race. Read on below for my preview on this year’s race. If I wasn’t here, you can be sure I would be there! So, read on and then follow the action.

May of 2012, Matt Scharl and I co-skippering Bodacious Dream were jib reaching up the Eastern seaboard of the US from New York City past Long Island towards Newport, Rhode Island in the second running of the Atlantic Cup Race. We had just spotted Block Island and Matt went down below to check in and see where we stood on the leader board. Moments later, he came up with an exuberant smile exclaiming we were in the lead by several miles. It was an exciting night as we worked our way into Narragansett Bay and ultimately to first across the finish line at Ft. Adams, winning the second leg of the event. We placed second overall in 2012 after the three event legs were totaled. 2013 proved even better for us as Bodacious Dream, after winning both offshore legs and placing second in the inshore regatta, placed first overall in what many have claimed to be one of the best Class 40 events in the world!

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Bodacious Dream/ 2013 Atlantic Cup – first across the finish line in NYC! (See Video Here!)

Those were exciting times, not only for us, but for many of you as well who followed the event with the great coverage provided by the event’s website @ www.AtlanticCup.org. The fun of all 7 boats arriving at the finish line in Newport Harbor within 45 minutes of each other, after 250 miles of ocean sailing … was hard to believe. I guess heart stopping awesome might say it best! Any one of those boats could have won that leg with just a wind shift of a few degrees.

As you know, I’m presently sailing Bodacious Dream back into the Northern Hemisphere and will miss the Atlantic Cup this year, but I know that Manuka Sports Event Management, energized by Julianna Barbieri and Hugh Piggin will once again be putting on a great event.

If I may, I’d like to take a few minutes to offer my own personal preview of the race and this year’s entrants, but before I do that, let me tell you a bit more about the event.

ac_map_2014Three Legs of the Race – Two offshore and One inshore …

The Atlantic Cup, presented by 11th Hour Racing, is a multi-discipline event. As you can see in the map above, there are two offshore legs – the first from Charleston, SC to New York City and then from NYC to Newport, RI —both of these double handed. Once in Newport, a third event—a two-day course-racing regatta with a crew of six completes the entire race schedule.

Unlike the long distance and trans-oceanic races in and around Europe, where one bad tactical decision early in the race or one equipment problem can make for thousands of miles of disappointing sailing, The Atlantic Cup competitors get a fresh start with each new leg and the event is generally won by the most consistent competitors!

seas-regAnother great attribute of the Atlantic Cup is its commitment to running a clean and carbon neutral event, which has earned the Atlantic Cup a Platinum Level Clean Regattas certification by Sailors for the Seas.

They have also worked hard at providing an educational platform for inner city kids and using their resources and website to promote direct experience learning initiatives. If you go to their Kids Page, you will see how they have taken a page from the Bodacious Dream playbook, and posted “educational guides.” You might even recognize that cartoon captain host … people tell me it’s a great likeness. Their work the past few years have allowed hundreds of kids to visit with skippers and tour the boats when they are docked in Charleston, New York City and Newport.

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And although Bodacious Dream, sporting our FiSH-emblazoned spinnaker won’t be on the water this year, our sponsor of the past two years, Jamestown FiSH, the award-winning restaurant across the bay from Newport, will once again be sponsoring parts of the racecourse with a mark off Jamestown Harbor, the finish line for Leg 2 and the inshore course races as well as a skipper’s reception at their excellent restaurant! Jamestown Fish is co-owned and managed by John Recca and Cathy Squires, along with the sponsors and owners of Bodacious Dream. A must mention, head chef Matthew MacCartney was just named the “People’s Choice, Best Chef in New England” by Food and Wine Magazine! Put it on your list of places to visit this summer and come join in the festivities during the skipper’s reception on May 23rd!

AC14_teams
The Competitors in this year’s Atlantic Cup …

Now, let me get back to my preview of this year’s competitors. This year’s lineup, in no particular order, so far is Gryphon Solo II, the former Icarus now being raced as JeffreyMacFarlane.com, Pleiad Racing, Dragon, and a new entry named Flatline.

Each one of these boats has proven worthy of winning major regattas. Gryphon Solo II placed 3rd in 2012’s Atlantic Cup, Icarus placed 2nd in 2013’s Atlantic Cup winning the inshore series, Dragon has a fresh new refit and new articulating bow sprit this year, Flatline has been resurrected after a major accident and is showing up in fine shape and the guys on Pleiad Racing have been refining their rocket ship all year!

But good boats alone don’t do it and the depth of talent this year is as deep as ever. Gryphon Solo II skippered by Joe Harris with Pat O’Connor, have been around and up and down the East Coast for many years; Joe has victories in Trans-Atlantic races and Newport-Bermuda Races. Jeffery MacFarlane.com (old Icarus), skippered by Jeffery MacFarlane, has spent the last couple of years racing around Europe in the Mini Class and was ranked no. 1 internationally last year! Pleiad Racing is skippered by Ed Cesare with Chad Corning … need more be said? Both these guys come from very extensive racing backgrounds; too many events to list here and they are back for the second year ready to take it on. Dragon will be skippered by Mike Hennessey and Rob Windsor. Mike is the North American Class 40 representative and has all the cards. Rob has sailed everywhere. He’s just now back from the latest Transat Jacques Vabre – a double handed Trans-Atlantic Race from France to Brazil. Flatline, skippered by Kyle Hubley with Frederic de Mesel are definitely the unknowns, but they have thousands of offshore miles between them, so experience is definitely not lacking.

ac13_bigsails1Bodacious Dream w/ FiSH sail … Atlantic Cup 2013 – photo by Billy Black

So, pairing up these sailors with these boats, all the signs are that this is going to be one of the closest Atlantic Cup Events ever. If last year’s finishes were nail biters, this year could chew those fingers to the bone. I can only say I wish I could be there, as the competition and camaraderie are going to be something else. And just as an indicator of how American boats stack up against the French and European boats that tend to dominate European races – only one European boat has made it to the podium, the German boat Mare in 2012. None of the top French competitors who visited in 2012 and 2013 made it to the podium. Suppose we scared them off? Could be! Now there’s a challenge to my European friends and competitors!

So, it’s time to point your browsers to www.theatlanticcup.org and check out the stuff happening on the website, vote for your favorite team and introduce your kids to the great information and educational fun on the kid’s pages. After you check them out then mark your calendar to follow the event when it begins on May 10th … or even better, get on down to the docks, visit with the sailors and join in the fun. This is going to be a great year!

From the middle of the Southern Pacific Ocean …

- Dave, Bodacious Dream (and native east-coaster) Franklin
1.34389S , 90.88464W

Bouncy Sunrises & Bumpy Sunsets

It was a sweet Easter out here about 500 miles southeast of Easter Island, (so named by a Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who first encountered it on Easter Sunday in 1722.) It seems appropriate to be in this vicinity at this time. It was my hope to be close enough to make sight of the island or to actually stop there and visit the amazing statues … but just like other parts of this particular dream; it will have to wait for another time.

33.27293S, 105.108964W
33.27293S, 105.108964W (sunset)

This past week brought a good deal of rough weather and uncomfortable sailing, as we weaved our way between a high-pressure system off the Chilean coast and a low-pressure system that pressed in from the West. We chose to run the low-pressure system on the “wrong” side so that we could set up for an entry into the trade winds that are still about 100 or so miles ahead. This put us in weaker winds, but riding on the bigger and more forceful waves which made the going a bit bouncy – to say the least.

31.427674S,101.594474W31.427674S,101.594474W (sunset)

To explain this a little more, the high-pressure (fair weather) system to my right spins counter clock-wise creating winds from the southeast. To my left, the low-pressure (storm) system spins clockwise sending wind and waves towards me from the northwest. It’s a bit like the two spinning wheels that spit out baseballs in a pitching machine, but in this case, I’m the ball! When the two winds – the northwest push from the low and the southeast from the high, converge with each other, there is a resulting transition zone where they diminish. While the stormy (40-45-knot) winds may diminish by half, the waves we encounter are still the size generated by the bigger winds. This has made the sailing super-sized bumpety as we make our way north through the next transition zone of light winds and from there into the trade winds, in another day or so.

33.336974S,106.439005W33.336974S,106.439005W (sunrise)

Hopefully, the worst of the weather for this leg is behind me, and the “champagne” sailing of the trades is ahead of me … so all in all, life is good. I haven’t been able to write much with all the lively weather of the past week, but we do have a number of photographs here of some of the dramatic and beautiful sunrises and sunsets to share with you – the bookends of our days and nights. Hope you enjoy them.

30.50673S,100.3168565W30.50673S,100.3168565W (sunrise)

Later this week, we’ll also share a piece about objects that float in the ocean in the great “harmonic” gyres. These include natural things like seeds that drift across vast stretches of ocean to land on a distant shore … the sorts of things that gave Columbus the idea that there was another continent out there to the West … but they also include totally unnatural things like Nike Shoes and rubber bath duckies! A MOST interesting tale … so stay tuned for that!

30.50673S,100.3168565W30.50673S,100.3168565W (sunrise)

Also coming soon will be an update on this year’s Atlantic Cup Race, sponsored by loud friends at 11th Hour Racing, which starts in less than a month from Charleston, South Carolina. While Bodacious Dream (last year’s winner!) won’t be able to be there, our presence will be felt nonetheless in a number of ways … so log onto the Atlantic Cup website and begin following along. Be sure to vote for your favorite boat and share with your kids their new Kid’s Pages, featuring none other than “Capt. Dave.”

Until later … 

- Dave, Bodacious Dream & (the all-bounced-out) Franklin  27.2291S, 97.61472W
Currently @ 27.2291S, 97.61472W

The Atlantic Cup Shares the Dream

cyclone_lusi_175Here in Wellington, preparations for our departure are complete. Bodacious Dream is ready and waiting to take off on Leg 3 of our single handed circumnavigation, but as has happened before … weather considerations are conspiring to delay our departure! First there was a cyclone named “Lusi” that dropped down on us from up north and then another storm that also delayed our departure.  (You can view the state of the winds at any place in the world (and in near real-time) on the marvelous EarthWindMap website.)

Once the weather stabilizes, Bo and I will depart this lovely place and head east to a waypoint along Longitude 100 West – about a three-week sail from Wellington. Once there, we’ll carefully weigh all the seasonal weather projections and at that point make a final decision as to the prudency of either heading south and around Cape Horn as planned or instead heading north along the west coast of South America to the Galapagos Islands and from there onto and through the Panama Canal. Whichever way it goes, big decisions and big adventures await us. More on all of this very soon!

dave_iconIn the meantime, and in case you missed it earlier, we want to update you on a SUPER cool education initiative being undertaken by our good friends from the Atlantic Cup Race11th Hour Racing and Manuka Sports Event Management. 

After what I know has been a particularly harsh winter for many, springtime once again approaches … and as it does, thoughts of another sailing season begin to stir.

Atlantic CupFor the past two years, Bodacious Dream has started its season off by racing the Atlantic Cup, a challenging three-leg event up the Atlantic Seaboard, starting in Charleston, SC, with a stopover after reaching New York City before finishing up in Newport, RI for the inshore leg. With Bo and I being in the Southern Hemisphere, we’ll sadly be missing the fun this year.

I have many fond memories of the past two years, especially last year, where after winning the first two legs sailing double handed with Matt Scharl, I along with a stellar inshore crew held off an incredibly competitive fleet of challengers to win the overall event!

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That’s Bodacious Dream from last year’s AC … with the Jamestown FiSH sail!

Another exciting side of the Atlantic Cup is that the sponsor, 11th Hour Racing along with race organizers Manuka Sports Event Management, run by Julianna Barbieri and Hugh Piggin take a very active interest in providing educational opportunities to youth in the harbors into which the racers sail. We have always enjoyed taking part in these “Education Days,” as you know our abiding interest is to share the Bodacious Dream experience, just as we do now with our own educational aids for kids and teachers through our BDX website and Explorer Guides.

gulf_stream_ac_550Learning by raising questions from nature … 

Sharing our mutual interest in providing learning experiences for people and kids, the Atlantic Cup has chosen this time around to combine our efforts with theirs by utilizing some of our Explorer Guides materials to launch their own new KID’S PAGE this year. So, while Bodacious Dream will greatly miss competing in this year’s Atlantic Cup, (truly one of the top Class 40 regattas worldwide,) we are grateful that our presence will be felt in the content on the Kids Page of the Atlantic Cup Site. This chance to continue to influence and educate people and kids, (not to mention seeing myself represented as a friendly cartoon character) – is almost as big a kick and honor as winning the event itself.

Capt. Dave Education Guide
I guess I DO look like that! What do you know. Open their PDF by clicking on the above image.

This is only the latest turn in the story between the Atlantic Cup and Bodacious Dream. Last year, at the request of 11th Hour Racing, I drafted a blog post wherein I tried to capture some of what I have to know about learning and discovery. I titled it … If I knew then, what I know now … and you can find that by clicking on the link. In it I try to make that case that the true test of what you learn will not be a test score as much as it will be the tangible gifts that a new skill or awareness brings to your life and to your relationships with others. Ultimately, we learn best what we learn from each other. Give it a read if you like (and feel free to drop me a line.)

education_Day_550Matt Scharl and I try to stand up to tough questioning … during NYC “Education Day”

Beyond the youth education outreach of The Atlantic Cup, we also support their sponsor, 11th Hour Racing in their efforts to establish dynamic new platforms for “public” education that emphasize the responsible use of energy and resources in the context of competitive sailing. Through sponsorship of winning sailing teams and regattas, advanced sailing and production practices, they help improve the energy profile and performance of racing boats and increase the personal investment of sailors in the health of our waters.

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Since the beginning The Atlantic Cup, sponsored by 11th Hour Racing, and run by Manuka Sports Management has endeavored to present the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the United States – with both racing teams and race management working together to create a fully carbon neutral event event and to continue to play a leadership role in redesigning sailing practices and sailing regattas for the 21st Century.

:: Atlantic Cup Kid’s Page :: 11th Hour Racing :: Manuka Sports

So, as I prepare Bodacious Dream for the final 12,000-mile homeward journey, I hope you will follow this year’s Atlantic Cup as well as check out and share their Kids page with the kids in your world. There will be more great information coming from them once the actual race gets underway, but this is a terrific starting point for our younger followers, and those who care about their futures.

- Dave and Bodacious Dream

:: BDX Website :: Email List Sign-Up :: Explorer Guides :: BDX Facebook