BD News/ On the Eve of the Transpac!

Bodacious IV It’s been a busy week here in Long Beach, California! The harbor has been abuzz with boats and sailors, spectators and press as we complete our preparations for Bodacious IV to compete in the 107-year old Transpac Race!

We arrived in Long Beach after having developed a problem with the mast during the trip from San Diego, which upended all our well thought-out plans and schedules. After consulting with engineers and technicians, repairs were completed this past Sunday, and since then, we’ve been working to catch up and get back on schedule.

Yesterday, Captain Tim Eades and I were joined by the rest of the Bodacious Racing Team, and we are now at full strength going into the final stretch. The proverbial “list” is now close to manageable, we’ll get in a practice sail today and be ready to rock it come our start tomorrow Thursday at 1:00 pm, PDT!

Boats in Long Beach
Bretwayda, Bodacious IV, Lending Club & The Queen Mary!

There’s an amazing group of competitors and vessels around us here, and we’re expecting some very close racing right up to the finish line. The whole race has a total of 57 boats competing in three sections with staggered start times. This is to help consolidate the finish times in Hawaii by having the faster boats give the rest of the field a head start. The first start was on Monday, and in that start was our friend and fellow Class 40 racer Hanna Jenner onboard Dorade, which is a very special boat, having won the Trans-Pac back in 1936! Another fellow Class 40 competitor, Ryan Breymeier, will be competing in the large trimaran, Lending Club. They have been upgrading their onboard systems in an attempt to set a new multi-hull record time for covering the Transpac course in less than 5 days! We’ll see how they do. We’ll also be keeping a close eye on an old friend, Phil Pollard, who is sailing on Bretwalda 3.

Bodacious Dream ExpeditionsConcurrent to the race, we have also uploaded a Trans-Pacific Expedition discovery “module” onto our learning website, BodaciousDreamExpeditions.com … this one naturally covers the Pacific Ocean and Hawaiian Islands.
Here we give you background and study guides to help you share with the kids in your world, what’s going on around our daily updates as we venture across the largest ocean on the planet, the Pacific Ocean.

In the “print-ready” Explorer Guides, you can have some fun working out the math problems and reviewing the general knowledge questions. It’s an utterly amazing part of the world we will be voyaging through, so come along and learn about it with us … in real-time!

AC Education Day in NYC
Matt and Dave field some tough questions from the inquisitors in NYC …

Speaking of sharing our experience with a younger generation; this is at the heart of what we do as sailors and humans. On this note, the good folks at the Atlantic Cup and 11th Hour Racing were kind enough to ask me to write a piece for them on the two “Education Days” we had in-between Atlantic Cup race legs. On those two days, several of us skippers had a chance to hang out and share our experiences with groups of city school kids. It was a very special experience. My post is titled, “If I knew then, what I know now …” and you can read it right HERE!

The folks at the Transpac have also done a good job enhancing the online experience for you, as well. Here are some of the various ways you can follow the action.

Transpac 2013 The Transpac Website is here
http://transpacyc.com/
The Yellowbrick Race Tracker is here
http://yb.tl/transpac2013
Their Facebook Page is here
https://facebook.com/TranspacRace

Of course, we will (in our own inimitable way) be keeping you updated here on our Bodacious sites and on our Facebook pages as well.

So, that’s about it … there’s a LOT of excitement coming up in these next couple of weeks of hard racing. We’re hoping to cover the 2250 miles in 10 days or so, after which it will be time for a few days of rest and relaxation in Hawaii before heading back into the thick of things in preparation for the circumnavigation aboard Bodacious Dream in the fall!

HAEAWe hope you’ll take time to follow us on this grand race and adventure, explore our expedition materials and also support our good friends at the Earthwatch Institute … and if you can, help out our partners at the U.S. Hereditary Angioedema Association (HAEA) who are working hard to find a cure for all those affected by that disease. So … until the next update, all the best to you, from all of us onboard Bodacious IV!

- Skipper Jeff Urbina, Captain Tim Eades, John Ayres, Chris Pike, John Hoskins, Christer Still, Jim McLaren, Matt Scharl & Dave Rearick

BD News/ Transpac 2013 – Coming Up!

Greetings from Long Beach, California … where warm and sunny days abound! We’re now moving into the final 10 days of preparations for the Trans-Pac Race - 2225 miles of open-ocean sailing from Long Beach, California to the Honolulu, Hawaii. This is one of the great ocean races in the world. Though it stands as a pinnacle of racing for sailors along the western coast of North America, the event also attracts sailors from around the Pacific and around the world. For those of you that were with us two years ago, this is the same race we sailed then on Bodacious 3, but which we had to abandon due to a crew member’s injury.

While Bodacious Dream is back in Rhode Island getting ready for our global circumnavigation this fall, I’ll be joining back up with my good friends of Bodacious Racing days onboard the Santa Cruz 52, Bodacious IV. This great group of folks has shared amazing sailing experiences in all corners of the world. A number of them – John Hoskins, Jeff Urbina, Jim McLaren, John Ayres, Matt Scharl and myself are all Great Lakes Singlehanded Society members. On this run, in addition to Capt. Tim Eades, we will also be joined by Chris Pike, formerly from New Zealand and by Christer Still, formerly from Finland! This is going to be one wide world of fun race to be sure.

HAEAThis time around we are also proud to be sharing the platform of Bodacious IV with our friends at HAEA, the US Hereditary Angioedema Association. This is a hereditary blood disease with profound effects, notably swelling that involves the throat, because it can close the airway and cause death by suffocation. Because it affects very few people, it is rarely encountered by healthcare professionals and is often misdiagnosed and treated incorrectly. Pam King, wife of crew member Chris Pike has been working with this rare disease for many years and has been very involved assisting this patient advocacy organization to help build awareness of the disease. We welcome Pam and the HAEA on board and hope that you will take a moment to look at their website, http://www.haea.org to learn more about this disease and then to perhaps join us in supporting the development of a cure, by making a donation to HAEA here.

As always, our good friends at Earthwatch Institute will be following along with us as we sail these amazing waters of the Pacific Ocean. We’ll be doing our best to post photos and daily updates about the amazing things we will see along the way. We’ll also have video cameras onboard too … so hopefully, once we arrive in Honolulu, we’ll be able to share with you some exciting footage of us roaring downwind and mixing it up with the trade winds across the Pacific!

The Trans-Pac race began in 1906, and this will be its 47th running. It starts off at Point Fermin, just north of the harbor of Long Beach, California, about 30 miles south of Los Angeles and from there, the course takes us across to Honolulu, Hawaii where we will finish in view of the famous Diamond Head Point.

Diamond Head
Diamond Head … Aaah!

The race course, as I said, is 2225 miles long with the first obstacle being Catalina Island. Our first day of sailing will be “on the nose” as we maneuver around the northern tip of Catalina Island. Once we clear Catalina, we will continue southwesterly as the winds slowly turn more to the East, and we begin what we call “footing off.” This is when the angle of the wind becomes more open and a little less “on the nose.” As the winds back off the bow, the boat gets faster and faster. We call this part of the race, the “slot car” event! If you remember toy racing cars that zipped around slotted tracks, it’s like that. During this run, the boats all seem to be sliding along on a parallel course, making fast time as they push deeper into the trade winds towards Hawaii.

Towards the middle and on through the end of the race, we will all be pretty much downwind sailing with our biggest sails up, gybing (turning back and forth across the wind) to keep in line with the best winds that come out of squalls that are common in this part of the ocean. These squalls aren’t the same sort of squalls you experience on the Great Lakes where winds can reach 100 mph. These are more open ocean squalls with winds that can build up to 30 or 35 knots … but for short periods. Such intermittent winds are manageable in these boats, and if you can stay with them, they will provide you extra boosts of speed … somewhat like being “turbo-charged” … or for you Star Wars fans, like blasting into hyperspace! But for only for as long as you stay with the squall!
Molokai Channel Approach to Honolulu.

The last stretch of the race is through the Molokai Channel towards the finish. This is the channel between the islands of Oahu and Molokai where some pretty wild winds funnel, making the last stretch of the race quite a fast run. With the finish near, winds up and the boats cranking out double digit boat speeds, you can imagine how high the sailors’ spirits will be!

Molokai Channel
Molokai Channel

We hope that you’ll find this race exciting to follow and to enjoy with us. With the additional eight crew members onboard, I’m expecting to have more time to report back to you and so bring more of this race right into your living room, so that you can all ride the excitement with us the whole way!

We’ll be bringing you more details on the race and how to track us as we get closer, so stay tuned!

- Dave and all of us on Bodacious IV

Bodacious Dream Expedition #1 Baja Recap

So much to catch you up on! So, Bodacious IV is safely secured back in her San Diego slip … her “racing” crew has recovered from a great run from Newport Beach down to Cabo San Lucas, and the “delivery” crew has dispersed back to their homes following the completion of our very first “Bodacious Dream Expedition” back up the Baja Coast to San Diego. And what great fun we all had!

Not being onboard for the NHYC Cabo race, I got to follow the race tracker as Bodacious IV got off to a slow start in light winds. But soon, the winds picked up and Bo IV began to work her way through her section up to second place in boat-for-boat competition. Her corrected finish was fourth. Great job guys! This proved a great test run for the upcoming Trans-Pac Race to Hawaii in July. Reports from the Bo IV crew are that the boat holds steadily fast when heading off the wind, which 75% of the Trans-Pac race is … so excitement is really building for that race.

Once Bo IV was docked in Cabo, the delivery crew took charge of the boat, setting her up and provisioning her for Bodacious Dream Expedition (BDX) #1 – the first in 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!

BDX on Facebook

Did you get a chance to follow along with any of the Expedition on our BDX website or on our BDX Facebook page? Over the course of the week, we published 7+ daily updates with photos and videos sent right from the boat and posted to both sites. (All these materials (plus more to come soon) will remain available for viewing at your convenience at the above links.

Joining me onboard Bo IV for this trip were Captain Tim Eades, Jonathon Pond, Heather Pond and Dave Hardy. What an amazing group of folks they are! We set off on the morning of Saturday, March 30th to a fare-thee-well wave from a humpback whale … just as we pulled out of the Cabo harbor.

BDX CrewThe Bo IV Crew, Tim, Jonathan & Heather w/ Dave Hardy on camera

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 to 30 knots of wind right on our nose the whole way. We followed local directives to stay in 60 feet of water along the coast, which kept the winds and waves somewhat under control.

Day by day, we 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 bait fish 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 waterpark. All this amidst the magical cycle of sunsets, sunrises, fogs, and winds kept us all constantly engaged and inspired.

BDX Baja Map
Our BDX map of the Baja

Prior to the voyage, our BDX onshore team and I had drafted up a cool map 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 then, 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 posted them to the BDX website, to Facebook 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.

Midway on the journey, we stopped in Turtle Bay 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 Baja mainland and continuing northwards.

The Baja CoastThe rugged Baja Coastline

The night before landing 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 have perhaps taken for granted, might be newly framed and better communicated to people everywhere, who have not had the pleasure of a lifelong conversation with the great waters of the world and with their many breathtaking wonders. 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 friendly seagull, which our ever-alert crewmate Heather managed to capture on video.

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 that we are just at the beginning of a great transformation in models 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 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 who have never even once thought what it would be like to stand aboard a sailboat as it slices through the water? So many unimagined possibilities yet to explore.

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, you might want to take a look on our website at our Explorer Guides and our Mentor Guide – and if you 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 2nd 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 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

In Cabo, the Expedition Readies!

The Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas Race is almost done and Bodacious IV has done well. It’s been quite a struggle with the light winds; the first day saw them only make 100 miles progress. On a normal day, Bodacious IV can easily sail close to 200 miles! Right now in Cabo, it’s Thursday at 16:20 PST and from what we can tell, Bo IV is within 15 miles of the finish, and we expect her here within two hours.

The Bodacious Dream Expeditions crew and I are heading down to the finish line area now to watch and greet the guys. They have sailed a great course and race, and if things hold out, they will have finished as the second boat in their section, but we’ll have to wait until the ratings are calculated to find out their final corrected position. A great accomplishment for what is really only their second serious race with the boat! Congrats to all the guys … to the drivers … Jeff, Christer, Chris, Matt and Alan and to the trimmers … John, Phil, Jim and Tim!

:: The Upcoming Bodacious Dream Expedition!

With the relative slowness of the race, we probably won’t likely start our BoDream Expedition until Saturday the 30th. We’ve got some things we need to do onboard before we take off – such as stock provisions, fuel as well as clean and change the prop from a racing prop to a more efficiently powered prop for motoring purposes. And naturally, we want to give Bo IV’s Captain Tim Eades a chance to rest up a bit! So, once the dockside celebrations are over for Bodacious IV, the deliver crew and myself will hit the boat and start cleaning and preparing for the trip while the racing crew relaxes and refreshes.

Moving forward to the actual Expedition game plan, our Bodacious Dream Expeditions website is almost complete with information on the Baja Peninsula Expedition.

The Live Latest Updates page on the site is where ALL new posts will go first … and it will carry the chronological stream back to the start.

Our Bodacious Dream Expeditions Facebook page is also ready to keep you updated as well. For those of you who do Facebook, that will be an easy way to keep up with the daily updates. So, LIKE us over there … to receive those updates in your newsfeed.

:: Explorer Guides

Back on the BDX site, we’ve uploaded our six “Explorer Guides.” These are our youth-focused study guide worksheets, in a variety of subjects relative to the Baja and to sailing. They’re pretty cool … even if do say so myself! (Thanks to our great team!)

Explorer Guide/ Wild life

So, here’s one way you might get more involved. If you have any kids in your vicinity, we encourage you to be a “mentor” by sharing with them the unique and fun opportunities that the expedition offers, and working with them on some of the questions and problems the guides pose, AND by following us along as we make our way north. There’s also a printable map of our route to keep daily track of our progress. I’m betting there are even a few questions there that will give the adults a challenge too. (How do you calculate the difference between a knot and statute mile?)

Baja Map

:: A Little Expeditionary How-To

Here, by way of example, is how I would share the Expedition with my young friends Brett and Harry. (This how-to stuff can all be found on the BDX website at “Mentor Guide” page.)

• First off, I’d show them the website and help them read through the front information pages.

• Then, I’d go to the “Expedition Overview” section and print out the Baja Peninsula page. This is a few pages of information about the Baja Peninsula and should be quick and easy reading. At the end, is the Baja map to Baja Map to print out. I would put the map up on the refrigerator, so we could mark off and keep track of the progress each day … as the daily updates come in from Bodacious IV.

BDX Navigation

• Next, I’d go to the “Explorer Guides.” These subject-specific worksheets are designed to be printed out and used for fun exchanges with the kids. A bunch of the questions can simply be answered by referring back to the information contained on the Baja Peninsula page. In addition, you can have fun figuring out other problems posed about distances, speeds and how we navigate.

• Then each day, probably in the early afternoon, I’d check the site for the latest daily update on the Live Updates page. There will be photos from the boat, stories about our day and maybe a video or two about fun things we do or see along the way. You’ll be able to plot our course, figure out where we are and follow right along with our progress.

Beyond that, the rest is pretty much up to you. Be curious, ask questions, do some addtional exploring on your own and strike up conversations!

My broader hope in all this, is to find new ways to share the wonders of the majestic ocean, the excitement of sailing as well as the pure fun of sharing new experiences with you. We would like nothing more to awaken dreams in the minds of youngsters, such that one day we may see them (and you as well) out on the ocean and exploring the wonders of the Earth on their own.

It certainly began that way for me. Such are the nature of big dreams!

So, send along any questions, ideas or suggestions you might have. Use the BDX Contact Us form, or the BDX Facebook page or … oceanexplorer@bodaciousdreamexpeditions.com is another good address.

We more than welcome your input! Thank you one and all!

Ok then, on to it! See you out there!

- Dave, Bodacious Dream, Bodacious IV & the Crew

BoDream News / Excitement Builds for Cabo & Beyond!

Well, it’s getting exciting around here! The Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s Race to Cabo San Lucas is just a few days away. The Captain of Bodacious IV, Tim Eades and I brought Bodacious IV up from San Diego where she has been for the last month getting ready for the race. It was a 70-mile trip and we left at the crack of dawn in a thick marine layer of fog – motoring all the way up to Newport Harbor. The sun burned off much of the fog by afternoon, and though it was a motor trip, Tim and I had a chance to relax a bit and to reflect on the enormous amount of work accomplished in the last month.

With great help from many of the folks in the San Diego Area, we were able to take Bodacious IV from a “taken apart and shipped” state to fully-rigged and race-ready. The great folks at Driscoll’s Yard helped with the heavy work of installing the keel and rudder, stepping the mast and launching the boat. The gang from Rigworks handled much of the rigging and tuning, while Patrick and the guys at North Sails helped to make the sails just right for the boat. Then there was Russell at Seatech who helped us with the watermaker … in addition to the many other good folks in the area who played a part in bringing Bodacious IV back to strong racing form. Many thanks to everyone!

Boats in NewportBodacious IV in the foreground, Dorade second (winner of the 1938 Trans-Pac) and behind her is War Path … previously sailed as the famous Nitemare of Chicago and the Great Lakes. All are here preparing for the Cabo Race at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

Now onto the race itself! The race is an 800-mile race from Newport Harbor, California to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – down along the coast of Baja, Mexico. This is one of those classic California races and the lineup of competitors is pretty significant. Follow the crew of Bodacious IV right here on the Newport Harbor Yacht Club Cabo ”Race Tracker.”

While I won’t be onboard for the race this time, I will be heading down to Cabo to help return the boat to San Diego, which will mark the beginning of our new adventure … Bodacious Dream Expeditions! … a series of fun, periodic voyages of discovery and learning as we move towards sailing Bodacious Dream around the world! Our plan right now, depending on conditions of course, is to leave Cabo on March 29th. In preparation for the expedition, we have launched a new Bodacious Dream Expeditions website and a BDX Facebook page as well to help us to share the 5-6 day experience with you and also to help bring fun facts and information to kids .. and people of all ages. If you have kids in your life who you think might find this of interest … we encourage you to follow our progress with them. Check out these new pages!

As if to genuinely welcome Bodacious IV and us back to the Pacific Ocean, Tim and I had a special treat on our trip up from San Diego, when we encountered two whales frolicking along the coast. What a beautiful sight to see them swimming along in such immense majesty and grace. During our expedition up from Cabo, we hope to have and share more of these magnificent experiences with you.

Whales off Newport

And finally … with spring knocking at the door back home in the Great Lakes, I’ll be back in the Midwest this weekend at Crowley’s Yachtapalooza, giving another talk on Saturday, March 23rd at 10:30 am. Yachtapalooza is a great event that takes place at their lakeside boat yard on the South Side of Chicago. They’ll have all sorts of displays and information or just hang with other sailors and catch up on a winter full of stories. Following my 30-minute talk, the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society will be introducing solo sailing to anyone who is interested. So, if you’re looking to get into some of this crazy solo sailing stuff, that would be a great place to start. Here’s the full  Yachtapalooza Schedule of Events.

Hope to see some of you there. If you are, be sure to come say hi!

Dave & Bodacious Dream!

Changing w/ the Seasons – Big Plans for 2013!

I’ve been back home here in the Midwest on the shore of Lake Michigan for about a week. Late winter here has been on the dismal side – cold grey days with rainy snow and an ice shelf a few hundred yards out into the water. But I know this lake, and I know it won’t be long before the season changes.

Lake Michigan

While Bodacious Dream rested in Charleston, South Carolina after her trip across the Atlantic, I spent a few weeks in San Diego, CA helping my friend, Captain Tim Eades prepare the striking 52’ Bodacious IV (a fellow ship to Bodacious Dream) – for a couple of big ocean races on the West Coast of the U.S. this summer. The first of these races will be the Newport Beach, California to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Race – an 800-mile race that begins March 23rd.

You know, when you’ve been sailing for a while, and especially after sailing a boat like Bodacious Dream across the world’s oceans, you learn that sailing isn’t about forcing the environment to adapt to your boat, but rather about staying responsive – about trimming your sails and adjusting your helm to the changing forces of the environment around you. Not much different on land. The change of the date for the Global Ocean Race, that I was entered in this fall, to the fall of 2014 has allowed us to adjust our plans and use this year to take Bodacious Dream in a unexpectedly fantastic direction!

Here’s how this year of living bodaciously is shaping up.

We’ll start the summer racing Bodacious Dream once again in the Atlantic Cup Race on May 11th, that runs from Charleston, SC to New York City and then to Newport, RI. It was such a great event last year, and this year, with even stronger competition, it promises to be even more fun! Our media coverage on this race will be a big step up from last year!

After the finish of The Atlantic Cup, we’ll stay in Newport to begin preparing Bodacious Dream for a trip around the planet! Yes, that’s right … Bodacious Dream and I are going to sail around the world! I will follow the same course that the famous races take, but … without the race, I’ll be doing it in a less formal way. This will allow us to create a dream itinerary, but also to take advantage of all sorts of unexpected opportunities that might arise.

We’ll be outfitting Bodacious Dream with a state of the art satellite communications system, which will allow us to upload photos and videos right from the water! This will enable us to share with the world the full bodacious experience online – both on Facebook and on the web through our Bodacious Dream website, as well as on a new website we are currently building … called Bodacious Dream Expeditions!

From the beginning, one of the cornerstones of Bodacious Dream has been to share that Dream with the wider world … and now, working with our partners at the Earthwatch Institute, we will be able to explore, highlight and capture what we see as we go on our global expeditions, at the same time we allow you a “window” through which to join us, and to share in the discovery of the many oceanic wonders we’ll encounter along the way.

The racing format, as exciting as it is, limits our ability to do much more then concentrate on sailing quickly from one harbor to the next. This new expedition format will give us the chance to follow the winds of our curiosity as we explore the sea around us, and then to share that story with you – wherever in the world either of us might be at that moment.

Bodacious IVOur first expedition is coming up very soon here – at the end of March! While Bodacious Dream remains docked in Charleston, we will take the opportunity to run our first Bodacious Dream Expedition aboard Bodacious Dream’s fellow ship, Bodacious IV, as we sail her back to San Diego, California, after she completes in the race to Cabo San Lucas.

Onboard with me will be a crew of 4 talented and seaworthy friends. We’ll be armed with a couple of video cameras and a full satellite communications system that we’ll use to upload media reports via videos and photos as we move up this gorgeous stretch of Pacific Ocean coast line, teeming with all sorts of marine life. This setting will provide us a great opportunity to experiment with making our “expedition” as rich and full of fun and insights as we can.

A big part of the Bodacious Dream has always been to reach out to young people and to foster new and more experiential ways of learning. Along with these Expeditions, we are developing an engaging set of explorer study guides intended for kids of all ages (and adults too!) – to play with and learn more about the marvels to be found along the coastline and ocean waters of the beautiful Baja Peninsula.

We’re working right now putting the finishing touches on those materials and the Bodacious Dream Expeditions website, and we hope to have it ready before the end of this week. In the meantime, come visit (and “Like” us) at our brand new Bodacious Dream Expeditions Facebook Page. We hope that once you – our adult friends – see what we’re doing, that you’ll want to share this bodacious opportunity with the spirited youngsters around you. After all, happy and involved young kids are the future of any better world we might imagine, and guiding them to an understanding of the amazing wonders of the natural world, we feel, is a responsibility that we all share.

Golden Caribbean Sunset

Bodacious Dream and I look forward to having you onboard with us. So, please send along any questions or thoughts you might have. This new expeditionary direction is far more collaborative than competitive racing might allow for – so we encourage you to jump into the boat with us, right here at the start and help us shape what comes next. If you are a parent or adult friend, a teacher, or sailor, a lover of adventure – or if you know others who share a similar spirit … pass this on and let’s open the idea to the larger world. We all know that’s where the big fun awaits.

Thank you so much.

- Dave and Bodacious Dream

Boats to be Sailed, Stories to be Told!

I know it’s been a few weeks since we’ve sent an update. I’ve been busy and wrapped up in several things at once. To start, I’m down in Southern California helping to put together a boat (No, not Bodacious Dream) for some upcoming races on the West Coast this summer. In addition to that, I’ve also taken some road trips and had some speaking engagements, which have been great fun. In fact, I’ve got another speaking engagement coming up next weekend on Saturday, February 23rd back in the Midwest at the Michigan City Yacht Club. (More on that below)

I’ve been here in San Diego helping to prepare a beautiful “Santa Cruz 52″ called Bodacious IV. (Yup, she’s a sister ship to our Bodacious Dream.) She’s here to compete in the Newport to Cabo San Lucas race at the end of March, and then come July, in the Trans-Pac Race which runs from Long Beach, CA to Honolulu, HI.

In the last two weeks, after her arrival here by shipment from the Midwest, we’ve put on the keel, installed the rudder, put together the rig and stepped the mast, put all sorts of pieces and parts back in place, launched the boat and we’re sail testing it this weekend with the captain, electronics and navigation gurus!

Here’s what it looks like to set up and step (what we call installing) the rig (mast)!

Starting the Lift!
Almost Upright! 

The process looks easy, at least when you’re working with the talented people from Driscoll’s and Rigworks!

Over to the boat and installing instruments at the top!

The work is almost complete here, and I’ll be heading for home the middle of this week, and preparing for what I know will be a great time … a storytelling session at the Michigan City Yacht Club in Michigan City, IN! This is my home yacht club and home sailing waters, and I much appreciate their asking me to entertain them on a mid-February night with stories, photos, videos and tall tales of my last year. From building Bodacious Dream to shipping her to Ft. Lauderdale, The Atlantic Cup Race, The Quebec-St. Malo Race, Normandy Channel, Mondial Class 40 World Championships and then the solo Trans-Atlantic return trip – I guess I can fill up the time pretty well. If you’re in the area, and looking for some salty diversion next Saturday night, come join us! (Here’s a link to the flyer on the Michigan City Yacht Club website for more information.)

Soon after that, I’ll be heading back to Charleston, SC to resume work on Bodacious Dream to get her ready for the upcoming season of racing and sailing which will start off with The Atlantic Cup Race on May 11, 2013. This promises to be another great event put together by Manuka Sports Management, and we are expecting some very intense competition this year. Two of our competitors from last year, Toothface and Ahmas will have new generation boats that will keep us on our toes for sure!

We’ve got more exciting news planned for the coming few months, and we’ll be letting you know about all that very soon. So please keep a lookout for our updates here, on our mailing list (signup form above) and over on our Bodacious Dream Facebook Page.

Thanks again, and our very best to all of you!

- Dave and Bodacious Dream