Dave’s Baja BDX Recap

Our inaugural Bodacious Dream Expedition departed Cabo San Lucas on the morning of Saturday, March 30th – a day after our vessel for the voyage, Bodacious IV … a beautiful 52′ foot Santa Cruz racing craft arrived there at the end of an 800 mile offshore race from Newport Beach Harbor.

Bodacious IVBodacious IV

As soon as Bo IV was docked in Cabo, our “BDX” crew took immediate charge of the boat, setting her up and provisioning her for our expedition of the Baja Peninsula – the first in what will be a series of learning and exploring adventures along the way to the even greater adventure of my sailing Bodacious Dream around the world later this year!

Our Thriller of a Trailer (Thx Rob Forney!) – <http://youtu.be/W5oNjq6V6RA>

Joining me onboard Bo IV for this trip was an incredible group of folks: Captain Tim Eades, Jonathon Pond, Heather Pond and Dave Hardy. We set off to a fare-thee-well wave from a humpback whale … just as Bo IV pulled out of the Cabo harbor.

BDX5_crew2_DHOur Crew … Tim, Jonathan, Heather and myself w/ Dave Hardy on camera

Over the course of our seven days on the water, we published 7+ daily updates with photos and videos from the onboard satellite communications directly to this site as well as to our BDX Facebook page. (All our posted materials (plus more to come soon) will remain available for viewing at your convenience at the above links.)

Considering the 24 videos we uploaded, here’s a popular one that was shot prior to the voyage, when Capt. Tim and I were in San Diego … visiting Capt. Ann at her famous SeaBreeze Limited Chart Store. Below is the short version … (the full-length version is HERE!)

Dave visits Capt. Ann at the Seabreeze Chart Store <http://youtu.be/2XQRlU2rZo0>

So, back to the voyage … the coast of the Baja is notorious for its incessant winds, referred to by sailors as the “Baja Bash.” Well, we proved no exception to that rule, quickly getting hit with 20-30 knots of wind right “on our nose” the whole way. We followed local knowledge and stayed in 60 feet of water along the coast, which kept the winds and waves somewhat under control.

The Baja Coast
We be rockin’ and rollin’

Day by day, our merry band worked our way up the coast; laughing, telling stories, sharing our lives and watching the wonders of the Baja Peninsula unveil themselves to us as we rounded each corner of coastline. We saw a number of whale spouts, but none of the whales proved brave enough to come visit us up close. We did see a few dolphin stampedes, watched and recorded a feeding frenzy as the dolphins pushed baitfish to the surface where pelicans feasted in a rolling boil of water. We were visited by some fun-loving seals, and watched them play in the waves, body surfing alongside the boat like kids at a water park; and all this amidst the magical cycle of sunsets, sunrises, fogs, and winds kept us all constantly engaged and inspired.

BDX Crew
Our Baja Map

Prior to the voyage, our BDX onshore team and I had drafted up a cool map of the Baja and a set of six “Explorer Study Guides” specific to the nature and wild life of the Baja Peninsula, as well as guides for sailing terms and math.

Along the way, I wrote daily updates (not always easy in 30 knot winds) and sent them along with photos and videos to our onshore team who promptly turned them around and posted them to our BDX website blog, to our BDX Facebook page and to our BDX YouTube Channel. We also responded to several questions that were sent to us, and gained hundreds of new followers over the course of the week.

BDX YouTube ChannelOur BDX YouTube Channel (24 videos & counting!)

Midway on the journey, we stopped in Turtle Bay (Bahia de Tortugas) to refill our fuel tanks and refresh, taking the afternoon off from the winds. Leaving again that evening, we worked our way along the inside of nearby Cedros Island before crossing the bay back towards the majestic Baja mainland and continuing northwards.

Baja CoastThe rugged Baja Coastline

The night before arriving in San Diego, we watched as light rising from Tijuana and San Diego seeped into the night sky causing the slow disappearance of the many softer, more distant stars that simply aren’t bright enough to pierce the luminous glow that rises from our big cities. I have observed this phenomenon many times now, and often find this transition from the open ocean into more densely populated areas, something of a passage between two worlds – the ancient one and the modern one … the entirely natural one we were born into, and the world that has been entirely made and remade by us.

Knowing that we were on an expeditionary and documentary “mission,” kept the crew busy scanning the horizons in search of interesting things to share with our online audience. For myself, the experience opened my eyes to just how unique and amazing such open-water exploration experiences can be, and how many things that I’ve taken for granted, might be newly framed and better shared with people everywhere, who have not had the pleasure of a lifelong conversation with the many breathtaking wonders that abound on the great waters of the world. And then of course, there is the world ABOVE the sea too, which more than ever proved to be just as intriguing. Especially memorable was a solitary morning visit from a “guardian” seagull, which our ever-alert crew mate Heather managed to capture on video.

Visitations from above … <http://youtu.be/Esdi86jMeuc>

The boat was often abuzz with discussions of what else we might do to better help young people to connect more with this limitless world. It seems to me that we are just at the beginning of a great transformation in modes of education, and that “real-world” experiences like ours, once connected to the global Internet can play a significant role in that transformation. “Follow your bliss” is what Joseph Campbell famously said. Having taken that advice myself long ago, I now see a different sort of joyful opportunity that exists in sharing my experience with curious youngsters wherever in the world they might be. How many kids are there out there right now who have never even once thought what it would be like to stand aboard a sailboat as it cuts through the water? So many unimagined possibilities yet to explore.

Explorer Guide
Our Wild Life Explorer Guide

With these expeditions, we are also looking to build more “professional” … scientific, educational and media alliances … such as the one we have recently initiated with the Earthwatch Institute. If you have a moment, take a look on our website at our Explorer Guides and our Mentor Guide pages – and if YOU should have any thoughts or suggestions, please let us know. We are entertaining all kinds of new ideas for this newest bodacious initiative that we will begin to fold into our future plans for upcoming Bodacious Dream Expeditions.

Speaking of which … our NEXT expedition will be back aboard Bodacious Dream during the Atlantic Cup Race that begins May 11th, which starts in Charleston, SC, and where we will be racing to New York City and then around to Newport, Rhode Island.

On this, our second expedition, we’ll have the added excitement of the race to track plus many interesting elements of the Atlantic Ocean to explore – the currents of the Gulf Stream, the impact of weather and the history and geography of the cities on the constantly changing Atlantic coastline. As it is also a race … and a very competitive one at that, there will be a little more adrenaline in the mix this time. It will be interesting to see if we can keep all that excitement and interest contained … and uploaded to the web!

In closing … here’s a brief end of the expedition recap …

Bodacious Dream Expedition #1 is complete … <http://youtu.be/MQ0S2JeybmI>

So then, for all of us on Bodacious IV … the racing crew and our stellar expeditionary crew as well as our onshore team and dear friends and spouses, we THANK ALL OF YOU Bodacious Dreamers for being there and for allowing us to share all of this with you … Dream on!

– Dave Rearick