BDX Origins

(as told by Skipper Dave Rearick – in 3 Parts)

Part 1: BDX Origins… Keep Reading Below!
Part 2: BDX THEN
Part 3: BDX NOW


Early on in my life, long before I began sailing and competitive racing, I learned something about learning … and that was … we learn best what we learn from each other. I see this lesson reinforced all the time, especially in the way seasoned sailors freely share their experience with more novice sailors. It is my feeling that one of our primary human responsibilities is to share with others (and especially with younger people) those myriad pieces of knowledge and particles of wisdom that we have been lucky enough to gain in our lives.

If we fail to seize such opportunities, if we don’t each of us seek out ways to share what we know with others, then we leave that critical task of instruction and mentorship to far more indifferent and institutional forces – which while they may be mostly well-intentioned, cannot possibly recreate the sort of intimate connection or make the same kind of lasting impression on quick and still-forming minds that learning directly from others can provide.

Matt Scharl and Dave Rearick field some tough questions in NYC Harbor.


In a blog post I was asked to write after the 2013 Atlantic Cup Race for our friends at 11th Hour Racing, I posed this question What if we knew then what we know now? If that were in fact the case, then how exactly might that change what we each do today? After all, we were all once inexperienced and in search of those FUNdamental lessons that would turn us one day into who we are now!

BD_232My own course has taken me from sailing Sunfish on Lake Michigan to sailing our beautiful  Class 40 Bodacious Dream on Earth’s great oceans … and now it has taken me on a solo sailing circumnavigation adventure all around the world!

Much of who I am today is largely owing not only to what others earlier in my life took the time to teach me … but also to what nature and the ocean itself has taught – and continues to teach me.

As sailors, we spend a lot of time on the water and so live in an intimate relationship with this immense natural force. Water covers over 70% of the earth’s surface, and the water inside of us is very nearly that same percentage. 50% of the air we breathe comes from the ocean. How can it be that the future of life on earth is not somehow intrinsically tied to the health of the oceans? Why is it that in spite of the great wealth of new tools and technologies now at our disposal, we still tend to “flounder” rather than “swim” toward intelligent and sustainable solutions. For myself, I think this is partly due to just how removed most people have become from any actual “experience” of the ocean. For too many of us, once we leave the shoreline, the ocean becomes invisible.

So it is, that one of the primary goals of our “Bodacious Dream Expeditions” (BDX) is to go out into “deep water” and to put some of that whizzy new Internet technology to work, to help bring a more direct and visceral experience of the ocean (and of the craft of sailing) back into people’s lives.

Bodacious Dream ExpeditionsThat is the challenge then that BDX was created to address – to introduce young and curious minds (of all ages) to the wonders of the ocean, but also to the many demands required of skillful sailing and sailcraft. BDX seeks to advance sea-based learning and to share that experience of being and sailing on the ocean with whomever chooses to join our “bodacious” online crew.

Even more than sailing, what makes “bodacious dreaming” so essential to a life more fully lived, are those unexpected life-changing moments that suddenly arrive when one experiences, for a brief time, being in an unbroken harmony with the vastness of nature, caught between the sea and sky.

In 1670, an English poet, teacher and occasional sailor named Thomas Traherne wrote the following words … “You never know the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars.”

Now THAT is a deep experience he is describing … and while it may be difficult to share that level of insight in words and pictures over an Internet connection, it is not entirely impossible either … not if care is taken to keep the virtual in service to the virtuous “experience” that attends to shared learning.

One great challenge for those of us who would mentor in new and non-traditional ways, comes in accepting that all progress is incremental, and in keeping things in proper perspective – which requires that we first of all, face our own limitations, and see ourselves not as “authorities” or “experts” but as learners too … who are simply doing our best to navigate our course – and along the way to share our experience with others.

Bodacious Dream Expeditions

– Dave Rearick & the Bodacious Dream Expeditionary Force


= Bodacious Dream (BD) = [Racing]
– BD Website:
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= Bodacious Dream Expeditions (BDX) = [Learning & Discovery]
– BDX Website:
– BDX Facebook Page:
– BDX YouTube Channel:
= Twitter @BodaciousDream (BD+BDX):