2020 Good News Wrap-UP!

Over the next few weeks, the sun will reach the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.4 degrees south latitude, marking the winter solstice, after which the holidays will pass, and the New Year will be upon us. I’m sure many of you, including myself, will be glad to see the turbulence of 2020 fade in our wake and the promise of new opportunities rise on our bow.

Giving respect to the past and future, I’d like to share with you three happenings from this year. First, the Chicago Maritime Arts Center’s efforts, second, fun with 8th-grade students, and last, well…I’ll keep you in suspense.

kidsThe pandemic slowed all of us this year and forced us to pivot and find new directions. The Chicago Maritime Arts Center, where we introduce young people to building a boat they launch and learn to row, took on the pandemic challenges and continued to provide programs for underserved young people in greater Chicagoland. My hat’s off to Toby and Patrick for realizing that education need never stop. Together they developed a season of adjusted programs with fewer students and social distancing and successfully carried on throughout the summer reaching over fifty students and the accompanying adults. CMAC now looks excitedly forward to 2021.

One of the positives of CMAC is something none of us expected. Each program is chaperoned by coaches, adults and parents of the students. While our focus is teaching the students to use tools, row a boat, and navigate the new world of water and ecology, hidden in the success of CMAC is the adults’ enlightenment. We all know how hard it is to teach something you don’t know. Imagine leading young people to new opportunities without knowing these opportunities exist yourself. It never occurred to us that the adults were gaining a fresh perspective and understanding of the water along with the young rowers. The adults and young mariners, each in their own way, returned to their communities to lead and engage their peers with what they’d learned. While I believe we change the world by guiding young generations of people, we are never too old to learn.

I find the changes we accomplish through CMAC incredibly important. I hope you see that importance as well and will consider joining the effort. 2020 was tough on us. Covid restriction reduced our ability to hold our annual fundraiser. But 2021 promises to be better, and CMAC hopes to find a home base to significantly increase our ability to provide programs to the broader community. We all know a home base’s expense will require us to spend more time asking for donations. Simply put, we need a few angels to help us engage the youth of Chicagoland. Click here to find ways to join and options to help.

My second message involves the eighth-grade students and teacher, Tobi Guthrie, of LaPorte Middle School, LaPorte, IN.

As the students around the country ended their 2019/20 school year in remote learning, we also experienced our own disruptions and difficulties with making remote learning work for the students. Attendance for Zoom classes was down in every school. During our Atlantic Cup Education Program efforts, we worked hard to provide teachers an attractive option. Many of those teachers remarked that our presentations to their Zoom classrooms led to increased attendance.

Tobi Guthrie, a teacher at LaPorte Middle School in LaPorte, IN, and I have discussed using Spirit of a Dream, my book on the circumnavigation, for her reading classes. As the second wave of the pandemic quickly turned Indiana back to remote learning, Tobi asked her students if they’d like to read Spirit of a Dream and meet the author during the remote learning term. The answer was an overwhelming “yes.”

As fate would have it, Joe Janson at Seaworthy Publishing, returned to me eighteen books that had come back from bookstores for restocking. Tobi’s Novels Class has eighteen students. No more evident a reason was necessary, making the rest of the story obvious. Our first Zoom classroom meeting was a great success, confirmed by a ton of questions from the students. Next week, I will visit again via Zoom and update the reading, and I expect I will be once again bombarded with even more questions. What fun!

noteSpirit of a Dream is a thrilling read for adults–sailors or not. But when I wrote the book, I envisioned what Tobi Guthrie is doing; engaging young people in the story and to learn how we all fit in the planet’s ecosystem. It’s working. On my desk, I keep a note from a third-grade reader who stated, “Your book is the most engaging book I have ever started reading.” I hope we can all inspire young people this year; they need our help to continue to learn in this changing world.

Spirit of a Dream makes a wonderful gift for students, both young and old! And yup, that’s a blatant plug.

So, on to the last and most fun futuristic news.

During 2012 and ’13, one of Bodacious Dream’s most formidable competitors was Joe Harris on another Class40, Gryphon Solo II. As I wrote in Spirit of a Dream, Joe and I held, clearly in our souls, the same dream of sailing singlehanded around the world. Joe, on Gryphon Solo II, accomplished his dream the year after I did on Bodacious Dream. Fulfilling those dreams did little to satiate our desires to sail the oceans of this planet.

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In 2019 as Joe was close to selling Gryphon Solo II, he learned of a new, doublehanded, circumnavigation race titled the Globe 40. Joe signed up, and this fall asked me if I’d join him as crew for some of the legs of the race. The rules provide for the changing of crew for different legs of the race.

In October, we held a crew practice in Portland, Maine, and since then, Joe, Rob Windsor, and the crew at Maine Yacht Center have been working hard to prepare GS II for the start scheduled for June 2021. Not unexpectedly, we learned this week, that the pandemic will delay the start of the race until 2022. But, the excitement remains high among those of us joining Joe for this adventure. The race will start in Tangiers, Morocco, and make stops at some fascinating ports of call around the world. The Mauritius Islands in the Indian Ocean, Auckland, NZ, Bora Bora, Ushuaia, Argentina, Recife, Bazile before finishing in Cascais, Portugal. Join the excitement. Click on both Joe’s Page and Globe 40 to receive the regular updates.

I hope we’ve all found a way to combat the pandemic and effect some small change in our personal worlds. Let’s continue to look closer to home to help inspire the young people of our communities. The pandemic doesn’t have to make you miserable; use it to inspire and affect change for the future.

Best to you all, and have an excellent 2021

- Dave and Franklin

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Dave’s “Spirit of a Dream” is published!

Hello again,

As an interesting and hopeful alternative to the news, I would like to let you know that my long-awaited book is just a week away fro release. Spirit of a Dream has met the final approvals and will be officially released Tuesday, October 2nd. That day just so happens to be the fifth anniversary of my departure from Jamestown Harbor sailing alone around the world.

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I recall October 2nd, 2013 being a perfect day. Bo and I departed about noon after spending some time with friends who had gathered for the sendoff. Joe Harris on Gryphon Solo ll sailed out and met me. Together, like old friends, Bo and Gryphon Solo ll sailed alongside each other for a time, before Joe turned back for home and I continued over the horizon. It was a sparkling day on the water, one I’ll never forget.

If you are looking for a way to drift away from the everyday, a copy of Spirit of a Dream might be just the ticket.bo_gryphon_550

In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from the book about that October day:

“The beauty of sailing offshore begins when the harbor blends in with the horizon. Gradually, almost unnoticeably, the horizon becomes indistinct in all directions as we enfold with the waves and head for a place defined by a set of coordinates on this enormous, round planet.

As the sun falls below the horizon, I’m alone and no longer attached to the harbor behind me, but to a course set by mysterious, magnetic forces below the surface of the earth. Without land in sight, a grid of latitude and longitude defines my existence.

As the last of the evening light disperses across the sky, Bo and I follow this course, slipping back and forth from conscious to subconscious. The sea and wind have control of my destiny, leaving me with the simple task of existing in harmony with them, respecting the things I cannot see or control, and honoring my desire and dreams. Bodacious Dream and I sail as trusting friends across the ocean as I drift through sleep and memories.”

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As you might have guessed, I’m thrilled to be seeing the book through to publication, and I’m very grateful to be able to share the experience with you. I hope you’ll find the story engaging and easy to connect with the personal reflections I share.

I invite you to purchase the paperback (or E-book soon!) through my good publisher at Seaworthy Publications or at Amazon. And by late October, it should be available through your local bookstore or marine chandlery.

More info can be found at http://spiritofadream.com, which we’ll be expanding on in the near future.

Thanks for your patience on this journey. I hope you enjoy the read.

- Dave, Bo, Franklin, and Otto… and the many Spirits of a Dream

Summer’s End … Fall’s Launches!

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

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

BoDream and Gryphon SoloPhoto by Billy Black

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Bodacious Dream, this is Gryphon Solo II.”

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

“How you doing over there Dave?”

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

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

“Yup.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Dave, Franklin & Bo (in absentia.)