Ocean Planet Report
Saturday December 7, 2002
Boiling over in Cape Town!
It has been well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit the past few days here in Cape Town. The nearly impossible workload along with the heat is wearing us down as we struggle to get Ocean Planet ready for Leg Three. Add to this the financial worries that are also reaching the boiling point. My ability to juggle the costs to prepare the boat and pay urgent bills is being overwhelmed.
On the bright side, we are getting a lot done. One example of the finished projects is the mainsheet turning block padeye on the deck at the mast. This padeye is indestructible Titanium, custom made by supplier sponsor METROPOLIS METAL WORKS. The bolts were sliding through the wood on the deck (and then leaking) as this padeye takes loads up to 10,000 pounds! So we needed to bond on G10 (dense fiberglass) plates to the deck to spread the load out and then thread the bolts though them. Check out the attached pic to see the nice job done by volunteer and supporter Stephen Hodges.
This padeye is not going anywhere now!
Even though we received a big donation from Kevin and Shauna Flanigan (again) for our new main and working jib, there are so many other bills that are overdue that I may not officially be in the race for long. These costs have been piling up, from well before the start of the race to the stopover in Brixham, and include crucial items like our communication expenses to send you these updates. It is expensive to send them from the boat and we owe well over $10,000 to Stratos to keep the service going. This is just one of many bills that effect my ability to continue.
If you have been following and enjoy the updates, it is time to do something if you want keep getting them. I have been crunching numbers trying to find the absolute minimum to make it through the next two months to New Zealand, and I can pull it off for about $55,000 (of course our total bills are several times that). I’m sure you have noticed my constant hinting in my updates, but I have to lay it all out now. This is what we need to raise in the next week. It is crazy to borrow any more money than I already have…I’m crazy enough to race solo around the world, but it’s really tough for me to push hard and risk the life savings of others. Most of our loans are secured by the boat, which is not insured!
My talented and devoted helpers, Ashley Perrin and Jason Winkel, have been working for practically no money, and yet I do not have the money to pay them. They are not wealthy and have had to run up bills on their own credit cards to get supplies. I have not had any income myself for over a year, my partner Jeanie has been paying all of our bills at home (my health insurance, etc.) for me.
We have worked hard to find a big name corporate sponsor since the beginning of Ocean Planet two years ago, but it is your donations and product support from our supplier sponsors (along with a lot of free work from very talented people in the US and Brixham) that have built the boat and delivered us to Cape Town, South Africa. This is an incredible adventure, but very, very hard. I will not quit, but if I don’t pay some big bills like the Stratos account, not only will the updates stop, but I will be disqualified as the rules require these communication systems on the boats.
Only with your help can I complete the Around Alone.
Bruce and OceanPlanet