Back in June and July of 2014, I set a world record for nonstop distance sailing in a dinghy, traveling 283.5 nautical miles (325.6 statute miles or 534 kilometers) up and down Chesapeake Bay over 86 hours. This, despite the intervention of Hurricane Arthur, as it bore down on Hampton Roads on July 2, forcing me to turn aside well short of my intended goal of over 300 nautical miles. When I hit the shore in Calvert, Maryland just before dusk, I knew I had a lot more to give.
And so many people were interested and motivated by the trip, I knew I had to go again and give it my all. That brings us to now, June 20, 2015, as I plunge into the last days of planning and preperation for my new project, a sail from Beaufort N.C. to Annapolis Md., a distance of about 320 nautical miles (about 368 miles or 592 kilometers), sailing around Cape Hatteras and up the Atlantic Seaboard, entering the Chesapeake Bay and finishing on familiar and friendly turf.
While the sailing is a solo effort, the project involves a vast team of people and supporters, staring with my wife, Lisa, who has championed the project and through her technical skills, promoted it and helped shared it with a wide audience.
Among that audience, Kyle and Darren Leonard of Shoreline Sailboats in Avon, N.Y. (Western New York's Performance Sialboat Dealer) were captivated by the journey in 2014 and lept to the support of the project this year. Shoreline provided a brand new Laser for the trip and delivered it. The picture with this blog is Kyle and myself mugging for Lisa in Mechanicsville, Pa., where we met to pick up the little craft that will (with hope) carry me to success on this mission. To have a dream and a quest feels like a giant thing in the heart, but to share it with others and know that it gives others inspiration and pleasure is immense. And I find it hard to express the gratitude I feel for the generous support.
The safety gear maker McMurdo also came to the support of the project, providing personal locator beacons and an emergency AIS beacon for my safety offshore and in the wide waters of the Chesapeake. It is an absolute comfort to have their gear attached to my life jacket while I will be in big water (especially at night). You can see the gear on a web page of this site.
The clothing and gear maker Gill also came to the support of this project, and will be providing a very carefully researched range of clothing to help keep me dry and warm during the long hours of this quest. It is no small thing. Loss of heat and energy would put serious limits on my ability to endure three days of nonstop sailing and exposure to the sun and chafe from the lines and tiller would surely stop the body without adequate protection. I will share more about this in future posts.
And I would never have been able to get there and back without the help of Magellen, which generously provided a handheld GPS unit, the Xplorist 510, which kept me on course and informed throughout the journey last year. I will be using the same unit this year to guide me from N.C. to Maryland.
In the final stretch here, I will be double checking my routing, buying and stacking food, going over my safety gear and lights and double checking the rigging.
I look forward to sharing the trip with you, and hope you will share it with me.