Origin of the Voyage
A thousand years ago my ancestors were farmers, fishermen, and sometimes Vikings living in Liland, a small town in the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway. The town was one of several associated with Borge, a large Viking longhouse where the Jarl and his family lived. Twice a year my ancestors were recruited to go Viking, traveling in small open boats powered by men rowing, or by wind on technically advanced wool sails.
In 1970 my friend Christine Olson invited me to go sailing. When I sat in a sailboat for the first time, Christine’s father handed me the tiller and mainsheet, and I went off sailing. I “remembered” how to do it. I realized I was a sailor. I promised at that moment to some day return to my ancestral home sailing my own boat.
All the sailing education, coaching, experiences, and terrors over the past 47 years have been preparing me and leading to the upcoming voyages. I shall strive to experience every land the Vikings touched, and of course, reach Liland.
Leg 1- 430 nautical miles
Leave Jamestown Rhode Island sailing East to leave Nantucket island to port. Turn NNE to Nova Scotia sailing to Halifax
Leg 2- 660 nautical miles
Leave Halifax and sail NE to Newfoundland. Round the Southern tip of Newfoundland and sail to St Johns
Leg 3- 1660 nautical miles
Leave St Johns and sail ENE to Dingle Ireland across the North Atlantic Sea
Leg4- 1100 nautical miles
Leave Dingle Ireland and sail around the Southern shore of Ireland, up through the Irish Sea to Scotland. Enter the Caledonia Canal at Corpach, pass through Neptune’s Staircase and on to Inverness. Enter the North Sea and sail North of Denmark to Henan Sweden
I’ve taken classes at Steve Colgate School, raced locally in New Buffalo and Michigan City starting in 1985 with Ron Lester as my primary teacher, though most of my crew members would not hesitate to give me advice. Perry Lewis from North Sails was another important instructor. He was with me when we won our section of the Mac in 1995. Regattas in Miami, Annapolis, and Newport in Mumm 36 and Mumm 30 as well as many races in Chicago and around Lake Michigan and Erie, climaxed with the Mumm 30 Worlds in Hilton Head completed the first phase of my sailing experience.
Resuming sailing in 2006 I sailed solo from New Buffalo to Bay Harbor and back and other smaller solo adventures. Beginning in 2009 with Vik coaching we logged thousands of miles in all conditions with the previously mentioned “astounding racing success”.
After the 2015 season Hope was shipped to Jamestown Boat Yard in Rhode Island. Vik introduced me to ocean sailing with 38 knot cold air sailing in April. Moose and I logged 1200 miles with challenging weather conditions including three days of unrelenting 35 knot breeze and 15 foot waves. We also dealt with sometimes scary navigational adventures and docking experiences.
Dave Rearick grew up in Indiana within walking distance of the southern shore of Lake Michigan. He began sailing on sunfish and lasers at age 12 and has now sailed for 45 years on all types of boats and in many of the major offshore races in the US. He has competed on the great lakes in 31 Chicago Mac and another 7 solo macs as well as many other racing events on the Great Lakes. He is a member of both the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society and the Lake Michigan Singlehanded Society.
From his early teen years, Dave has harbored the dream of sailing solo and competing in one of the major solo circumnavigation races. In 2011, supported by sponsors, Dave set about having a Class 40 built in New Zealand to compete in the Global Ocean Race scheduled for 2013. In December of 2011, Bodacious Dream, the Kiwi 40 FC designed by Farr Yacht Design was launched in Wellington, NZ. In preparation and training for the Global Ocean Race, Bodacious Dream was campaigned in the Atlantic Cup in 2012, the Quebec –St. Malo, France, The Normandy Channel Race, and the Mondial World Championships before Dave sailed her solo back to the US where she competed and won the 2012 running of the Atlantic Cup. When the race was postponed and later canceled, Dave set off with Bodacious Dream on his solo quest, circumnavigating in eight and a half months mostly along the traditional world race route.
Starting in Jamestown, Rhode Island, Dave stopped in Bermuda, Cape Town, South Africa, Wellington, NZ and then choose to divert from Cape Horn because of seasonal issues and continued thru the Galapagos Islands and Panama Canal before returning to Jamestown, RI. A trip of nearly 25,000 miles.
Dave resides in Indiana and continues to sail on the Great Lakes and other ocean events around the world.
Mike (Moose) Debone
Stared sailing by taking junior sail at MCYC. I would ride bikes down to the yacht club with my friend Rob McCann. After two summers of that my dad knew how much I was enjoying it and bought me a second hand Force 5 which we sanded down filled all the scratches and painted it this great burnt orange color.
5 years of sailing that and then I bought a used Hobie 16 for $500. Great big fun there. Randy Grow and I raced in division 10 on his 16 for a number of years traveling with the boat and camping. Also big fun. I still have 2 Hobies As I got older started in sailing keelboats mostly on a C&C 27 (Lew’s old boat formerly sails calls Tom Mullen has it now [Rocinante])
Did my first Mac on Celestial in 04. Did one every year after with the exception of the last 2 and one year I did two having done a solo as well as the reg Mac in 2010.
So that is like 13 Chi Macs plus one was a Super Mac which we won overall on Hope and a Bayview Mac. Two of the chi macs were double handed. Gobs and gobs of area three distance racing. Noods Verve tri-state etc.. Plus bouy bashing in MC.
Have also sailed from Los Angeles to Hawaii with a crew of 4 on a Tripp 40. 15 days on the water.
Last summer was spent sailing Aestivare by myself out of the Great Lakes and St Lawrence seaway to Nova Scotia as well as sailing around Martha’s vineyard, Nantucket and up to Halifax with Dr Leland. Not to mention this seasons adventures.
I hope that gives some insight into my background. I love to sail and hope to be doing it for a long time to come.
Woobi (pictured with Moose). Woobi is a gift from Mooses daughter and is our mascot for this adventure. Woobi is always at Moos’s side.
I started sailing in the Great Lakes in 1992 and slipped in South Haven for a number of years before relocating to Michigan City. We owned a Pearson 30 and cruised Lake Michigan during that time. I started racing in the Chicago to Mackinac race beginning in 1997. Since then, I have completed 17 Chicago Mac races and four solo Chicago Mac challenges. Currently I own a C&C 110 and cruise the Great Lakes in most years. This year, my focus has been on preparing for the Hope transatlantic voyage and my boat will not see water this year. I plan to back on the water in 2018. Long range plans are to do a transpacific crossing to Australia in 2020.
This crossing offers me an opportunity to learn the nuances of ocean sailing from the experts.
Summary of the Boat
I’ve owned several boats, from Optimist dingy to high tech racing keelboats. I’ve been blessed with wonderful crews. Racing successes led to more time spent racing, and less time with my wife and growing sons. I had never lost sight of my promise to reach Norway. Becoming aware of the conflict between sailing and my family, after the Mumm 30 World Championships in 1998 I quit sailing.
As my children grew up and moved away, I felt a stronger yearning to fulfill my promise.
In 2003 I began seriously considering purchasing a boat which could withstand the conditions to which I anticipated subjecting her. Criteria included sea-worthiness, durability, aesthetics, and small enough to make purchase feasible. I was led to Najad 332, having a well-tried design with further refinement by Judel-Vrolijk. Designed for the North Sea, built in Sweden, the 332 can handle virtually anything. The decks are teak, certainly not a race boat feature, but are the safest, most durable, and most beautiful. Below decks is environmentally sourced African mahogany and green leather upholstery, and teak and holly sole. I added a taller carbon fiber mast and carbon boom anticipating great lakes light air sailing. Also a carbon fiber retractable sprit for masthead asymmetrical spinnakers.
I had no intention to race.
I purchased Hope in 2005, cruised and daysailed for a few years. In 2008 on a friend’s boat I raced to Mackinac. Again seduced by the thrill of racing, and with lots of excellent advice, a crew was assembled under Vik Warren’s leadership. Hope had astounding racing success over the next six years, particularly distance racing, culminating with a first overall in the 2015 Super Mac.
Completing our racing career on a decidedly high note, full focus was now on ocean sailing short handed, working toward keeping the promise.
Further modifications included new cruising sails, furling asymmetric spinnakers, an inner forestay on which to hoist #4/5 and storm stays’l, a fixed sprit of 125% J replacing the retractable, solar panel and hydrogenerater, wind-powered self-steering, and water maker.