Getting the Boat Ready and Planning Practice Rows

London Calling Rowers, 

During our weekly team zoom meeting, my first mate confessed to me ‘this won’t seem real until we are down to the number of days left equal to the number of days we will be gone’. So, using his math, the illusion that this isn’t reality can persist for another three weeks before it comes crashing down on my head.

Even still, a persistent nightmare plagues me. I push off from shore and suddenly we are alone on the open sea and my valiant crew looks to me and suddenly they realize I don’t know what I am doing. I am a fraud; I am unmasked and my heart races as I wake up in a cold sweat…You can deny the logic of it all. Adding to this, next week I am going to speak to a room full of people smarter than me to tell them I am about to do something crazy. (I know it’s crazy too, even if I don’t let on that it is.) So, you know it’s nuts and I know it’s nuts, yet you don’t debate physics in the airplane door with your chute on. You just jump. My old drill instructor at Airborne School once said to me, “Sergeant Fuller, all you have to do is step out of that door, the laws of gravity will do the rest.” I smartly replied, “what if my chute doesn’t open?” Drill Instructor noted, “then you have the rest of your airborne life to consider the choices you made to get here.” Spoiler, my chute always opened, but let’s not get into the details of the landing. 

This week marked the third time that the electronics team down at the ship yard noted that it was going to be once again more expensive than we anticipated. Yacht, sailboat, even a row boat, it doesn’t matter, the rules of boats applies. B.O.A.T, bust out another thousand. With these added panels, I am hoping to create enough power that I will be able to run a Starlink and actually have wifi on board. This way I can send a live feed back home. I have this funny idea in my head that we have to abandon the boat at some point and are rescued, but the boat and the electronics were so well done that it keeps sending a signal without us and it goes on to have great adventures. The boat becomes a Youtube sensation visiting Iceland, crosses the Northwest Passage, down through the Bering Straits and winds up in Tahiti where it appears on MTV. It gets a huge sponsorship from Red Bull and people are like Bryan, why didn’t you do that? There must be a word that combines vanity and hubris and stupidity, if there is surely my picture will likely be requested for Merriam-Webster. 

Some bit of positive news, I bought our cold weather gear from Musto last night. (They weren’t interested in sponsoring us) It was funny explaining to the customer service rep what I needed it for…”rowing, no no, not sailing…nevermind, (she was older and hard of hearing) yes sailing the North Atlantic, what do I need.” She was like, “oh, you will need this and this and this.” I said, “lady, we aren’t going to the moon,” when I got the price. (She heard that part) Sarcasm is deeply a New England thing lost on the uninitiated and she wasn’t having any of it. “Well then, I guess you will freeze.”

I am hoping to get the boat on the water by the first week of April. I am just waiting on the final installation of some extra solar panels. My plan is to park it in East Boston shipyard and do training rows across the harbor to Seaport and allow people to sign up to join us. It think it would be great advertising to see it make the trip back and forth, all bright and yellow, plus I could invite sponsors or journalist for the short adventure. Possibly, treat them to lunch at Temazcal. They have a dock right outside. Everyone should have a chance to experience our adventure. And, as much as I poke fun at myself, it truly is an adventure. It is an adventure of a lifetime and my dream is to share it with as many people as possible. 

Sincerely, Bryan

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