QuĂ©bec to St-Malo – Dave Post-Race1

Hey there Everyone!

Whoa!….what an amazing time we’ve had. We finished the race yesterday late morning, or maybe it was early afternoon…..seems to not matter much when the last 14 days all ran together. It was necessary for us to have a tow after the finish because of a questionable engine seal, so once we finished, they towed us to a mooring where we left the boat for 7 hours and came ashore to celebrate our finish. We were met by the other competitors and enjoyed a couple of beers with them before heading to grab burgers and showers. I’m sure we were a smelly bunch of sailors!!

Bodacious Dream in St Malo

The experience is beginning to set in now. What a beautiful place the St. Lawrence portion of the race is. The wildlife was amazing. Whales everywhere, dolphins, birds…. especially the lonely call of the Northern Loon. If you ever wanted to see that area of the continent, be sure to make time to do it. I certainly hope I’ll get a chance someday to do it at a more leisurely pace. And the trip across the “pond” as the regulars call it, was a blast sail. We hit speeds of 26 knots and can’t begin to describe the intensity of the ocean when the wind is up as it was……it seems to me there is enough energy in a couple of waves and the wind to power the world for months!!

We’re enjoying the town of St. Malo, this quaint village is surround by protective walls — as if it were a fortress. It was totally destroyed during World War II, but has been rebuilt much like original with the small cobble stone streets, little shops and restaurants and all the charm you’d expect from a French town. It seems I’ve been here before…..maybe a few lives ago as a ship’s captain……

We spent a few hours today undoing the boat and readying her for a wash out. We have to wait our turn for a hose to clean out the inside. Seems like that will be tomorrow and then we can relax some and figure out our next move. Until then, we’ll just hang out, enjoy the stories with the others, enjoy a BBQ party tonight and rest and restore our bodies.

Hope you all have enjoyed the trip with us. We certainly wished we’d done better in the end finish, but given this was our first trans-oceanic race and we lost a couple of sails, had some gear problem and had to nurse the boat some, we think we did well to keep the power on and pick off other competitors right up to the end.

Stay tuned for more stories!!

– Dave

QuĂ©bec to St-Malo – BD Update – Day 14

Good Morning Everyone!!

I awoke from my off-watch this morning to the first sighting of France. The opposite watch was thoughtful enough to provide a sunrise to go along with it. What a joy!! This past week of North Atlantic weather has brought us little sunshine or warmth. We are all in higher spirits, as we can easily track the mileage left to sail. 3000 miles becomes 1000 miles and then 500, 250 then 100 and less than 40 and now just a short sail. We are excited to see a competitor we’ve caught and hope there may be one more in our target sights before the finish. We’ve sailed hard to come back from the depths of the ranks after a few problems. In just a few hours, we’ll be celebrating and laughing having finished our first Atlantic crossing – a milestone for many a sailor and we are certainly among them now.

Just want to thank all our friends that have supported our sailing along the way and throughout our lives, and who have encouraged and helped us to reach for our dreams. Thanks too to Mark and Dean Petrakis who have created our new web presence and have been getting the updates posted and to you all. Great guys!! Thanks to Henri Lloyd for the foul weather gear…it has been blessed and thanked for many times in the past two weeks!! Thanks to Watershed for their waterproof bags… they do float and keep things dry…field tested right here! And a very special thank you to our sponsors William Blair for their support and to Earthwatch Institute for all they do to support the environment and education of it. This ocean is a beautifully amazing place. I’ll tell you more in the coming days..

Remember to Dream Bodaciously. We do!!

Thanks everyone.

– Dave, Matt, Mark and Emma

QuĂ©bec to St-Malo – BD Update – Day 14

85 miles to go. Working our way there, finally a semi-clear starry night. We can see the lighthouses on the coast of France. In every picture I’ve ever seen of people finishing a long ocean race, they always appear to be very happy, I can see why now!! Back into the drysuit for hopefully the last time.

Right now 48 miles from the finish, we have 3 knots of tide helping us. Just looking at the tides at St. Malo, they’re 37 feet. Guess when we will be getting to it – mid-ebb, awesome, a repeat of Newport. As dawn is breaking, there’s a boat right behind us.. Don’t know who it is yet.

– Matt

QuĂ©bec to St-Malo – BD Update – Day 13

Hello, from the bucking bronco,

Taking my iPad, sitting on the hippity-hop and starting to type.

Good times.. I am on day 8 of continuous drysuit wear and goggles – hard to get used to, but fully worth the effort. At times the only way to describe what it’s like is to take your average shower head triple the water volume and then stick your face in it for 10 seconds at a time and imagine you’re driving into waves at 20+ knots trying to avoid the next face full, which comes usually within a minute.

Sunny day today, first in many.. occasional line squalls, dolphins and even human life, saw a freighter today, first in 6 days.

Gotta go lie down.

BTW, my head after the bump, is doing fine,


QuĂ©bec to St-Malo – BD Update – Day 12

Good evening all!!

It’s about the equivalent of 11 pm here. The weather continues to be grey, dark, damp and rainy….typical North Atlantic conditions!! Mark’s up driving… back and forth with the waves and wind. I’ve been tending to much needed regular maintenance onboard. We switch off every hour or so and I give him a break. Everything below and above is wet. We probably evacuate about 15 gallons of water every shift. The constant flow of waves over the deck run off the stern, some of which then makes its way through a compromised gasket on the stern hatch. The routine at the end of my watch is to switch crew, then I climb back there, scoop water into a bucket and then it’s pumped by one of the others on deck out the boat. About 4 buckets a watch – messy, clumsy and unfortunate work. We’ve had a number of other compromises as well, but are making the best of these situations. We continue to push the boat and ourselves toward France – hoping to gain position in the standings too. Ireland’s off our port bow about 100 miles and St. Malo about 400. We’re hoping the wind continues with us to the finish and some much needed sanitizing!!! A day of sunshine and nice winds would be a real change of pace. We’ve been stuck with the low pressure system for 7 or so days…which has made for a fast passage, but a change of pace would be nice.

Hope to be in France in a few days!!

– Dave

QuĂ©bec to St-Malo – BD Update – Day 12

Last night will not be forgotten quickly!!!!

Before I get to that, we’re sailing fast under 2 reefs and the solent almost straight at the barn in 30 to 35 knots of wind, looking for it to slowly diminish as we get closer. Last night came with the forecast that the wind would build to the mid-30s and then fall slowly back to where it is now.

The boat had been sailing with the code 5 and a reefed main for the last 24 hours or so. We were all pretty comfortable with it, knowing that it’ll take 40 knots and that there was good full moon visibility. Emma and I started our watch at 8 UT with her driving. After an hour or so, I took over and was having a great time, working hard and loving the speed, top recorded was 24.9 knots.

The seas began to build into steep mountains in pretty short order. At one point, I stuck a wave and had a foot of green water flow from front to back washing my legs out from under me. Being clipped in, I didn’t move and simply played superman as the water passed under. We had a good laugh over that.

An hour or so later, I had broached once, but recovered it quickly. Some time later, a massive wave hit us; I would guess it was 20 ft from top to bottom. I was ready and square to it when it hit. With a ride like an elevator, the stern was picked skyward and the bow dropped down the face of the wave – not fun like take off and go fast; it was 50 degrees flaps down and submarine!!! Stuck the bow in the water up to at least the mast and kicked the stern over the top, the boat just hung there for a moment until it kicked to the side and we needless to say WIPED OUT! The sail flogged violently with no speed on and tore, Emma, quickly went to the bow as Mark and Dave came up on deck. The sail wrapped on the forestay a handful of times, but after about 20 minutes of wrestling with it, we had it down. This seemed like a very long time to us, great job was done by all in controlling the situation. If you can see the kink in our track last night that was during this procedure, and the solent up, other than the torn sail, no worse for wear.

Emma and I went down for some much needed rest. About an hour later, with the boat going well, I was cold and decided I had to get up to grab a fleece. Just as I was climbing out of the pipe birth feet first, looking backward, the bow fell down and stabbed into a wave stopping everything but me it in its tracks. I was launched forward 12 ft into the forward bulk head, head-first, hitting the back of my head just below my occipital process. Bo Dream’s pretty yellow color was now getting highlights of red. I sat for a minute collecting myself and was surprised I wasn’t in worse shape. I opened the door to Mark and all he said was, who’s bleeding, I tilted my head down and he said, “All you need now is two eyes back there and you’ll have a face.” The gash is just below the prominent bump I have back there, so I would guess it acts as a nose.

Anyway I stopped the bleeding and laid down for a bit. Getting up to go on watch I found a deep bruise on my thigh and head pounding, but for what it’s worth, not too bad.

600 or so miles to go, France – here we come.

– Matt

QuĂ©bec to St-Malo – BD Update – Day 11

Drysuits are awesome, I started putting the drysuit on during my watch about 7 days ago, still for the most part dry inside. 2 layers on the bottom, 3 on the top, drysuit to cover. Pretty simple, remove, and repeat every 4 hours. Mark has been doing the same. Dave and Emma have had a hard time dealing with the latex gaskets around the wrists and neck; it must be that we are just used to them from the years of sailing the multihull. Right now I wouldn’t be nearly as happy without it. Right now, it’s my best friend.

Speaking of friends, I started noticing a fly in the cabin 8 days ago, he/ or she is still with us. Is it fair to say we’re sailing with 5? I don’t dare swat him at this point, during the days I don’t see much of him/ or her, but at night she hangs out on the Zeus screen, that is our navigation panel. Two nights ago, I had to get up because I thought theer was a ship nearby on the AIS, turns out it was just fly hanging out.

Other boats, none for the last 7 days, not even a sign of life except for the plastic bottle I saw yesterday. You could easily think we’re the only one’s on the planet right now.

– Matt

Québec to St-Malo – BD Update – Day 11

Hello All!!!

Holy smokes, what a ride!! While our position in the fleet leaves something to be desired, this marvelous experience has given us much more than we expected. We’ve been attached to a low pressure weather/wind system since we exited the St. Lawrence area and headed to open ocean….winds have been mostly in the 20’s and the boat speeds have all been teens and occasionally into the 20’s with extended surfing on waves. With each ride on a wave, comes a gush….well more like a flush of water that clears out the cockpit of anything and at night leaves phosphorescent-like lightning bugs swirling around your hands and feet. Tonight we were blessed with a patch of clear sky and the nearly full moon shone down on us….very uplifting but sure would have been nice for it to have been sunshine. We haven’t had any since heading out across the open waters of the North Atlantic.

We’re having fun clicking off 50 plus miles every 4 hour watch giving us 300 mile days….with presently something like 807.6 miles to go till we reach the entrance to the English Channel. Boy, that’s a lot of water!! From there we’ll have another 150 or more miles to St-Malo. We’ve learned a lot and been humbled by the sea once again, but that’s why we sail. One can only hope to be respected by the sea in return, and allowed to pass thru it.

Thanks for following and keeping up with us. We’re doing our best and hoping to catch up to a few in front of us before the finish. Regardless, its been a grand adventure!! Back on deck to get wet now, and taught a few more lessons by the sea.

– Dave

Québec to St-Malo – BD Update – Day 10

I just caught a ballyhoo, got him on the deck and slowly washed him from the front to the cockpit and out the back. Has to be a pretty unlucky fish in this giant ocean to have that happen. Then again, how often does a ballyhoo get the opportunity to sail a class 40?

Been pretty rough with wind, reaching conditions so that the boat healed over 20 degrees; virtually impossible to hit the correct letter on the keyboard.

Right about at the 1000 miles-to-go stage; our routine is pretty well-ingrained. Dave and Mark have been paired together. Being the same age, they have had a fair bit to to chat about – and Emma and I have been working together. We don’t seem to have a whole lot in common other than sailing this cool boat. Usually one of the pair will be steering, and the other sits under the doghouse ready to go if anything needs to be done. I usually just look out the back of the boat, Emma reads and listens to her iPod, I think she’s close to finishing her second book.

We have all taken on the other little jobs that need to be done while racing. I do the weather and computer stuff, Dave and Emma have been doing the thankless job of getting water out of the boat and Mark does more than his share of driving.

Tonight’s a clear beautiful moon-filled night; can’t ask for better or more beautiful conditions.

Looking for an opportunity to catch a few boats, but these reaching conditions make it difficult to move up.

Sleep well,