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

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

Earth’s Oceans – Learnings & Celebrations

AC_logo_200Well, it’s down to the last month before the beginning of the Atlantic Cup Race! Things are heating up as the organizers of the race are excitedly putting all the pieces in place for the start of the competition in Charleston, South Carolina on May 28th.

There are some exciting new entrants that have been added since my last update, including Liz Shaw and Libby Greenhalgh – the first all-female team – which is a super exciting first for this race. Also, I have it on good source that there are even a few more competitors to be announced soon! So, stayed tuned for that or follow the Atlantic Cup on their Facebook page, as well as following us on our newly launched Atlantic Cup Kids Facebook page.

The quality and the size of this year’s field, is going to make it very difficult to pick which boat I want to vote for as my favorite. Once you review the entrants, I hope you’ll consider casting a vote for your favorite. Speaking from experience, I can tell you it’s a big boost to the sailors to have folks rooting for them in that way. You can easily cast your vote on the Atlantic Cup Kids Page.

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I’ll break down the competition more in my next update. In this one, I want to share a bit more about our live learning events that will take place at all three of the race harbors.

Charleston, South Carolina, where the race begins is providing us with a huge warm welcome for their Kid’s Day, which will be May 26th. We’ve got over 500 kids scheduled to visit us so far. This really charges me up – the idea of having 500 unique opportunities to engage young, growing minds to learn more about the ocean and how we co-exist with it more sustainably. After all, the ocean covers 75% of the surface of our planet. We are connected to it (and a part of it) at the most fundamental of levels.

So, in early May, I’ll be visiting John Miller, who is helping us round up the kids and classes through the Charleston School District. At that time, I will have a chance to visit and talk with some of the classes prior to the Kid’s Day event at the harbor.

Casco_300x78A couple of weeks ago, I made a similar visit to Portland, Maine and received a very enthusiastic response to our presentation and program. I met with a great group of dedicated local folks who call themselves “BayKeepers” and who are part of a wonderful group called “The Friends of Casco Bay.” Check out their site to learn more.

While in Portland, I also visited three schools. It’s not easy to keep your presentation on track when the kids are peppering you with more questions than you have time to answer! Many thanks to the teachers and students at Bayview, Ocean Avenue and Hall Schools for allowing me to spend time with them. With Kid’s Day 1 in Portland full to capacity, we’re looking for more local schools and kids programs to join us on Kids Day 2 where the highlight will be watching the inshore racing from Ft. Allen Park. Of all the places I’ve sailed and raced, this location promises to be one of the best ever for watching boats race. So, let me know if you are familiar with schools in any of the three cities that might want to come down to the harbor and join the fun.

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Our stay in New York City at the end of Leg One is going to be great too. We’ve got a lot of high school kids visiting us there which is challenging me to find more advanced math, science and engineering learning points with which to engage them. Fortunately, sailing is filled with so many opportunities to expand your knowledge and understanding. Anyone care to explain the trigonometry involved in celestial navigation? Or how about determining the working loads of various winches, blocks and lines? The list of things to learn is endless.

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Since much of our program is about the oceans, we’ve also uploaded a NEW Education Guide to the Atlantic Cup Kids Page – an updated version from Bodacious Dream Expeditions that we call “Ocean World.” There’s a wealth of information there about the amazing world of the ocean. It’s a great and fun read and we encourage you to share it (along with the other Guides on that same page) with the kids in your world.

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When I’m on the water, I have this wondrous experience of feeling more directly connected to points all around the world. A few bags of groceries and I can go anywhere I want. From Charleston to France is a couple weeks. From there to South Africa a month. Then there’s New Zealand, Japan, China, Russia, Italy, Germany, India, Indonesia, Alaska, Peru… and on and on you go. Where would you like to go if you were setting sail on an ocean adventure? Drop me a note at Dave@AtlanticCup.org and tell me your dream port-of-call.

So, that’s it for now. Come visit us at the Atlantic Cup Kids Facebook page. I recently posted a cool visual explanation of one of my favorite things… bioluminescence. And while you’re there, give us a LIKE if you haven’t already done so, so that as we move forward, we can keep you in the loop. … More exciting stuff coming soon.

franklin_16 - Cap’n Dave
with trusty Franklin by my side! (For those of you who’ve been asking where he’s been.)

P.S. And you can sign up for Kid-specific Mailings at the newsletter signup and by selecting AtCup KiDS News! We’ll start sending those closer to the race.

Summer’s End … Fall’s Launches!

Two years ago this week, I was filled with anxiety as the clock ticked down to my departure from Jamestown, RI bound around the world. Looking back, what a short ride it was to completion on June 14th of last year! While there are always new things turning up in my world, it’s always fun to look back and see the connecting eddies of life that converge around us.

• If you followed along, perhaps you recall the name of Joe Harris who aboard Gryphon Solo 2 sailed alongside Bodacious Dream as we exited Narragansett Bay that beautiful afternoon. The air was crisp and the spray of the sea tart. What a beautiful day it was!

BoDream and Gryphon SoloPhoto by Billy Black

Well, Joe is feeling his own pre-departure anxiety these days. That’s because he’s into the last month of preparation of Gryphon Solo 2 to depart Newport, RI  November 10th on his own circumnavigation of the globe! But Joe’s journey will be a tougher one than mine. Joe’s going for a record-breaking, non-stop lap around the big blue marble. He’ll be doing this in his own Class 40, affectionately known as “GS2.” No stops, no rest, below the famous capes and hopefully faster than the present record of 137 days and 20 minutes! Amazing and dangerous… but if anyone can do it, Joe can!

Joe HarrisI know many of you have written telling me how much you miss the reports from Bodacious Dream. Well, here’s a chance to get the rush again! Join up for Joe’s updates and follow him. It promises to be action-packed and filled with excitement! Click and sign up @ www.gryphonsolo2.com and get caught up with Joe so you can ride along with him around the world!

And yes, though I won’t have Bodacious Dream to sail alongside GS2 as Joe heads out, I’ll be on the docks in Newport, probably waxing philosophically, and imagining as others have in the past… of the adventures Joe will experience. Good on ya’ Joe!

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• In other news, remember Tegan Mortimer? The always-fun scientist who kept us up on the science of the ocean as we spun around the world? Well, on November 3rd, Tegan sets off on a great adventure called “Expedition Ascension 2015” – an all-women scientific expedition to study the ways of the ocean. The voyage departs from the Ivory Coast of Africa and moves across the Atlantic to South America. Tegan will be keeping us posted on her adventure and you can follow along with her on the website @ www.oceantalk.org/.

Dave-Rearick-Trash.jpg-300x180• These are dramatic times as it becomes clearer the impact humans are having on the ocean, and as we begin to raise our voices louder against the destructive winds. Back home on the Great Lakes, as an Ambassador for 11th Hour Racing, we are spreading the word about plastics in the water. This summer, I spent time convincing other sailors to adopt a no disposable water bottle lifestyle. We were instrumental in making progress and in not using thousands of water bottles on this year’s Mac Race alone. Here’s a link to my write up about it… www.11thhourracing.org/press/dear-fellow-sailors/.

I hope you will consider joining us in these efforts, even if you never leave shore. There’s little if any reason to use disposable water bottles. Yes, sometimes we have no choice, but in those situations, we have a responsibility, that if you use it, to recycle it away when you are done!

DR_stonehenge1• Then there’s the bOOk! Most everyone I meet along the way, on the docks, on the streets, in the airports and at the lumberyard want to know how the book is coming. When is it going to be ready? Well, the bulk of the manuscript is written and is now getting edited. I’ve got a few more chapters to write and some things to rewrite – so hopefully in time for the holidays, I will get them printed and into your hands. So, stay tuned!

For now, here’s a book excerpt that relates what it felt like leaving Jamestown two years ago!

“My friend Joe Harris sailed alongside in his boat Gryphon Solo II, a kin to Bodacious Dream. Joe and I harbor the same dream—to sail around the world alone. We’ve carried our dreams for years, setting them aside as changes in life came and went, as flows of finances stalled and inspirations faded. Day after day, battling alone to keep our dream from wearing out like an untended hull in an old wooden boatyard. I was on my way, and I felt for Joe and what he must be feeling. I’d been there before, watching friends start world-girdling races with me left behind, tethered ashore.

We tacked back and forth on the fresh, cool sea breeze flowing towards shore, pulled in under the rising air heated by the warm sun on the dark land a few miles inland. Class 40 sailing boats are quick and responsive. Sailing at 8 knots comes easy for Bodacious Dream, and it wasn’t long before Joe and I cleared the guiding lights of the harbor – Brenton Reef to our port and Beavertail to our starboard… when my radio kicked up with Joe’s voice.

“Bodacious Dream, this is Gryphon Solo II.”

“Go ahead Gryphon Solo, this is Bodacious Dream.” (Standard radio communication between radio operators.)

“How you doing over there Dave?”

“Going along just fine Joe, how about you?”

“Doing great, what a beautiful day to depart on huh?”

“Yup.”

“You should be able to bear off and head towards Bermuda now.”

“Oh, ok… so, what’s the course for Bermuda?”

I was embarrassed to not know this; I hadn’t the time in the previous few days to look up this simple but important fact—the compass heading of my first course around the world! In a frantic, last minute fight with electronics and communications; I added a stop in Bermuda, a 600 mile, 4 day sail away, giving me the chance to make sure the electronic gremlins had been properly exorcised and the communication systems were working properly.

“150 degrees there Admiral!” A nickname Joe occasionally used for me.

With great relief, I adjusted my autopilot Otto’s course down 20 degrees, a bit further off the wind point, allowing me to ease the sheets trimming the sails. Bodacious Dream had been heeling (tipping up) more than necessary, sailing tight on the wind, and needing a reef (shortening the sails). Soon she leveled out and picked up speed to 10 knots, sailing off for Bermuda as graceful and nonchalant as a beautiful, confident woman along the Champs-Élysées. Joe sailed parallel for a while longer, then, with a personal, silent wave of respect, bore off and tacked back toward the bay. My only companions now were the eyes and lens of Billy Black as he continued to take a few final photos.”

As fall comes to my friends in the Northern Hemisphere and spring to those in the Southern Hemisphere, I hope you’re all prospering and enjoying the beauty and wonder of your world.

Remember, “Stay connected— keep your toes in the water.”

- Dave, Franklin & Bo (in absentia.)

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 Dream Carries On …

Well, another long delay between communications, but it’s been a very busy month and a half.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 12.49.31 PMTo bring you up-to-date with Bodacious Dream, she has been generously donated to Oakcliff Sailing Center, a non-profit organization from Long Island, NY. Oakcliff was launched in 2005 with a mission to raise the bar for young American sailors through extensive race training programs. Bodacious Dream will sail under the new name of Oakcliff Racing and it will give Oakcliff the ability to safely take on longer offshore races with their students.

So, I’ve just returned from the UK where we finished handing Bodacious Dream over to Oakcliff Racing’s able crew: Hobie Ponting, Andrew O’Donnell, Dan Flanigan, Chris Kennedy and Jeffrey MacFarlane

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So, I spent about ten days showing them the systems on Bo after which we took the boat to Guernsey for a bit of an on-the-water orientation. After we’d covered all their many questions, I headed back to the U.S. to some other commitments as the guys continued to prep the boat for leaving. I heard from them that they left Guernsey last Friday, heading south to the Canary Islands where they hope to make the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race. You can follow these young enthusiastic men as they embark on their own dream on Facebook at Oakcliff Racing.

dave_sailingOn another note, many of you got the news that I had an article published in the November issue of Sailing Magazine. I struggled to find a hard copy of the magazine as I traveled about… and for those of you that searched high and low as well, you can now find the article online here on Sailing Magazine’s site. I can’t remember how far back it was that I found my first Sailing Magazine and read it cover to cover! Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the article and the many other great articles and photos on sailing in this classic magazine that does so much to provide great news and fantastic photos of the beauty of sailing.

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I’ll be heading home to chilly Lake Michigan here soon and am very much looking forward to once again being at home for Thanksgiving – and gathering with dear friends and family to express our gratitude for the many wonders we’ve had the chance to experience. I’ve certainly had a few years of them and having celebrated Thanksgiving last year in the Southern Atlantic Ocean with freeze-dried lasagna, I’m really looking forward to sharing a bountiful table of roast turkey with all the trimmings! I sincerely hope you too will have the chance to gather with your family and friends and consider the grace of our lives.

Many thanks to all of you…

- Dave Rearick

Stonehenge and Winchester Cathedral

Back again after another long delay. As promised, I want to share my visit to Stonehenge, but before that, I want to let you know about a few new published pieces. First off, Sailing Magazine has published my article on Bodacious Dream and the circumnavigation in their new November issue.

sailingmagSailing Magazine has its home in Port Washington, Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan, my home waters. It’s a well-respected magazine that shares the beauty of sailing and racing through photos and stories, along with a lot of great information and advice on equipment as well as boat reviews. We’ll let you know if and when they publish it online, but if you come across a copy of the magazine, check it out!

Hurrican Island Outward Bound SchoolAlso, this month the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School (HIOBS) Blog has posted an interview with me where I talk about the circumnavigation, but also about how the time I spent at HIOBS in my teens prepared me for facing the various mental and physical challenges that attend to ocean racing and distance sailing. The new interview on their blog is right HERE! And if you’d like to dip back into the archive, an earlier post from March describes my whole Outward Bound Story.

So now, onto Stonehenge!

When last we left it, Matt Scharl and I had sailed Bodacious Dream to Hamble, England where we finished taking care of her, preparing her for her stay. With a spare day before my return to the US, I drove to Stonehenge, about 45 miles from Hamble. I punched the coordinates into the GPS and followed the gentle, British-accented female voice, turn by turn through the beautiful countryside, trying hard to stay on the “wrong” side of the road! Fortunately, many of the roads are less than two lanes wide, making it much easier to stay in your lane!

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Late in the afternoon, I came over a rise on the motorway and off to the side of the road you could see that great and iconic circle of stones we instantly recognize as Stonehenge. A few more miles drive to the visitor’s center gave me time to reflect on the amazing history I was about to witness.

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The history of Stonehenge has fascinated me since I first learned of it, at some point in my youth and likely through National Geographic magazine. On this day, the broken overcast, grey blue skies and late afternoon light against the bright green rolling hills cast a perfect backdrop for me to explore up-close the mystery of Stonehenge. It was easy to imagine ancient peoples gathering here to commemorate and celebrate events in their community’s lives.

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The building of Stonehenge began some 5000 years ago and evolved over the course of the next few thousand years. The original layout of upright wooden logs was eventually replaced with the large stones moved some 250 miles to the present location. At various times in history, stones were moved or rearranged and additional stones brought in, which modern historians believe provided “healing” inspiration for the people at Stonehenge. The surrounding countryside is dotted with burial mounds and depressions indicating roads or avenues connecting the river to Stonehenge. All these mysterious ruins give sustenance to imaginative debates on what actually happened there… and unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the mysteries remain largely unanswered.

Pictures tell more of the story and in the presence of the intimidating intentions of these ancient people, my staying quiet, listening and feeling the earth seemed the wiser course than going off on wild speculating. The greatest things in life are often not very loud!

DR_stonehengeFinishing my walk around the perimeter of Stonehenge, I drove off again across the English countryside, past the various burial mounds that seem nonchalantly placed in no particular pattern. What had taken place here? Why here? Was there something more significant to this particular plot of land? Was this a place of worship or celebration? There are so many wonders in the world… isn’t it fascinating that we get the chance to exercise such questions and feelings?

winchester2I awoke early the next morning with a plan to return to London and Heathrow Airport for my flight home, but had one more stop to make. Winchester Cathedral is an amazing building and the location of the grave of the famous English author, Jane Austen.

As a builder, I remain forever amazed at the ingenious engineering and workmanship that went into building the great Gothic-era cathedrals of Europe. These astonishing buildings, some over a thousand years old, were built over the course of generations by villages of craftsmen as a testament to their communities, their religion and their skills.

Here are some more photographs of majestic Winchester Cathedral.

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westminster3As I drove off to catch my flight, it occurred to me that perhaps both Stonehenge and Winchester Cathedral stood as monuments to people’s faith and belief in providence. Though each was so entirely different in  design, they felt to me equal in how they spoke to mankind impulse to challenge itself in extraordinary ways. Though Stonehenge stands small in comparison to Winchester, it felt equally grand when you consider the technology and engineering of its time.

So, I will leave you with this last question that still haunts me. We know the history of Winchester Cathedral. Is the historical speculation around Stonehenge similar to it, or might there be something much more intriguing (and still unknown) going on in earth’s history to which we are no longer aware?

For now,

- Dave

Sailing the British Isles

I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve sent news of Bodacious Dream and the ongoing adventures. As many of you know, Matt Scharl who sailed with me in the double handed events Bodacious Dream raced had prepared Bo for sailing to Europe to compete in the Route du Rhumb race. Upon arriving in Europe, for personal reasons, Matt decided to withdraw from the Route du Rhumb and asked if I could come over and meet him in Ireland and help sail Bo to Hamble in England.

Matt met me at the airport in Finet, Ireland where we had lunch with the family who housed him for the time he was there. After lunch, we headed to the boat and sailed south off the southwest coast of Ireland past Fastnet light, the most famous lighthouse in the Irish Sea, on to Lands’ End and then down to the island of Guernsey which is part of the Channel Islands.

7612_guernsey_560Arriving in Guernsey at low tide …      

Guernsey retains its own sovereignty but is loosely connected to the UK and is English speaking. From Guernsey, we sailed north through the Alderney Race, which is a very strong tidal stream current between the Channel Islands and the Cherbourg Peninsula of France. These were very historic waters and we could feel the past rising up all around us. At times we were moving with a 5 to 6 knot current… and fortunately, in the right direction!

7645_alderney_560Sunset in the Aldeney Race

Very early in the morning, we entered the Solent, which is a strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England, where we worked our way through the fog past thousands of boats before tying up about dawn among some the boats of other Class 40 sailing friends.

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Bo tied up in Hamble, England

As we wandered around the yard getting our bearings and looking for breakfast, we stopped and talked with the sailors from Concise 8, a new radically-designed Class 40. We looked over Swish which will be sailed in the RdR by a South African friend, Pippa Hutton-Squire. Not long after that, a car pulled over, rolled down its window and to our surprise, it was our friend Miranda from Campagne de France! Miranda will be sailing CdF in the RdR and her partner, Halvard will be sailing against her in his new version of CdF2. You may remember we sailed against them in the Atlantic Cup, the Quebec-St. Malo race AND the Normandy Channel Race in 2012.

By the end of the day, we’d settled into the Compass Point B&B. That evening, we wandered across the street… actually a cobblestone lane… to the King and Queen Pub for dinner. Within ten minutes of arriving, we’d made friends with the proprietor Janet and we found we had a dozen or so mutual friends. Turns out The King and Queen Pub in Hamble is one of the main land-based stopping points for many an adventuring sailor!

7679_K&Q_560The King & Queen Pub in Hamble

In the past week, I’ve had the pleasure to meet many new sailors and reconnect with old friends. I’ve heard some great stories and shared some great local music, had a traditional English Roast dinner on Sunday as well as a peas with salmon dinner. This is a sweet little village where most the homes are centuries old, which means that things are just the way they are. Sometimes you step up and over a threshold to enter a building, other times you have to step down to enter. Sometimes the doors aren’t quite high enough and sometimes the lights aren’t bright enough… but it’s merry, it’s old and it’s England. Quite a nice place to finish up a 4-day sail!

7683_hamble_560The Merry Ol’ Town of Hamble 

So, Bo is doing quite well. She is cleaned up and sitting patiently waiting for her next trip. In the meantime, with my work pretty much done and a day or so left before my flight, I’m going to make a side trip to Stonehenge. Stonehenge is that famous stone circle in England that has always captured my imagination. It’s only an hour’s drive away so it’s something I don’t want to miss. I will share that experience with you early next week.

Until then, thanks for staying tuned. More to come soon.

- Dave