–MITC trip to France now includes Les Sables!
–Florida trip filling up fast!
By Saturday afternoon, I will be off to France with the Maine International Trade Commission (MITC). This trip comes at a very busy time for me….as we are preparing Ocean Planet for our mid-November Leg 1 voyage to Florida (assuming that Florida will still be there…hurricane Wilma is threatening). Also, we are re-creating our websites, and preparing announcements for plans regarding the 2008 Vendee Globe….there will be a lot of news so stay tuned.
But in spite of being spread rather thin, I am greatly looking forward to this trip! It even includes a couple days in Les Sables d’Olonne (Sunday and Monday) where I am meeting various Vendee region business leaders. These meetings will be focused on connecting interests in the region with those in the Maine Trade Commission, to see where there might be mutual benefits. It certainly doesn’t hurt to try, and it will be great fun to see Les Sables again.
Winter in Florida?
Crew spots are rapidly filling up for our winter sailing to and in Florida. Legs 1, 2, and 3 are nearly full! Still plenty of room for Key West Race Week (Jan 16-20), but don’t delay if you are thinking of going! For more info contact: Sandi Wooldridge (954) 938-0074 email@example.com (reference: Ocean Planet Adventure)
For anyone that needs to reach me before Oct 29, try email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or if urgent call my French mobile: 011-33-66-577-0607. Of course you call always leave a message on my U.S. phone ( 510-847-9950 ) as I will be checking that too.
Gotta run, but I’ll leave you with this excerpt from a short speech I’m preparing for Les Sables:
“For a long time before the start of the Vendee, I knew that it was going to be nearly impossible for a top placing. Just to finish would be hard enough. The mental and physical stresses involved are well known to all of you here, and I definitely felt the pressure and the fear of failure. Thankfully the many emails that I received from shore, especially from the fantastic “enfants” of Les Sables d’Olonne, kept me going… even when I ran out of chocolate.
At our finish, the incredible reception that Ocean Planet and I received has changed my life. Originally, I started with a crazy dream on my own, but it grew like a giant snowball so that thousands of other dangerous dreamers were with me, over every wave, all the way to Les Sables.
What is my next crazy dream? I now see that maybe I have been given the opportunity to bring other dreamers, from both sides of the Atlantic, together to accomplish great things. We all can help each other, and have even have some fun along the way. To establish business and cultural connections between Maine and the Vendee Region may be a big challenge, especially to a knucklehead like me that has yet to learn to speak French. But I think it is now impossible for me to resist the possibilities that I see to do something special and interesting.
You see, I still have not learned when to quit. Perhaps I never will.”
Perhaps the kids in Les Sables will get to see a new Ocean Planet in 2008?