Pre-Circumnavigation Gameplan

:: PRE-DEPARTURE: Prior to September 2013


After more than 40 years of dreaming and planning and a few failed attempts, my dream of making a solo circumnavigation around the world came to fruition in 2013.  What had been just a dream, became a reality and I began to count the days until my departure in early October.

Earlier in the 2013 sailing season, after a successful Atlantic Cup Regatta where Bodacious Dream placed first overall, I joined our crewed ship Bodacious IV in the July 2013 Trans-Pac Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Once back on the mainland, I turned all my attentions to preparing Bodacious Dream for the single handed circumnavigation, with the aim of departing from Newport, RI on October 2, 2013.

Even though Bodacious Dream had only been launched at the beginning of 2012, every part of the boat needed to be scrutinized, the mast completely overhauled, the gear we’d need had to be selected and acquired. Provisions had to be planned, secured and packed away for this journey that would take me around the globe.

Even though I divided the voyage into 4 Legs, with stopovers at each arrival point, there was still so much planning required as to just what might be needed when you are going off on a voyage of this duration and difficulty.

Here’s a video that my good friend Capt. Tim Eades shot of me pre-departure sitting in BoDream’s cockpit surrounded by a lot of stuff and a lot of boxes into which to put all that stuff!

A few weeks before departure, I took a trip to Boston where I had the pleasure of meeting Tegan Mortimer, an Earthwatch Institute scientist who provided me with a set of “Citizen-Science” tools to use on the trip.

Tegan MortimerAdditionally, Tegan was kind enough to agree to support us on the voyage by adding her own naturalist insights to our live update stream through a series of “Science Notes.” You can see the updated list of her beautifully written and insightful updates, along with the various Citizen Science research tools available to independent learners right here!

A primary goal for our adventure was not only to send along regular updates with photos and videos from wherever in the world we were, but to also support what we were encountering with deeper research and study materials suitable for kids – materials that older folks might use to “mentor” younger folks as to the larger learnings that attended to our voyage.

As we had done with the three previous and much briefer Bodacious Dream Expeditions (Baja, Atlantic Cup & Trans-Pac,) we supported our discovery and learning outreach by publishing a series of fun “Explorer Guides” each of which map to the major aspects of our trans-oceanic voyage(Our Watery WorldWind and WeatherMathSea LifeOceanography, etc.) Each of these was  intended to be used as reference materials to fuel discussion and discovery between mentors and curious youth. The great folks at the Atlantic Cup Regatta even picked up on our Explorer Guide model and included their own version in their 2014 race site – with a curious cartoony-looking host.

capt_dave_ac_550Explorer Guides Propagated … Thanks to the Atlantic Cup!

As we all know, sailors have been sharing knowledge directly with each other from the very beginning. I’ve certainly been the fortunate beneficiary of many great sailors who took the time to teach me some of what they knew. I have always felt that we learn best what we learn from each other. This was underscored by my experiences as a lad when I first attended Hurricane Island Outward Bound School (HIOBS) – the story of which can be found here. As it turned out, HIOBS, along with Earthwatch Institute and Henri Lloyd, would become a sponsor of the voyage.

As someone who was largely self-taught and deeply indebted to many wise and generous mentors, and as an avid sailor who has no choice but to be forever learning, it was always of paramount importance to me that our grand voyage also be seen as part of the even greater course of life and natural exploration.

So all that, here are the Recaps to the Legs of the Circumnavigation.