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

A Map to the “Treasure”

I know I repeat myself, but thank you once more for following along on our journey around the world. There are so many people without whom this voyage could not have happened in the way that it did.

As I write this, Bodacious Dream is getting some fresh maintenance from the great folks around Narragansett Bay - namely Hall Spars and Rigging, Hinckley Yachts, North Sails and others.

dr_100For now though, I am heading back home to the Midwest to recoup my energies and put back in order the parts of my life that were paused for the circumnavigation.

Before I do that though, I wanted to leave you with a map of where the “treasure” is buried. And by treasure, I mean links to the bounty of sweet fruits and memories of the journey… that were the words we wrote, the photos we took and the videos we shot, as well as the various learning and discovery initiatives that we undertook, and all of which when combined, form an online trove of storied artifacts.

BDX_treasure_map_560

1) LEG RECAPS

First off, all our circumnavigation content resides on BodaciousDreamExpeditions.com

circum_leg_iconBelow are the summary recaps for all four legs of the circumnavigation (plus the pre-circum period) which can be found directly at the following links.


:-: Pre-Circumnavigation 
- Prior to October 2013 – Newport, RI
:-: Leg 1 – 10/02/13 – 12/03/13 – Newport, RI to Cape Town, S.A.
:-: Leg 2 – 12/21/13 – 2/08/14  - Cape Town to  Wellington, New Zealand
:-: Leg 3 – 3/26/14 – 5/1/14 - Wellington, NZ to the Galapagos Islands
:-: Leg 4 – 5/07/14 – 6/14/14 – The Galapagos Islands to Newport, RI 

2) OUR BLOG UPDATES

bdx_logo_70Our many blog posts can all be found in reverse chronological order on the Bodacious Dream Expeditions website at bodaciousdreamexpeditions.com/live-updates/. These posts are are also sub-divided by “categories” of subject matter AND by “date.” Select any category or month to see a list of relevant results.

3) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

dave80Upon arrival back in Newport, I began to gather and respond to some of the more frequently asked questions that were put to me over the course of the voyage. We consolidated them all together on one page, which can be found right here!


4) 
CIRCUM PHOTOS

facebook-icon_30Links to our many photos can be found here on our Circum Photos page, while our actual 18 Photo Albums, broken down by “Legs,” can be found here, on the Albums page of our Bodacious Dream Expeditions Facebook Page.

flickr-icon_30For larger format photos in one complete set, you can also view a curated 123-photo “best-of” slideshow over on Flickr.


5)
 CIRCUM VIDEOS

Youtube_iconA selection of our videos from the Circumnavigation can be found on our Circum Videos page, but all of the videos we have uploaded so far can be viewed on our Bodacious Dream Expeditions YouTube Channel.

6) TEGAN’S SCIENCE NOTES 

tegan_70Throughout the voyage, our Earthwatch scientist, Tegan Mortimer provided us wonderfully insightful science “notes” in support of wherever in the world we were and whatever we were encountering. There were eleven of these reports in all, on a wide range of subjects and a list of those can be found right here!

7) CITIZEN SCIENCE RESOURCES

citizen_scienceTegan was also responsible for helping us set up a wonderful Citizen Science Resources Page, where folks could learn all about the amazing online resources that presently exist to help lead you into the world of citizen science projects. Our various sightings were also added to the Bodacious Dream Expeditions Projects Page on iNaturalist.

8) CIRCUMNAVIGATION EXPLORER GUIDES

bdX-100Learning and Discovery have always been a primary intention of the voyage. To that end, throughout the expedition, we encouraged those of you who were following our adventure to explore more deeply the wonders and beauty of the natural world that we were traversing by referencing our custom-made Explorer “Study” Guides/ Worksheets. There were eight guides in total and can be found at the links below, where they can also be downloaded in printable form.

:-: Our Watery World
:-: Wind & Weather
:-: Math
:-: Sea Life
:-: Oceanography
:-: Glaciers
:-: Sailboat Glossary
:-: Mentor Guide

9) EXPERT INTERVIEWS

Over the course of the voyage, it was also my pleasure to conducted three sets of interviews with some very knowledgeable friends and sailors, each of whom is an expert in some area of sailing. For true devotees of the art and science of sailing, I think you will find these interviews most enlightening. Thanks to the guys for their participation.

:-: Sailing Navigation - interviews w/ John Hoskins & Matt ScharlJohnH_150MattS_150

:-: Rigging Technology - an interview w/ Alan Veenstra
Alan Veenstra

:-: Composite Materials Technologies - 
an interview w/ Lapo Ancillotti
lapo_150

And I think those are the key links. Feel free to contact us with follow-up questions. And we’ll keep you posted when we add anything new and of note.

And a very happy summer to all!

- Dave Rearick

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Dave Interviews the Experts

During my time here in Florida, I’ve been able to get some important repairs done to the boat’s mast. I also caught up with some old friends that live down this way and I delved into the endless well of photos and videos I’ve accumulated in the last 25,000 miles. But now it’s time to depart and to sail the last 1000 miles home to Jamestown, RI.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 1.52.46 PMLast week, just after arriving here in U.S. waters, I met up with an old friend Tim Kent. Back in 2002, Tim competed with his Open 50 in the “Around Alone” race, sailing the world singlehanded. Part of our discussion centered on the tools and technologies that I used to make a journey similar to the one he made 12 years earlier. He told me that from his boat at that time, he was able to send off daily email reports, which was fairly recent technology back then. Now – depending of course on the connectivity (which is pretty darn spotty in the more remote parts of the ocean) – I was able to send videos and photos off the boat. One day before long, it will no doubt be possible for sailors like Tim or myself to stream HD color video and high-quality audio from anywhere in the world. Imagine the windows on the world that will open!

Changes in technology always bring with them very interesting shifts in how we carry on with our daily  routines. How I use electronic navigation hardware and software today is quite different than it was for Tim in 2002. The types of rigging we use on today’s boats are a world away from the heavier and more quickly worn lines that were around in the last century. Perhaps most dramatically, how boats today are constructed and of what type of new materials… is pure progress in action.

capt_dave_ac_215Why not I thought, for the sake of our BDX Learning and Discovery agenda, interview some of my friends who are more knowledgeable than I in specific areas of new sailing-related technologies. So, that’s what I did … and I must say I was knocked out by the results. I would like to share with you here all three of the interviews that I conducted recently with a group of the most skilled folks I know, in the areas of Navigation, Rigging and Composite Technology.

I asked each of them to share with us how recent changes in technology are being applied to and altering ancient methods.

If you are at all interested in the finer points of sailing, I highly encourage you to check out these interviews. Here’s who and what we have.

1) John Hoskins and Matt Scharl each tell us about advancements in sailing navigation systems

JH: “The GPS of course is tied into a host of things… a chart plotter, (this is a computer-like monitor with nautical charts imbedded in it), the wind instruments, sea temperatures, an automatic identification system (AIS), expedition navigation software, and the uplink Sailor 250 satellite for access to the Internet for GRIB files, that store tide and weather information.”

JohnH_150MattS_150

2) Alan Veenstra catches us up on new rigging technology, and how the principles of old are being modified by new lighter and stronger fibers and materials.

AV: “Modern cordage is so strong that it has made traditional hardware nearly obsolete on high-performance sailboats. The current technological revolution is in creating strong, light hardware from composites of carbon, ceramics, and epoxy.”

Alan Veenstra

3) Finally, and in the longest interview, my good friend and chief builder of Bodacious Dream, Lapo Ancillotti takes us on a journey through composite materials technology, from the early days and how advances in that field have brought us to a world where “carbon fiber” is a commonly used term for anything light, strong and amazing.

LA: “3D printing is a suitable technology for light articles and prototype production only, at least until new material like “printed carbon fiber” become available – which might be happening soon… as experiments are already under way!”

lapo_150

So, as I take off here on Saturday, sailing the last 1000 mile up the Eastern Seaboard to Jamestown, RI, I’ll have a lot to think about and reflect upon.

I will follow up here soon with some interesting perspectives of my own. In the mean time, here’s one more video clip of a pod of False Killer Whales that came across my path just north of Cuba. Quite graciously, (though it may be hard for you to see) one of them flaps their tail a bit in what I understood to be a gesture of good luck for these final miles of my journey.


False Killer Whales

More soon,

- Dave, Bodacious Dream and (the compositely constructed) Franklin

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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.

Screen-Shot-2014-04-30-at-12.12
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!

AC13_1_finish4
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.

capt_dave_ac_550
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

Voices in the Night

11.09.13 - 33.08023W, 2.79826SAs I write this, it’s Friday out here … right about noon. We continue banging and slapping our way down around that bulge of the Brazilian coast heading in the direction of Recife (the fifth largest city in Brazil, with a population of ONLY 3.7 million!) It’s around 285 miles away yet, and we expect the winds to keep building today and tomorrow, as we get closer. Hopefully once we get there, the winds will start to shift easterly, and make our passage a bit less bumpy.

To be honest, I could use a break, as these “tossed around” conditions have been going on now for about ten days straight … beginning in the more northern trade winds, then even into the doldrums, which instead of living up to their name, turned into just another heavy squall zone. And now through these more southern trades.

In any case, we’re here and feeling good and knocking them off – one mile at a time. Maybe 48 more hours … which seems like a long time, but I’ve been out here 5 weeks now, so I guess a couple more days will be just fine.

Waves and more wavesOtto the auto-pilot … and the waves … and the clouds.

Last night at 22:27 hours, Bodacious Dream, Franklin and myself all sailed across the equator for the first time. Bo may count her “taxi” ride from her birthplace in Wellington, New Zealand as her first time, but on her own hull, under her own sail – this was her first too. It’s customary out at sea to have a bit of a celebration on such occasions – and those whose first times it is, often get played upon – dumped on with a bowl of leftovers from the galley … oatmeal, mayonnaise and such gooey things … and then made to sing a song or something. Well, last night was a bit more civilized … we shared the last of the cookies, ate chocolate and tossed a few morsels to Neptune. I was just about to open a bottle of special stuff that Joe Harris had thoughtfully provided, when blam – new winds and squalls forced me to put it away. I’ll offer up a toast tonight at sunset for everyone, for all of you, for Neptune and for us three newbies.

So, maybe you’re wondering who’s Franklin? Well, Franklin is my designated guardian … provided to me after this year’s Trans-Pac by my awesome crewmates aboard Bodacious IV. Franklin is a soccer ball complete with a drawn on face! A cousin of Wilson, no doubt … that other soccer ball made famous in the “Cast Away” movie with Tom Hanks.

FranklinSay what you want about him being only a ball, he’s still fun to have around.

In other news, yesterday I spotted and photographed these birds flying overhead. Out here any bird sighting instantly piques your interest. You kinda feel like a cat … “Oh boy! A bird! Come over this way, little bird!” Anyway, I’m not all that good at identifying birds … so, I sent the photo to Tegan Mortimer, our Earthwatch scientist, who wrote that great Science Notes blog post directly preceding this one … and she said …The birds are a type of Tropicbird. I’m not 100% sure what species they are. They’re probably White-Tailed Tropicbirds, though they might be Red-Tailed Tropicbirds. I’ve uploaded the sighting to iNaturalist and put out a request for help with the identification. New Englander that I am, I don’t know much about these birds, so will try to get back to you with some more information.” Good enough for now. Thanks Tegan!

Tropic BirdsWhite-Tailed Tropicbirds or Red-Tailed Tropicbirds?

Put this in the “long_time_at_sea” folder, but there are a LOT of curious sounds out here and they become especially noticeable at night. Also, as time goes on, and especially once fatigue sets in … the sounds take on these eerily human meanings. Most prominent among them, is the “chorus” (which emanates from the whine of the auto-pilot motors) and there is the “old man” whispering incoherent things to me (that would be the humming sounds from the hydro-generator) and so on.

Last night, there was a new sound – a kind of urgent cracking sound. It seemed to come from below decks. I could hear it snap more intensely each time the boat hit a flat trough. I finally dove below and looked around. Turned out it was my Atlantic Cup Co-Skipper  Matt Scharl‘s fishing pole, which had come loose, which caused the tip to whip around with each bounce and slap against the underside of the deck. Whew … another voice in the night put to rest! Grateful it wasn’t anything worse than that. I tell you though, the less sleep you get, and the more repetitive conditions become, the easier it is to understand how people might begin to see and hear things that may or may not really be there. So far, think we’re doing ok on that score.

Well, that’s enough for now. Hopefully in a day or so, conditions will be better and I can sit for a longer period of time and do a more thorough update.

Signing off,

- Dave, Bodacious Dream and Franklin
33.08023W, 2.79826S

Circumnavigation/ The View from Two Weeks Out!

Our time here in Rhode Island has passed quickly and our departure date for the Circumnavigation now looms just two weeks away! The excitement builds while quiet anxiety seeps in to fill the gaps. Questions keep circling through my mind … what am I forgetting, what’s going to break, how’s the weather going to be … will there be dragons out there? So while I’m hoping that those questions all resolve themselves peacefully, I know for sure that many unexpected things will arise, and well … that’s the fun of it! Being self-sufficient while sailing across these enormous expanses of ocean, embedded in the deepest wild of nature; this is living as close to the fullness of life as I can imagine. Such thoughts help me to offset the labor of long days at the yard working on the boat!

This weekend produced a number of completed projects and items crossed off the list! Thanks to the help of stalwart friends Tim Eades and Matt Scharl, we have new clutches on the foredeck, and new splashguards to protect me in the cockpit.

BoDream w/ Splashguards
BoDream with her spiffy new splashguards!

Thanks also to Dave, Phil, PJ, Peter and all the guys at Hall Spars, the rig is in and we sail-tested it on Saturday to make sure the tuning is proper. It’s sort of like tuning an instrument, as we tighten the shrouds (which are the wires that hold the mast up) to various tensions to keep the mast in column (straight) when the wind blows. Needless to say, we had a great day of sailing on Saturday to accomplish this with the help of Collin (Dave’s Son) and Carolyn, Phil’s wife. Carolyn is a teacher’s coach and enrichment counselor and hopes to introduce our BDX educational program to first, second and third graders at her schools, as well as to perhaps help us put together more interesting learning ideas. We’re always on the lookout too for others who can help with new ideas and ways to help us share this great expedition – not just with kids, but with everyone! If you have any thoughts, let us know … info@bodaciousdreamexpeditions.com

BoDream SpinnakerEric Wakefield at the North Sails Loft took the time to look over and make any repairs to the sails that I’ll use. On the water, chafe and small tears are often occurrences, and these are best and most properly repaired back on the sail loft floor. Imagine a large gym floor with the sails spread out … much easier to look at and work with them like that. We also got a chance to put up and sail with most of those sails this weekend, and now have them onboard and packed away. Sails are like the engine on the boat only they don’t come with a throttle or gas pedal, so it’s necessary to keep changing sail sizes and shapes to best accommodate the strength and direction of the wind. With the full range of variables in weather we may well encounter around the world, it will be necessary for us to be carrying 8 or 9 various sails with us.

In the meantime, our KVH satellite dome is off being repaired. The hydro-generator mount is nearing completion, auto-pilots are sorted out and we installed a back-up wind wand on top of the mast, that sends wind direction and speed info down to our computer. And to top it all off, Bodacious Dream even got a good washing before I took off for the day on Sunday. Plus I got a few vaccinations this past week too! Shots in the arm! Ouch!

So finally, it’s time to start making the transition from boat projects to logistical work, which means finding, getting, sorting and storing all sorts of gear, charts, food, clothing, paper and pencils, pens and such. Ice cream too, though that will have to be of the freeze-dried variety. But cookies? For sure on that!

At just more than two weeks away from leaving, the well wishes and bon voyage messages come quite frequently. Thanks to all of you for checking in, and keeping me in your thoughts as I head off into this most amazing dream expedition. I promise pockets bursting at the seams with stories when I return, but until then, you can read them as they happen simply by signing up for the email list or by following us on Facebook. Start getting the kids revved up about following us too. We are working on our new Explorer Guides for the trip and already have quite a few other things that will help put a special discovery frame around the expedition.

It’s all happening … almost all at the same time. Be back soon with more!

- Dave and Bodacious Dream

Our Awesome Ride to the Finish!

When last we spoke, Bodacious IV was 100 miles from the finish of the Tranpac, proceeding along the north coast of Maui and through the Hawaiian Islands towards Oahu. Sailing along at 10 to 12 knots, after so many days, turns things a little less exciting and more mundane as the miles pass and your senses become accustomed to the speed – that is, until nature decides to throw something unexpected in your path.

Matt, Tim and Jim ...
Matt, Tim and Jim … in the islands … on our last day at sea.

So it was during our last 100 miles. Just after Midnight (Hawaii Time) – we were caught by a stalking “squall” which zapped us with a 30 degree change in wind direction and kicked the wind speeds from 16 to 25 knots, while at the same time managing to spit a few buckets of rain on us – which threw our groggy crew into “sail or fail” mode! Fast action by Matt Scharl at the helm and by all hands, none of whom were able to sleep through the excitement, kept the boat on her feet and scooting on through the Molokai Channel on the course for Oahu, and Honolulu.

During those squally conditions, we sailed 17 miles in 80 minutes … and that was “as the crow flies.” So, actually it was probably more like 20 miles in 80 minutes if you figure in the gybes, which add in extra zig-zag miles. That’s some good fun sailing to say the least, but it also takes a pretty strong and alert crew to take full advantage of all that extra wind speed. As the squall moved on, once more indifferent to us, we settled into a more relaxed sail to the finish. The Molokai Channel, for us post-squall, didn’t quite live up to its reputation for accelerated winds and large surfing seas.

Once across the 25-mile wide channel, we sailed down the coast of Oahu, much of it glittering with the lights of civilization. These shimmering strands provided an interesting perspective from the sea — the lights of the streets and buildings coursing along the veins of the ancient lava flows of the island’s origination, highlighting the major formations as if they were solidified lava flows.

As we cleared Makapu’u Point still in the middle of the night, light from the bright full moon silhouetted majestic Diamond Head, causing us to focus our final moments of racing on the red flashing light that signaled the finish line of the 2250 mile long Transpac Race. Moments after crossing the indicated finish line, our finish was officially confirmed by the race committee – the first boat in our Division (#6) to the finish!

Bodacious IV at the Finish
The Crew of Bodacious IV at the Finish (Photo courtesy of the Transpac)

Even at the hour of 5AM, a rousing reception awaited us at the docks of the Hawaii Yacht Club, as we rolled into harbor and into the traditional and festive welcoming party for finishing boats. This made our arrival in the early, pre-dawn light such a delight for the brined and blurry gang of Bo IV. Leis were placed on all crewmembers and even one on the bow of our beloved Bodacious IV as well. Obviously, this tradition also serves as a ploy to displace the seasoned smell of 9 men after 11 days of sailing in the confines of small boat crossing the huge Pacific Ocean!

Now as far as the actual scoring for the race goes, the way the Transpac works (and other races too) is that boats – even boats of similar length and design, have certain distinctions between them in terms of mast height, keel configuration, etc. and so a handicapping method is used so that once the boats finish, times are corrected to account for those handicaps and from that, final positions are determined. So it is, that while we were the first through the “barn door,” our final placement in our division was third behind Horizon and Medusa.

Div 6 Final Standings
Division 6 “Corrected” Standings

So, after some thick as concrete slumber, it’s time to clean up Bodacious IV; wash the salt from the equipment, dry out the sails, pack away the equipment and prepare her for a reception in honor our friends at HAEA (the US Hereditary Angioedema Association).

HAEA

As I expect you all know by now, we’ve been sailing this race to bring awareness to this devastating disease. I’ve learned a lot about it in the process, and as I hear more about the effects that attend to someone missing vital blood protein and how quickly it can take away the very breath of life, I am honored to share a part of my lucky life to help bring some awareness to the goals of the HAEA. In fact, this afternoon, we will be sporting our HAEA insignias and hosting them all for a party at the Hawaii Yacht Club.

Beyond that, VIDEOS and more PHOTOS of the sailing and the crew will be coming here and to our YouTube channel here very soon.

I’ll also do my best to get you updates on the various celebrations going on here this week in Hawaii. Least you think that it’s all party time now, Captain Tim Eades and I will be spending the next week or so disassembling Bodacious IV, and packing her up for ocean shipment back to the US mainland and then across land to Newport, RI where she will await her next races. Hawaii though … not a bad place to have to work on a boat!

Until later … many thanks to all of you for your support!

- The most grateful crew of Bodacious IV
Skipper Jeff Urbina, Capt. Tim Eades, John Hoskins, Matt Scharl, Jim McLaren, Chris Pike, Christer Still, John Ayres and Dave Rearick.

On the Eve of the Trans-Pacific!

Bodacious IV It’s been a busy week here in Long Beach, California! The harbor has been abuzz with boats and sailors, spectators and press as we complete our preparations for Bodacious IV to compete in the 107-year old Transpac Race!

We arrived in Long Beach after having developed a problem with the mast during the trip from San Diego, which upended all our well thought-out plans and schedules. After consulting with engineers and technicians, repairs were completed this past Sunday, and since then, we’ve been working to catch up and get back on schedule.

Yesterday, Captain Tim Eades and I were joined by the rest of the Bodacious Racing Team, and we are now at full strength going into the final stretch. The proverbial “list” is now close to manageable, we’ll get in a practice sail today and be ready to rock it come our start tomorrow Thursday at 1:00 pm, PDT!

Boats in Long Beach
Bretwayda, Bodacious IV, Lending Club & The Queen Mary!

There’s an amazing group of competitors and vessels around us here, and we’re expecting some very close racing right up to the finish line. The whole race has a total of 57 boats competing in three sections with staggered start times. This is to help consolidate the finish times in Hawaii by having the faster boats give the rest of the field a head start. The first start was on Monday, and in that start was our friend and fellow Class 40 racer Hanna Jenner onboard Dorade, which is a very special boat, having won the Trans-Pac back in 1936! Another fellow Class 40 competitor, Ryan Breymeier, will be competing in the large trimaran, Lending Club. They have been upgrading their onboard systems in an attempt to set a new multi-hull record time for covering the Transpac course in less than 5 days! We’ll see how they do. We’ll also be keeping a close eye on an old friend, Phil Pollard, who is sailing on Bretwalda 3.

Bodacious Dream ExpeditionsConcurrent to the race, we have also uploaded a Trans-Pacific Expedition discovery “module” here on  BodaciousDreamExpeditions.com … this one naturally covers the Pacific Ocean and Hawaiian Islands.
Here we give you background and study guides to help you share with the kids in your world, what’s going on around our daily updates as we venture across the largest ocean on the planet, the Pacific Ocean.

In the “print-ready” Explorer Guides, you can have some fun working out the math problems and reviewing the general knowledge questions. It’s an utterly amazing part of the world we will be voyaging through, so come along and learn about it with us … in real-time!

AC Education Day in NYC
Matt and Dave field some tough questions from the inquisitors in NYC …

Speaking of sharing our experience with a younger generation; this is at the heart of what we do as sailors and humans. On this note, the good folks at the Atlantic Cup and 11th Hour Racing were kind enough to ask me to write a piece for them on the two “Education Days” we had in-between Atlantic Cup race legs. On those two days, several of us skippers had a chance to hang out and share our experiences with groups of city school kids. It was a very special experience. My post is titled, “If I knew then, what I know now …” and you can read it right HERE!

The folks at the Transpac have also done a good job enhancing the online experience for you, as well. Here are some of the various ways you can follow the action.

Transpac 2013• The Transpac Website is here
… http://transpacyc.com/
• The Yellowbrick Race Tracker is here
… http://yb.tl/transpac2013
• Their Facebook Page is here
… https://facebook.com/TranspacRace

Of course, we will (in our own inimitable way) be keeping you updated here on our Bodacious sites and on our Facebook page as well.

So, that’s about it … there’s a LOT of excitement coming up in these next couple of weeks of hard racing. We’re hoping to cover the 2250 miles in 10 days or so, after which it will be time for a few days of rest and relaxation in Hawaii before heading back into the thick of things in preparation for the circumnavigation aboard Bodacious Dream in the fall!

HAEAWe hope you’ll take time to follow us on this grand race and adventure, explore our expedition materials and also support our good friends at the Earthwatch Institute … and if you can, help out our partners at the U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association (HAEA) who are working hard to find a cure for all those affected by that disease. So … until the next update, all the best to you, from all of us onboard Bodacious IV!

Skipper Jeff Urbina, Captain Tim Eades, John Ayres, Chris Pike, John Hoskins, Christer Still, Jim McLaren, Matt Scharl & Dave Rearick

Bodacious Dream Wins Leg Two of the Atlantic Cup Race!

Bodacious Dream was first across the finish line for the SECOND leg of the Atlantic Cup Race! (NYC to Newport, RI) Matt & Dave crossed over tonight at 8:14 EDT! This follows upon their 1st place finish earlier in the week in the FIRST leg of the race (Charleston, SC to NYC.) Get all the latest news on our Facebook page and right here on our LATEST UPDATES page! What an incredible competition this has been, and there’s a THIRD leg of inshore racing coming up this weekend! Stay tuned for that and more photos and videos!

But getting back to today’s race … it was a truly legendary race … and here are SOME of the reasons why.

  • Lecoq Cuisine - who finished 8.5 minutes behind BoDream in the first leg – finished just 5 minutes behind them in this one! Gryphon Solo II finishes 3rd, just 10 minutes behind BoDream.
  • Even more amazing is that ALL seven competitors finished the 30+ hour race within 45 minutes of each other!
  • Weather and wind conditions and variations were extreme and diverse. More on all this soon!
  • Interestingly enough, this is the same leg of the Atlantic Cup that Bodacious Dream won last year!
  • Total Elapsed Time for Bodacious Dream was 1 day, 6 hours, 19 minutes and 38 seconds!

Below is a photo of BoDream at the moment she crossed “The Jamestown FiSH Finish Line!”

Atlantic Cup Finish Line
FiSH on the flag … FiSH on the sail …

And here is a photo – taken late in the race out the back of BoDream. On the horizon, you can make out Lecoq Cuisine. What a relentless competitor they proved to be!

Atlantic Cup Near Finish
Working hard to keep that half-mile lead on Lecoq Cuisine …

And in this last photo from earlier this afternoon … when Matt was relieved of his turn at the helm, he decided to forego rest and to juggle clementinas instead!

AC JugglingBodacious talent takes many forms …

And this was a race that Dave thought MIGHT just go till Tuesday morning! Instead it was a full tilt sprint right from the gate.

Anyway, that’s about all we have to say right now. MORE photos and videos … interviews AND “expert analysis” coming soon!

We’ll leave it with BiG congratulations to all the teams in the race, to the race organizers and to the whole Bodacious Dream Team … for a job well-done … and of course, to all of you for your steady support!

- Matt, Dave & Bodacious Dream

Tango on the Wando Warm-up Charleston!

The Atlantic Cup Race is coming up in sneak attack mode and Bodacious Dream is almost ready for it! Matt Scharl, my co-skipper, done planting his farm fields, is joining me here in Charleston today where we’ll spend the next few days before the start of the race on Saturday finishing our preparations and mapping our strategy to match the weather forecasts. The boats are all gathered now at the Charleston City Marina. I was one of the last to arrive, having been up the Wando River at the City Boat Yard where Bodacious Dream was cozied up for the winter and then undergoing maintenance.

BoDream Out of the Water
Like a FiSH out of water …

With the maintenance completed, Bodacious Dream and I left the boat yard Wednesday morning and headed down the Wando River to Charleston. As you get close to Charleston, you come upon the famous Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.

Arthur J. Ravenal Bridge
A pretty darn bodacious bridge …

Had my hand at a bit of photo fun as I passed under it, framing the bridge’s suspension wires with the rigging of the boat.

Arthur J. Ravenal Bridge

Once beyond the bridge, we went by the Charleston Maritime Center, which is where the Atlantic Cup Race will start at 2pm Saturday afternoon. From there, we glided around the corner to the City Marina where the other competitors are docked – flags flying and all! And right in the middle of them, the flag of our sponsor … Newport’s own, FiSH!

Flags Flying

I had a chance to meet some of the new competitors this year and reconnect with old friends and fellow-sailors – what an incredible bunch of folks.

I hope you’re looking forward to this race and our next “expedition” as much as we are. We’ve got a whole new Atlantic “Cup” Coast expedition right here in place on BodaciousDreamExpeditions.com … with brand new “Explorer Study Guides” for you (and the kids) to check out. Actually, everyone can learn something on this trip … the Atlantic Seaboard is such a treasure of natural and historical wonders … and we tried to cram a bunch of that info into the Guides, which I’ll also be referencing in my daily updates.

BDX Explorer Guides
A sample section from our “Environment” Explorer Guide …

Also, this past week, we outfitted Bodacious Dream with fast onboard satellite Internet (whoot!) … so expect more photos and videos along with insightful race commentary from the now well-seasoned duo of Matt & Dave!

You can expect three to four days of exciting racing on the way to New York City. Once the race starts, you’ll be able to track the competitors and check out the standings via the race tracker at www.AtlanticCup.org. And we’ll be keeping you up-to-date on what’s happening with us onboard Bodacious Dream on both of our Bodacious Dream websites as well as on our BDX & BD Facebook pages. On our BDX YouTube Channel and on Twitter too @BodaciousDream. Lots of ways to find us!

And of course, if you haven’t already, check out the polling page on the Atlantic Cup website where you can vote for your favorite team (hint … hint – you don’t even have to register – just click on BoDream!)

And thank you again for your ever-steady support.

- Matt, Dave & Bodacious Dream