One Month Left

One month left and work on the boat has gone into high gear.  Now that the boat has come together I’ve realized that I have no pictures of the boat from two months ago when black trash bags covered the holes where the windows used to be.  It was a trashbag covered hull with no bulkheads, no mast, no sails, no electronics and no windvane.  You wouldn’t recognize St Breandan now.  Its starting to look like a real ocean going 27 footer.  My life is super hectic these days, between working on the boat and raising crucial last minute funding.  I’ll haul the boat out of the water tomorrow for new paint and thru hulls.  I’ve still got a lot of work to do on the boat but I’m on track and in two weeks I should be 95% done.

This effort is not just about completing a major sailing trip.  This trip is a fundraiser for C.R.A.B. (Chesapeake Regional Accessible boating).  C.R.A.B. is a non profit orgaiztion that helps mentaly and physically disabled people by giving them sailing opportunities.  Going for a day sail might seem rather common for most of us, but it means the world to a child struggling to cope with a disability.   The most important aspect of this trip is to rasie money so C.R.A.B. can continue to help people struggling with disabilities.  You can donate to C.R.A.B. through the “How I Can Help” section.

I’m looking forward to getting out to sea.  I’m tired of talking about the trip and working on the boat.  I don’t want to talk about it, I want to be about it.

Nine Weeks Left

Its funny, the thing I’m worried about most is getting this boat ready. I’ve never tried to get sponsored to do a trip before; in the past I just worked hard, saved my money, and did my trip. It took me nine months to get the money for my first trip, I was 20 and saving money to ride a bicycle alone through Loas, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. It took me nine months to save enough money to do a 3 1/2 month trip, with one third of my money going to the plane ticket. To call that trip low budget would be a understatement. I slept anywhere and everywhere. I spent 100 days biking through jungles, mud hut villages and big cities. You think traffic is bad on the Interbelt you should try rush hour in Siagon. My second trip took 5 years to prepare, as sailboat is a lot more expensive then a bike. Well that and I had to teach my self to sail. Never the less, I was able to take my Pearson 323 single-handed from Annapolis to Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and back to Annapolis. Again, money was tight. In 15,500 nm I only stayed in one marina. It was Novemeber and I was sailing around the North Sea and I thought, this is crazy, So I found a cheap marina downtown Amsterdam and keep my boat there for the winter. I always anchored, I just couldn’t afford marinas at 35 euro($50) a night.

Sponsorship is a different story, in order to get a company or private individual to donate money you must be able to sell yourself and your idea. The skills a person needs to cross a ocean are quite different than the skills a person needs to convince other people that your goal is a worthy enough cause for them to part with there hard earned money. Its been a learning experience, but then again the second you stop learning is the second you stop living.

The Albin Vega 27 is coming along. The mast is out and new sails are being made. I ripped out the old bulkheads and took half the boat apart. Sometimes you have to tear a boat apart before you can put can put it back together properly. I still need a few more sponsors but all in all things are coming together. I feel confident that I will be able to leave by June 7th.

Matt