The Search for Nimbus

London Callers,

I have been sitting on my hands for a couple of days in relative silence. Not because I was afraid to face my supporters (and distractors), but because I didn’t know what to say. I had my last Hail Mary this morning with Garmin. Their office hours are M-F 7-7 (some office hours for an SOS GPS company), so I didn’t want to give anyone false hope with regards to locating our boat, Nimbus, but I had been holding out hope that they could ping their device that is still attached to our mast. Interestingly, I couldn’t simply do it on my own as I needed the serial numbers of the device to ping it. Seems like an odd sort of safeguard. No such luck though. The device did in fact die on June 7th (with its last known location) even though I had attached the device to a small solar panel. As of this morning, the boat is officially lost at sea. Well, sort of…

The boat was already sighted by a fishing boat on June 7th, just floating there. They relayed the coordinates to a tug boat out of Chatham, but it was the end of the day and the tug was running low on fuel and there was some confusion. (Later, the fishing captain admitted that he thought about just towing it in, but thought the tug would do a better job). The fishing community has been notified that there is a reward if they can tow it in and to keep an otherwise keen eye out, so maybe.

If I had to guess, I would say there’s a 75% chance over the next month or so that it gets spotted…and depending on the weather, dropping down as time goes on and it floats further out to sea. When we deployed the ocean anchor on the 6th, we could see at least two other fishing vessels in the area. But, it is a pretty small boat and basically invisible in swells above five feet.

Five days as the captain though certainly left a lot to be desired. I didn’t make anyone walk the plank, keel haul anyone for insubordination or even perform a marriage ceremony. I was tempted to marry John and Klara serendipitously, seeing as they are both single. I even worked out a plan whereby I would whisper something like “John do you take this”, then out loud say, ahem “Thai Chicken Chili” (waving the dehydrated lunch option) then whisper “woman”, then out loud, “for better or worse”. Chris Fiorentino, one of our sponsors and a terrific lawyer told me it probably wouldn’t hold up in court even if I could get John to say “I do!” on video. (some captain power this is) Oh, the joke would have been on him though. I don’t think Captains perform divorce, so it might have been a sticky situation. It seems odd they only have the power to go in one direction. Bryan Fuller, Divorce Captain, at your service, next career? The couple could just push each other overboard, while I banged an oar. The first one to hit the water loses the rights to the dog.

But, silliness aside, I am crestfallen. If you ever wanted to learn how to spend your life savings in a year and a half on a fruitless endeavor, we should have a drink. I can help.

Still, it’s time to pull up my big boy pants and get back to life.

I have about two hundred emails to respond to and about an equal number of people to thank for supporting me financially. Over the course of five days, we had almost 1,500 people sign up for our newsletter and to follow us online. We were represented by Fox, NBC, NPR, BUR, WBZ, Brookline New, my Alumni (BU) News Letter, and by the Harvard Travelers Club (who gave me a terrific mug, thank you very much). Each of these organizations followed a story about a nut and boat to England but had to listen to me talk about the plight of Veterans (and well a lot of people) with PTSD and how rowing could change their lives. I don’t know if I got an equal return on my investment, but it wasn’t nothing and that’s something I can hold my hat on. A program I cared about deeply got it some light.

My next steps are go back to life. I have a small business to ruin, an app to delay, and classes to teach. Starting this Wednesday morning at 6:30AM, I will be back teaching classes. My Power Rowing team was so good about covering for me that I think I will likely only be teaching mornings and maybe Tuesday nights (maybe Friday too) and then filling in here and there. It’s honestly probably what I am best at and there are so many faces that I miss. It won’t be the worst summer.

AND if…the Nimbus (named for my bunny rabbit that I missed like crazy) is found floating around Nantucket and Chatham…well then, it’s game on for 2025. Fingers crossed. I will do better next time, I promise.


Bryan Fuller

(I swear, sometimes I would see Nimbus (the rabbit) just over the horizon, it was probably lack of sleep.)


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