Just having Ocean Planet in the water is a dream come true. But being tied at the dock without any operational funds often gives me the “Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues again” feeling (Bob Dylan fans will understand).
But if being an a struggling American singlehander gets me down, there are a couple of my own heroes I can look to for motivation. Being an ex-bike racer, to see cancer survivor hero Lance Armstrong dominate the Tour de France is so amazing. One finds it hard to conjure any self pity when you look at what this guy has come back from. What a champion.
Another inspiration is my friend and fellow singlehander Brad Van Liew. He has been a great advisor for me and has been going through the same fundraising battle. But he also never quits. Right now he is racing across the Atlantic aboard the British Open 60 “Gartmore” in the EDS Atlantic challenge (http://www.edsatlanticchallenge.com/en/).
They have their hands full keeping up with the likes of Ellen McArthur, Roland Jourdain, and Mike Golding, but “Gartmore” has been taking an aggressive and interesting route. I have been having fun analyzing the weather on my Athlon-powered PC and second guessing everyone’s tactical choices. Watch out for Brad if his weather tactics work out!
Meanwhile I’m here doing consulting and rigging work to pay my OWN bills, and trying to fit in time on the long list of Ocean Planet projects. These include modifying the rudder for more balance (less load on the tiller and autopilot), wiring modifications, rigging, sails, etc. Thankfully, there are occasional volunteers who help me out.
If things go well, and we get some more donations, I can get Ocean Planet ready for a singlehanded Transpac speed run to Kauai. That will be good practice, and a good way to show what She can do. The speed run is a relatively inexpensive way to begin the long development process that is needed to get both myself and Ocean Planet up to potential, these things don’t happen overnight. I will keep you posted on my progress and of course send daily updates if we go.
Either way, look for Ocean Planet to show up at the Boats Afloat show on Lake Union in Seattle, Sept 12-16. If we do the record run, we would then sail straight to Seattle from Hawaii. If you want to help on that trip, I’m taking applications for crew. We will be in a hurry so it won’t be a long sail!