Iâ€™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 wonâ€™t be long before the season changes.
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 52â€™ 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 worldâ€™s oceans, you learn that sailing isnâ€™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!
Hereâ€™s how this year of living bodaciously is shaping up.
Weâ€™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, thatâ€™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, Iâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€¦ 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 â€świndowâ€ť through which to join us, and to share in the discovery of the many oceanic wonders weâ€™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 â€“ wherever in the world either of us might be at that moment.
Our 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 Dreamâ€™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 â€śexpeditionâ€ť 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.
Weâ€™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 â€“ our adult friends – see what weâ€™re doing, that youâ€™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.
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 â€“ 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 â€¦ pass this on and letâ€™s open the idea to the larger world. We all know thatâ€™s where the big fun awaits.
Thank you so much.
- Dave and Bodacious Dream