Last Day CMAC Boating Skills and Ecology Course 2020

CMAC Boating Skills and Ecology Course 2020 Wrap-up

The weather was beautiful last Friday, the final full day of the course. Armed with their newly learned skills, our students were ready to venture beyond their horizons. I learned long ago that our limits are never fully fixed. Once we stretch them past the familiar, beyond their “back yards,” we define new back yards. For these young mariners, their back yards now include the waters in and around Chicago and Lake Michigan.

lagoon_crew1 Upon arrival, we let our students know that we were going on an extended expedition. We headed to the far end of the lagoon, through the channel under Lake Shore Drive and out to the mouth of Jackson Harbor, and for the willing, out into Lake Michigan. The students turned to look in the direction of the underpass of Lake Shore Drive and inquire, “beyond there?” “Yes!”

Excitedly, the young mariners don their PFD’s and take to the boats; some in kayaks, some in rowing boats. Even the adult chaperones join us for this expedition. Within a few minutes, our home dock fades from view, and our gaze turns towards the big water.

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Each mariner gains a personal perspective on this journey. Some like “O” become waterbugs, darting back and forth in his kayak as if he were running around the playground. Others struggle with balancing the power between the arms in their growing young body. Each stroke brings new confidence and skill. One by one, we reach the harbor entrance, and the more adventurous mariners push their bows out to the unknown to have a look around at the wide-open horizon.

We return in time for lunch after which we commence an afternoon of fun competitions. Most notably, two-person teams row across the thoroughfare to the other dock, tie up their boat, hop in a kayak, and return, splashing and cheering the entire way.The teams dramatically complete the challenge within seconds of each other.

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Saturday is our final half-day; a chance for the mariners to display their new skills to parents and coaches. As the students arrive, we ask them to grab their PFD and go to the other dock to bring the boats over to the yacht club. We stay behind, allowing the young crews to manage on their own. Showing no trepidation, the mariners arrive at our docks and tie up their crafts.

As we gather to review what we have learned over the week, we ask each student what they learned. The answers come quickly… tying knots, water quality, rowing, kayaking, how to tie up a boat… etc.

It’s vital to help identify for these young mariners what they’ve accomplished in addition to what they’ve learned. I hint with a question, but before allowing them to answer, I explain that just six days ago, the students had never been in a boat before, and this morning, the adult instructors trusted you to go to the other dock, alone, and get in a boat and row it over here.

For a young person, testing horizons and the limits of their freedom is often hindered by an adult concerns and reservations. Today, these young students earned those new freedoms and a better understanding of a new environment.

On a personal note, I can hardly remember back to when I first rowed a boat, or the first time I sailed the Sunfish alone. The first time I crossed Lake Michigan is a bit clearer to me, but still, long enough ago that the details and thrill of that accomplishment are muted. While my back yard and playground have expanded to the entirety of the earth’s oceans, my time spent with these students returned me to the memories of the first time I rowed a boat, and the camp instructor who yelled at me for “windmilling” – a term I would soon learn meant flailing my oars.

Returning to that time in my life with these young people brought back a flood of joyful memories. When I began this story, I asked,”Have you got a minute?” So, have you? Remember your first accomplishment as a kid? Come back home and share it with the next generation. They need it now more than ever.

- Captain Dave

Day 3 & 4 – CMAC Boating Skills & Ecology Course

The Chicago Maritime Arts Center course continues with our young mariners now having learned knot-tying and rowing skills, and with those skills, their comfort on the water has soared. Learning about displacement by loading an aluminum foil boat with golf balls has taught them how and why boats float.

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Learning how to make face masks from our favorite T-shirts has taught them about self-reliance. With these newly acquired achievements, it was time to learn more about the watery world we play in and around.

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As we gather on Day Three, the students eagerly practice their rope skills. Steve’s display of rope tricks yesterday, has the young mariners’ intent on learning the magic of “throwing” a figure-eight knot. After each student meets the challenge of tying a bowline, we talk about “water” and the expedition we will take today. Our journey will be to row out to the buoy on the far side of the Jackson Park lagoon and then down to the end of the furthest docks to collect water samples for testing.

We begin our introduction to ecology by gaining an understanding of the phrase “ecosystem.” I take time to explain what the word “system” means – that many parts of our environment work in harmony, and as parts work or don’t work, their interactions change the system.

One of our instructors, Jay, asks the students where the oxygen they breathe comes from, and they eagerly respond, “the trees and grass.” Jay questions, “How do the trees and grass get the oxygen?” The students answer, “They make it.” I explain that trees are nature’s best means to collect and store solar energy. Sunlight is absorbed by the leaves, while water and soil provide the nutrients that enable the tree to grow. Oxygen is one of the by-products; the wood, to build our boats, is another.

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When asked, “Where does the water come from? “Lakes and rivers… and rain!” are shouted replies. “Where does the rain come from?” “Clouds and storms,” come back the response. After answers to a few more questions, we have identified our surrounding ecosystem. Sunlight hits the ocean, plankton in the ocean photosynthesizes oxygen and evaporation creates clouds. Clouds roll over land, condense and the moisture falls as rain. Rain washes the soil, quenches the trees and plants and allows them to grow and make oxygen. The water runs off the land into the rivers and lakes and then flows back to the ocean. This circle of life is a “system” – our “ecosystem.” We explain that when humans disrupt the system with bad actions, we change the system and change the environment, Our young scientists already understand the problems attendant to climate change.

After identifying parts of the ecosystem around the harbor, we board our boats and head out on our expedition to collect the water samples we will then test after lunch. The excitement of going farther afield in the boats is enhanced by the additional aim of learning more about water.

After a fine lunch, Jay dives into water sampling. We set up each student with a test kit while Steve tabulates the findings. After dipping test strips in tubes of water from the buoy, the farthest away dock, the closest dock and the tap, the young scientists conclude the water we sampled is very similar to tap water. But why you wouldn’t drink the water in the lagoon is made abundantly clear — we aren’t testing for bacteria, only acidity, hardness, and iron in the water. We explain how water, captured by the Chicago Water System from Lake Michigan, is filtered and treated to make it safe for human consumption before it flows in pipes to your house.

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It’s inspiring that these young minds have developed an understanding of boats, knots and the ecosystem in which they thrive, all in just a few days.

I’ll be back wIth more soon. Again, if you want to help us at Chicago Maritime Arts Center, here is the link… https://www.chicagomaritime.org/donate-1

PREVIOUS REPORT: Day 1 – CMAC Boating Skills & Ecology Program

All the best,
- Dave

Spirit of a Dream Website 

Spirit of a Dream/ The Concert

Hello Friends,

I suspect you, like me, have been challenged by the surrealistic world brought on by this COVID-19 situation.

While I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about what the the future might look like, I’ve also spent an equal amount of time wandering through memories of the past to divert my attention from the stressing news.

May I help you divert your attention? Please join me for a “World Premiere” that you will not be hearing about on TV… but it is a world-changing performance nonetheless. I’m talking about the video release of a new song, composed by my friend Johnny V and based on my adventure circumnavigating the globe.

You can find it right here at the link… Spirit of a Dream, A Sailor with a Story, A Musician With a Song!

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So, the backstory on this is that this past February, my old musician friend, Johnny V and I joined up for a Concert and Storytelling Session at the Brewery Lodge in Michigan City, IN.

It was a magical night in that cozy joint. Plagiarizing Pete Hamill, the place was aptly stocked with the color of life – food and drink, world-girdling sailors, artists and electricians, accountants, dreamers, laughter, and itinerant songs.

A pair of worn boots by the back door tell an authentic story. John Carpenter from Thunderclap Recording Studios captured the evening as it unfolded. The people, the music, and the stories are the priority. As always, the treat is at the end as Johnny unveils his newly written song, Spirit of a Dream.

Take a moment if you would, to turn away from today’s stress and drift away with Johnny and I as we weave a simple tapestry of what keeps us passionate about life.

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 11.02.26 PMThe whole show is around two hours long, but feel free to stop and start so as to savor the whole experience. If you are one of those who goes for the center of a cinnamon roll first, Johnny’s Song, Spirit of a Dream begins at about 1:55:00.  But really, you’ll want to circle back and watch the whole thing.

Find Johnny V a.k.a John Vermilye on Facebook… and  please visit our Spirit of a Dream website to learn how you can order a copy of the book from Amazon or better yet, its publisher Seaworthy Publishing.

Enjoy, and be well!
- Dave

Dave’s Atlantic Cup Kid’s Online Learning Plan…

Hello my friends.

Well, what can I say? I know we have all faced many challenges in our lifetimes… but this one is a doozy. I’ve enjoyed my share of challenges–sailing around the world, sleeping on an island alone in Penobscot Bay, building big complicated houses. There have also been challenges that weren’t so much fun, and yet somehow, we get through them. My good friend Tim Kent, in an email the other day reflecting on this time, said: “I tell new, young sailors facing their first storm, I’ve never seen a storm that didn’t end.” Those are wise words. This challenge will come to an end too.

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In the meantime, while we are vigilant and staying safe, I’m focusing on what I can do to help. Once again, it’s time to think about our YOUTH and how we can help keep them healthy, learning and growing. After all, they are our future.

I wrote a piece a while back for 11th Hour Racing entitled,If I Knew Then What I Know Now.” Give it a read, if you like. I see this as a time for all of us to share, with those younger than us, giving to them “what we know now,” during their “then.”

To that end, I want to remind you, your friends, and the teachers, mentors, and parents, that one of the pillars of The Atlantic Cup Race is KID’S EDUCATION. On the Atlantic Cup Kids site, yours truly, as Captain Dave, hosts a treasure trove of educational materials on subjects like Math, Geometry, Wildlife of the Ocean, Glaciers, etc. There are teaching aids there as well; Worksheets, Explorer Guides, as well as cool video interviews with some of my sailing friends about this beautiful world and the ocean. And, we’ll be adding new items every week there.

For those who need more resources for teaching and reading, here are a couple of options. The first is to start the Bodacious Dream Circumnavigation journey over again, beginning with the first blog and read that with your students every day, as you follow my progress around the globe.

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The second option (and one of my favorites)  is to grab a copy of my book, Spirit of a Dream and sit down with your kids at the end of the day and enjoy reading a chapter to them.  I wrote the book, especially in the hope that young people would enjoy it too.

And if at any time, QUESTIONS arise that you or they might want to ask of Captain Dave or his sidekick, Franklin D’Ball, please email me at Dave@atlanticcup.org.

I hope you can keep learning through these challenging times. I know I will be. And for those of you waiting for the next book, this time off will hopefully give me the chance to finish it. Stay tuned!

- Captain Dave & Franklin

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End of the Year in Florida!

Hello Everyone!

Wow, the season is upon us. I should have sent this to you a few weeks ago, but for real, if you need a last-minute gift for your favorite sailor, enthusiastic student, or a different kind of gift for a holiday party host, Spirit of a Dream is the way to go. Spirit of a Dream will be enjoyed by everyone on your list.

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In true Rearick fashion, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thirty-four people wandered in and joined us on Thanksgiving. It’s always a wonderful day full of grateful family, friends, sailors, musicians, and lively conversation. It’s especially wonderful to talk with the kids as they look to their future. I can’t help but wonder what kinds of boats they’ll be sailing in 20 years!

I just returned from a tour to Florida for presentations at yacht clubs, a stint at The Sunset Celebration in Key West as a Hemingway look-a-like and talks with the sixth-graders at Excelsior Classical Academy in Durham, NC. It was great fun to talk about the ocean and sign autographs for the sixth graders. And to boot, I received an honorarium of a bag of Chips Ahoy! cookies from each class! Four in all! Such a bounty!

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While driving through the Florida Keys, we stopped to see Michael Timm, the son of a good old friend. Michael is growing coral in captivity at the Boy Scouts of America outpost! This unique process championed by Dr. David Vaughan is gaining world wide attention. Small portions of live coral gathered from boating accidents, or groundings are attached to ceramic plugs.

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After about eight months, the coral has overgrown the plug and is ready to be reset into an existing coral reef in the ocean. Michael works with The Boy Scouts of America and closely with Dr. Vaughan’s Plant A Million Pieces of Coral and The Coral Project run by Rick Warner. These projects are worth checking out, and if you have the desire -  a donation will give you the chance to show your support by wearing one of their bracelets!

As Christmas approaches and New Year’s follows, Franklin and I hope you have a wonderful time with those close to you. And again, as I have done for the past 30 years or so, I will be taking a midnight walk along the lake – my nature-oriented version of midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

We hope this New Year will bring a renewed enthusiasm for helping the ocean, the earth, and this immense, unfathomable Universe.

Btw, here’s the Spirit of a Dream Book Trailer Video too!

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Our best to each of you and your families,

- Dave & Franklin

Dave’s 2019 Summer Highlights… Boats & Books!

Hello Everyone!

What a busy summer! So much has gone on – races, book signings, kids’ events. It’s going to take a few updates to get caught up. I’m sorry I’m so far behind, but these are good reasons!

Two items for this update, first, the book has been very well received, but I’m going to hold off telling you about it and the accompanying video until after I fill you in on the great kids’ events that took place this summer.

FIRST OFF… before I update you I want to tell you that this coming Tuesday, November 5th,the good folks at The Chicago Maritime Arts Center will be hosting its second annual Meet and Greet fundraiser at the Lagunitas Brewery Company in Chicago. This will be great! Come please! Tickets are HERE!… Hope to see you there!

So, on to the update… The Chicago Maritime Arts Center, which I support through my ambassadorship with 11th Hour Racing, had a great summer of classes. Our mainstay is a class building the Bevin Skiff. Groups of young people, over a few weeks of after-school hours, build, paint, and launch a Bevin Skiff. This has proven to be a wonderful experience for young people, and our stack of Bevin Skiffs is growing. Each one colorfully painted to reflect the spirit of the kids who built it. One boat, from the class hosted by the Carpenter’s Union in Chicago, came out painted like a baseball stadium after the students and instructor found out they had a shared passion. The bow was home plate, and the scoreboard was painted on the stern!

It’s fun and amazing to watch these shy kids turn into confident tool users, launch their creation and then learn how to row it. I know you would all get the same thrill I did from working with these kids.

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At the Southern Shores Yacht Club, CMAC held its first Boating Skills and Ecology Program. From 10am to 3pm each day for a week, a group of 14 kids took part in learning to row the boats, paddle a kayak, tie knots, be safe around the water and sail a boat. We also learned about the water and ecology of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River– two very precious local resources in our lives.

On Thursday of that week, Greg and Joe Rickard graciously hosted the young mariners on their large sailboat for an excursion out onto the big waters of Lake Michigan. This was met with trepidation and excitement — depending on the mindset. But by the end of the sail, even those most reluctant to venture out were bounding around the boat, taking a turn at the wheel, and enjoying the spirit and freedom of traveling with just the wind.

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So, to explain this a bit more…  this Tuesday, November 5, CMAC will be hosting its second annual Meet and Greet fundraiser at the Lagunitas Brewery Company in Chicago. We had a blast last year and plan for an even larger crowd this year.

logoIf you’re in the area, try to set aside the evening and join us as we celebrate the wonderful summer, present our plans for next year and gather to support Chicago Maritime Arts Center. Full disclosure, this is our annual fundraiser, the kids enjoy your consideration and support. So, thanks for purchasing a ticket and making a donation to support CMAC. GET YOUR TICKETS RIGHT HERE!

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Okay, onto news of my book, Spirit of a Dream. I’ve received two royalty checks now, so I can fully declare I’m an author. I can add the title of Author to those of Carpenter, Sailor, and Storyteller on my resume!

Everyone who’s read the book tells me it touched them and how much they’ve enjoyed it. A few of you commented you thought it would be a consolidation of the blog posts from the circumnavigation and were pleasantly surprised and engaged by the intimate and inspiring story that unfolded. Thanks so much for that great feedback.

soadI’ve had some great book signings and talks scattered throughout the summer. Boswell’s Books in Milwaukee now stocks Spirit of a Dream after holding a full house talk. Those of you who wish to pick up a book in person and support an independent book store, stop by one of these excellent places — Boswell’s Books in Milwaukee, The Book Stall in Winnetka, Crowley’s Yacht Yard store on the southern end of Chicago, and if you’re wandering up the Maine Coast, you can find a copy at The Nautical Scribe on Rt.1 in Stockton Springs, ME.

Something else exciting is that we’ve finally been able to upload our VIDEO TRAILER for the book! My great friend Rob Forney jumped in to help me put together a trailer video for the book. You can check it out at this link. https://youtu.be/wblmlKtGXrU.  It’s also on the Author’s Page on the Amazon Listing and soon to be found in other locations. For those of you uncertain if you want to read the book, take a three-minute break, and watch the video, Hopefully, you’ll want the rest of the story.

That’s it for this update. Please check out the Chicago Maritime Arts Center link above for tickets to our Meet and Greet; we dearly appreciate, and thank you for your support.

Coming in December, a book signing at The Captiva Yacht Club, Captiva, FL on Tuesday, December 3 for you early snowbirds. If any of you have a club or group that would enjoy hosting a talk while I’m in Florida or on the road to and from there, I’d love to hear from you. Or if your group or club is looking for something fun to do on a winter weekend, let’s set up a talk/signing. I’ve got a four-wheel-drive so bring on the weather, light a fire in the fireplace and let’s spin some yarns!

Thanks, as always, for coming along for the journey.

“The journey you are on will teach you what you need to learn,
not what you plan to learn.”  – from the pages of Spirit of a Dream.

- Dave and his merry band of characters

Why “Spirit of a Dream” Might be the Book for You!

Spirit of a Dream is my story about sailing around the world alone.

Single-handed sailing is clean, honest, and engaging, full of constant challenges and deep solitude. But it’s also about validating yourself and your dream, even though at times it’s enlighteningly raw—but that’s what pulls us offshore, alone.

6437_splash_550In 2013, forty-three years after I snuck the family Sunfish out for a solo sail on Lake Michigan, (against family rules!) I set off from Jamestown, Rhode Island in Bodacious Dream, a Class 40 racing boat. Without the benefit of an organized race, Bo and I headed out to traverse the great race course around the world—via Cape Town, South Africa, Wellington, New Zealand and beyond. Eight and a half months later, I returned to Jamestown—tired, elated, sad and passionate about the ocean and the spirit of dreaming. Soon after, I began writing Spirit of a Dream, the account of my lifelong passion for making that journey, doing it alone and what it was like to actually “live my dream.”

soadWhile, it is the story of a solo sailing journey around the globe - from beginning to end … it’s about many other things too. It’s about the pull to adventure and giving yourself tough challenges. It’s about throwing yourself on the mercy of the sea, the weather and the ship that carries you. It’s about keeping your equipment working and fixing it when it breaks and it’s about managing your fears, getting enough sleep and the humor of having to ration your chocolate

Spirit of a Dream will bring all of this alive for you - the anxious thrill of setting sail, the beauty of dark nights alone, the sense of being at the center of the world, the anxiety of approaching storms and the calm of knowing those sublime moments when you, your vessel, the sea, the sky, and the stars all come into harmony.

Whether you’re looking forward to the challenge of your first solo sail across the bay or have already logged many solo hours, we both feel the same passion to go it alone—to be at one with our boat, our world, and to test ourselves and validate our passion.

Capt. Dave RearickIf you love sailing, walking alone in the woods, challenging the highest peaks, or growing the perfect orchid, whether you’ve lived your passion late into your life, or are just now getting ready to embark on your own mystical journey, Spirit of a Dream is a book I think you will deeply enjoy, happily savor and very likely find hard to put down. One reader wrote …” I wish your book were 1000 pages long. I’m ready to read it again.”

For more information on Spirit of a Dream or to get (or give) your own copy, in either paperback or e-book format, please visit our website at WWW.SPIRITOFADREAM.COM.

If you’re in the Chicagoland area, the book is available at Crowley’s Yacht Yard. In my hometown of Chesterton, Indiana, you can find it at Duneland Pizzeria. Of course, it’s also available on AMAZON or can be ordered through your local bookseller anywhere in the world.

Thank you and a grand new year!

- Dave

Holiday Traditions & Many Thanks!

We had another wonderful Thanksgiving at my house this year. Friends and family gathered to catch-up, laugh, sing and offer up thanks for the incredible year we’ve all had. I truly hope you had a grand Thanksgiving and are able to share  this holiday season with family and friends.

 

soadMy book, Spirit of a Dream, contains a chapter entitled Thanksgiving at Sea, which reflects on how special family and friends are to me. On Thanksgiving Day in 2013, in the middle of the South Atlantic, living my dream and feeling on top of the world, I called back home via the satellite phone, and after hearing the laughter and voices of my friends here at home, I realized how lonely so much of my time was.

2018 was far from lonely and given the recent publication of Spirit of a Dream, it was an extra special Thanksgiving. I am very grateful for the many people who have commented about how much they’ve enjoyed the book. Many of you are having a hard time putting it down.

17bc1d_33d893124f2e43fbb02e6d64197140c2~mv2In local news, on November 27th, we had a wonderfully successful fundraising event for the Chicago Maritime Arts Center. CMAC uses small boat-building to engage and inspire young, inner-city kids. Nearly 200 guests filled the Lagunitas Brewery in Chicago to celebrate the first full year of the organizations’ life and to raise friends and funds for next year. It was a great time! I want to thank the many who either donated, offered to host an event next year or committed to volunteer their time with the kids. Check out the fun at their website. Another thanks you to my friends at 11th Hour Racing who acknowledged and saw fit to issue a grant to CMAC this year. With 11th Hour Racing’s grant, CMAC will be able to make a difference in many young lives.

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As you know, from my experience with Bodacious Dream Expeditions and my involvement with The Atlantic Cup, Chicago Maritime Arts Center and youth education and sailing, young people are always on my mind, and they were definitely in my mind as I wrote Spirit of a Dream

Remembering my own youth, how fragile my dream was, and how fiercely I had to guard it against naysayers, I want to be certain to share with young readers, the power of persistence. Spirit of a Dream is woven with these inspirations. I hope we all recognize the need to offer encouragement to young people so they can power through and fulfill their dreams. Consider giving a copy of Spirit of a Dream to the young adventurer in your life this season.

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 11.02.26 PMEnjoy the holiday!

- Dave

Full Book InfoSpiritofaDream.com 
Book available from the publisherSeaworthy Publications
OR from Amazon … in both print and e-book.

Spirit of a Dream… Fall Happenings…

Fall is here! Cold winds are blowing, leaves are stacking up, and Lake Michigan is moody. While last Saturday was beautiful, sporting a gentle breeze and clear skies as I picked up garbage on the beach, today is entirely different. The west winds are strong, the lake is stirred up and the grey skies are mixed with an annoying and constant drizzle.

That’s the beauty of having four seasons here in the Midwest.

While the lake is free to express its many moods, great things are happening. Spirit of a Dream is now available in print and also as an eBook from Kindle… and is selling well since its launch on October 2nd.

If you hadn’t heard this news, then I’m here to tell you. And if you have heard it, but haven’t had the chance to purchase your copy, then there’s one waiting for you at your favorite book source.

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The reviews have been great, and the comments I’ve received suggest that the book is difficult to put down and that readers are finding it exciting and engaging.

Here’s what Laurie says about Spirit of a Dream: “I couldn’t put this book down and regret that there wasn’t more to read. Dave’s reflection of his trip around the world is vivid, full of suspense, touching (yes, I had tears twice), and personally fulfilling. His depth of experience coupled with some amazing intuitions and sensory awareness make this an exciting story. Anyone with a sense of adventure on or off the water will enjoy this journey around the world with Dave.”

And Rick pulled this lesson from the book: “The journey you are on will teach you what you need to learn, not what you plan to learn.”

If I might say so, the book makes a great holiday gift for any of your friends, including young readers. Young readers will find Spirit of a Dream inspiring as they look to fulfill their own life’s dreams.

Keep those reviews coming. I really love reading them. Also, every bit of positive feedback helps us climb up the bestseller rankings. This past week, in fact, we were the #1 book in Sailing, Adventures and Explorers!

In addition to the publisher and Amazon (see below) here’s a list of local places you can purchase a book as well as signings scheduled for the next few weeks.

Available at:
Crowley’s Yacht Yard, 3434 East 95th Street, Chicago, IL 60617
Duneland Pizzeria, 520 Broadway, Chesterton, IN 4630

Signings:
 November 17, 2018Michigan City Yacht Club (2:30 to 4:00 pm in The Club Room) Appetizers provided by Fish Camp Restaurant. Cash bar.

• November 27, 2018 – Fundraiser for the Chicago Maritime Arts Center  (CMAC)
• This will be at Lagunitas Brewing, 2607 W 17th St, Chicago, IL 60608
 Tickets are $45 & includes two drinks and appetizers.
 INFO & TICKETS are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cmac-meet-greet-fundraiser-at-lagunitas-tickets-50918678137

CMAC is an excellent organization celebrating their first full season of teaching young people through building a wooden boat. We supported CMAC this year through an 11th Hour Racing grant. At this event, a portion of the proceeds from book sales  will be donated to the Chicago Maritime Arts Center. This will be a great, fun night and will provide a chance for you to meet some wonderful people and the young people they are serving grow into a stronger organization.

Otherwise, the paperback is available through my good publisher at Seaworthy Publications or through Amazon (in both Print or E-Book.) – or through local bookstores or marine chandleries

More info on the book can be found at http://spiritofadream.com/

And that’s it for now… Have a great Fall and catch up on your reading!

- Dave

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