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Ocean Planet/USA 05 Update from Bruce Schwab:
Monday, May 24, 2004 

The Dumbest Guy in the World…?

Every now and then, I get the most encouraging emails from some of the nicest people. This one, from charter pilot “Bob” of “Dairy Air” was just too good not to share:


I saw the Ocean Planet announcement/ad in my last issue of WoodenBoat magazine. I glanced at it briefly, and then said to myself; “Now that guy has to be the Dumbest Guy in the Whole World”. He thinks he is going to sail non-stop, around the entire world in a “wooden” sailboat, all by himself; alone and unassisted.

AND….. this Darwin Award Candidate is even asking for others to donate toward his “attempt” to remove himself from the gene pool. Does he really expect people to donate toward his demise. I just don’t get it!

I went outside and started mowing the grass at our Island Airport. Half an hour later, I was semi-conscious in my “mowing trance” and I just couldn’t get the image of you waving from that boat out of my mind.

I saw a complete idiot, all by himself on a huge boat, with WAY TOO MUCH sail up. He’s so clueless that he’s waving to us just like a “Sunday Sailor” on the way to our Bay. If that were a picture of me; we’d have to add the caption; “Ten Seconds Before the Disaster” to it. This guy is either crazy, or…….

HE ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING! I guess it is easy to mistake “competent self-assurance”, with an attitude of “ignorant, careless, and incompetent over-confidence”. I understand this, because it’s how many people react to my flying.

How can I tell if this guy is sane and knows what he is doing? Hmmmmm…..

He is on a big beautiful monster of a sailboat. It’s awesome; and I’ve never seen one like it before. They couldn’t even get half of the mast into the picture, and the boom must be forty feet long. It looks like he has more than two roller-furling jibs. Sure, he’s sailing easy off-the-wind on some pretty calm water; but he has “acres” of way too much sail up there……… The boat is moving along nicely though, leaving an impressive wake.

If he’s really serious about “racing around the World”; he really can’t afford to be conservative with his boat or sail plan. Yep, he has the right kind of boat; and he seems to be relaxed and comfortable in conditions that might result in a successful globe circling voyage… OK, so we’ll give him credit for this……

“What does a guy like this do for a living, in the real World?” I guess it doesn’t really matter. One thing is for sure, HE SAILS! And if he gets started on this race, he’ll be doing nothing but SAILING for nearly THREE Months…… every single day…… day after day; week after week. I wish I could do that. Why can’t I?

I can’t compete because I don’t have a boat like yours. I’ve never sailed on the Oceans, like you have. And I’m not making the preparations for a successful voyage like you are doing. It’s not likely that I would even make it…

I’ve never donated toward any “cause” like this before; but I want you to succeed. In a World of Multi-national Corporate Conglomerates that promise instant gratification;, and give us nothing but Media Hype about Wars and Terrorism and “Security” and Presidential Election Politics; it is refreshing to see an INDIVIDUAL planning to do something really important.

You are willing to stand alone, and do what you most love to do. You have trained yourself well to accomplish your goals. You reminded me that we DO LIVE on an OCEAN PLANET; and that whatever happens on land….. is really not that important.

You have given me hope and inspiration. You are doing something that really “matters” to you. Because of that, and your willingness to share that with others, you deserve at least a little “support.”

I sent a small donation via the internet last night. So that probably makes me “The dumbest guy in the Whole World”. (You can still qualify for “Second Dumbest”.) But now I have something to look forward to for the next few months.

I wish you the best of luck, and a very safe and successful voyage.

Dairy Air Bob
Put-in-Bay, Ohio

PS: I’m sending copies of this transmission to a few friends. They need to know your site is at: www.bruceschwab.com for more information.”

Wow, what a letter.
Thanks Bob, I’ll be doing my best!

Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet


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