Category Archives: News & Blogs

R2AK: Go Small, Go Simple

Scott Veirs, along with his teammate, Thomas Nielsen, sail their home-built 17-foot Wharram catamaran past Mount Baker in the Race to Alaska.

The inaugural Race to Alaska (R2AK)
was a great big roll of the dice.

From conception, over a beer at the Port
Townsend Wooden Boat Festival in 2013,
until the race began on June 4, 2015, no
one knew what to expect — that was a
huge part of the appeal. The concept was
simple: sail, paddle, pedal or row, with no
support or motors, 750 miles from Port
Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan,
Alaska. Cross the finish line first, win
$10,000. Second place gets a set of steak
knives. And, finally, if you asked the race
committee a question that required them
to call a lawyer, you’d be disqualified.

While the requirements were minimal
— make two waypoints along the route,
and carry a SPOT tracker and a VHF —
the execution for the racers proved both
exhausting and exhilarating. As anticipated,
an innovative array of 55 craft
showed up at the start.

Scott Veirs and teammate Thomas
Nielsen, who competed in a home-built
17-foot Polynesian-rigged Wharram catamaran
with pedal assist, appreciated the
body heat generated by pedaling in the
rain and wind, while also increasing the
apparent wind to point higher. “Facilitated
by the boat tracking on the website
tracker.r2ak.com, it was not uncommon
for locals to show up within 15 minutes of
hitting a beach, bearing gifts and offers of
help and local knowledge of currents and
winds,” Veirs stated. “Seeing humpback
and orca whales was amazing, too.”

Race organizers picked a June time
frame to leverage long hours of daylight
and unpredictable weather. Early in the
race, unexpectedly strong and persistent
headwinds favored sturdy productionbuilt
multihulls, while knocking out
many of those who were counting on performance
in light air via human-powered
craft. And yet, a sail-assisted outrigger
canoe paddled by a six-man team did finish
in seventh place. Despite heavy attrition,
a feeling of man-against-the-sea camaraderie
prevailed throughout the race.

Twenty-eight boats remained in the
race after the qualifying leg from Port
Townsend. Fifteen finished in Ketchikan
before the sweep boat
reached them on July 4, and,
yes, there were fireworks that
night! An F-25C trimaran
handily won the cash after a
five-day, one-stop sprint. An
F-25SR trimaran and Hobie
33 battled for the steak knives
—finishing within four minutes
of each other.

By all accounts, race organizers
at the Northwest Maritime
Center in Port Townsend
met their goal: to “create a
conversation about engineless
voyaging and connect mariners
to the sea in an adventurous
way that doesn’t require a
huge budget” — similar to voyagers
Lin and Larry Pardey’s
adage, “Go small, go simple, go now.”
Scott Veirs, whose boat cost $2,000
in materials, felt that “collectively we
learned that many small boats can be effectively
moved without an engine, even
where tides rule.”

Maritime Center executive director
Jake Beattie was “blown away” by the
enthusiasm and worldwide interest in
R2AK, which was due in part to the entertaining
website R2AK.com, the race
blog and social media posts.

The R2AK isn’t for everyone and even the best sailors can meet their match on the way to Alaska. The race is so tough in fact, that the race organizers have called out Larry Ellison himself, offering up a set of the coveted R2AK steak knives if any boat that has sailed an America’s Cup can even finish the race – Check out the video below for their callout.

Do you think you have what it takes? The next installment starts in June of 2016, so get prepping!

For more information, visit the R2AK website.


Read more

R2AK: Go Small, Go Simple

Scott Veirs, along with his teammate, Thomas Nielsen, sail their home-built 17-foot Wharram catamaran past Mount Baker in the Race to Alaska.

The inaugural Race to Alaska (R2AK)
was a great big roll of the dice.

From conception, over a beer at the Port
Townsend Wooden Boat Festival in 2013,
until the race began on June 4, 2015, no
one knew what to expect — that was a
huge part of the appeal. The concept was
simple: sail, paddle, pedal or row, with no
support or motors, 750 miles from Port
Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan,
Alaska. Cross the finish line first, win
$10,000. Second place gets a set of steak
knives. And, finally, if you asked the race
committee a question that required them
to call a lawyer, you’d be disqualified.

While the requirements were minimal
— make two waypoints along the route,
and carry a SPOT tracker and a VHF —
the execution for the racers proved both
exhausting and exhilarating. As anticipated,
an innovative array of 55 craft
showed up at the start.

Scott Veirs and teammate Thomas
Nielsen, who competed in a home-built
17-foot Polynesian-rigged Wharram catamaran
with pedal assist, appreciated the
body heat generated by pedaling in the
rain and wind, while also increasing the
apparent wind to point higher. “Facilitated
by the boat tracking on the website
tracker.r2ak.com, it was not uncommon
for locals to show up within 15 minutes of
hitting a beach, bearing gifts and offers of
help and local knowledge of currents and
winds,” Veirs stated. “Seeing humpback
and orca whales was amazing, too.”

Race organizers picked a June time
frame to leverage long hours of daylight
and unpredictable weather. Early in the
race, unexpectedly strong and persistent
headwinds favored sturdy productionbuilt
multihulls, while knocking out
many of those who were counting on performance
in light air via human-powered
craft. And yet, a sail-assisted outrigger
canoe paddled by a six-man team did finish
in seventh place. Despite heavy attrition,
a feeling of man-against-the-sea camaraderie
prevailed throughout the race.

Twenty-eight boats remained in the
race after the qualifying leg from Port
Townsend. Fifteen finished in Ketchikan
before the sweep boat
reached them on July 4, and,
yes, there were fireworks that
night! An F-25C trimaran
handily won the cash after a
five-day, one-stop sprint. An
F-25SR trimaran and Hobie
33 battled for the steak knives
—finishing within four minutes
of each other.

By all accounts, race organizers
at the Northwest Maritime
Center in Port Townsend
met their goal: to “create a
conversation about engineless
voyaging and connect mariners
to the sea in an adventurous
way that doesn’t require a
huge budget” — similar to voyagers
Lin and Larry Pardey’s
adage, “Go small, go simple, go now.”
Scott Veirs, whose boat cost $2,000
in materials, felt that “collectively we
learned that many small boats can be effectively
moved without an engine, even
where tides rule.”

Maritime Center executive director
Jake Beattie was “blown away” by the
enthusiasm and worldwide interest in
R2AK, which was due in part to the entertaining
website R2AK.com, the race
blog and social media posts.

The R2AK isn’t for everyone and even the best sailors can meet their match on the way to Alaska. The race is so tough in fact, that the race organizers have called out Larry Ellison himself, offering up a set of the coveted R2AK steak knives if any boat that has sailed an America’s Cup can even finish the race – Check out the video below for their callout.

Do you think you have what it takes? The next installment starts in June of 2016, so get prepping!

For more information, visit the R2AK website.


Read more

Newport for New Porducts Winners

Newport Exhibition Group, owners and producers of the Newport International Boat Show, announced today the results of this year’s Newport For New ProductsTM (NFNP) Awards. Judged on Thursday during the opening day of the Newport International Boat Show and announced at an awards ceremony on Friday, the tenth-annual

NFNP winners are:

Best New Navigation Product: Dockwa Marine Reservation App

Best New Boating Operation, Maintenance or Safety Product: IMTRA Largo Tri-Color LED Dome Light

Best New Sailboat 30’ and Over: Arabesque 50

Best New Sailboat Under 30’: Fareast 28R

Best New Powerboat 30’ and Over: Hunt 32 Center Console

Best New Powerboat Under 30’: Seaway 24 Sport

People’s Choice Award: Hinckley Bermuda 50

A highlight of the industry, NFNP entries were open to domestic and foreign products launched in the U.S. after April 1, 2015 that made their boat show debut at Newport. Show attendees selected the People’s Choice Award winner; all other category winners were selected by a team of industry experts on the basis of innovation, value to the consumer, safety and aesthetics.

“We were extremely impressed by the number and quality of entries this year,” said Nancy Piffard, show director of Newport Exhibition Group. “We are thrilled to have these boats and products represent all of the new and exciting introductions at the Newport International Boat Show.”

The Newport International Boat Show opened on Thursday, September 17th and continues through Sunday, September 20th, 2015 along the Newport Waterfront on America’s Cup
Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. One of the largest in-water boat shows in the country, this
year’s event has over 750 exhibitors from around the world with an exceptional assortment of
boats of every type and style from 15 to 110 feet, and a variety of accessories, equipment,
electronics, gear and services for boaters. For more information on the 45th Annual Newport

For More information on the Newport International Boat Show and the 10th annual Newport For New Products awards, please visit
www.newportboatshow.com. Event updates are being posted as they become available and communicated on the show’s Twitter and Facebook accounts: @NewportBoatShow and www.facebook.com/newportboatshow, respectively.

To see all the nominees, check out our previews for Gear and Electronics and Boats.

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UNTIE THE LINES II #11 – Fighting For Leaving

Sometimes everything seems to happen all at once and I find myself overwhelmed, feeling lonely and exhausted. But usually, in the end, there is a solution to most things…you just have to get up and fight for it!

But although I got Karl more or less shipshape again, time is running and the weather does not look to promising…it looks like Cuba might have to wait until after hurricane season. But more about that…next week :)

Special thanks to Lancing Marine who had sent me an instruction sheet how I can fix my seized water pump. I did not manage to do it…but the reason was, that I did not use enough force…I watched the guy from the shop do it though and for the next time, I am all set to do it on my own – awesome!!!

Enjoy, ahoy, thanks for watching and see you next week,
Nike & KARL

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Project Atticus: From Riches to Rags

April 28, 2014

Lying contorted in the small engine compartment of our ancient Allied Seawind 30, Atticus, on the hard in a dusty Florida boatyard, I let fly another stream of salty expletives. Inside this hot coffin, baking in the Key West sun, an ear-splitting screech fills the cabin as my girlfriend, Desiree, grinds away at a fiberglass repair on the hull’s exterior. For hours now, I’ve been attempting to align our new 25-horsepower Beta Marine diesel engine. Every adjustment I make to the engine mounts seems to make matters worse, testing both the laws of physics and my dissolving sanity.

Time passes, the tools get stashed, and Desiree and I cook dinner under a green tarp strung from the boat’s bow to a chain-link fence, providing a slight bit of shade and shelter over what is our daytime workbench and evening kitchen. Bleary-eyed and in a heat-induced trance after 90 straight days in the boatyard, I cut vegetables while Desiree fires up the Coleman stove. When the food is ready, we sit down beside one another on a 2-by-8 plank in our stained, ragged clothes. Once again, we ruminate over the phantoms of deception that possessed our imaginations when we decided to fix up a completely neglected 50-year-old sailboat with the dream of setting off over the distant horizon.

“I can’t believe this shirt was brand-new when we got here,” Desiree says, looking down at her tattered garment. It was burned by muriatic acid and stiff in patches from dried epoxy, and the dust from the red and blue bottom paints gave it an interesting purple tint.

“Do you remember our first day here?” I ask.

She laughs, and then stares into the distance as she tries to recall what we once were — before the dirt, the sweat and the fiberglass.

Desiree takes a bite of her boatyard-curry special. “Yes, I remember, but I feel like that wasn’t me. I was a totally different person back then.”

“Tell me about it — this boat will make a man out of me,” I say, wiping fiberglass dust from my sweaty forehead. “As long as it doesn’t break me first.”

“Doesn’t it feel like forever ago when we were working on superyachts?” Desiree asks.

I sigh. “That was definitely another lifetime.”

January 20, 2014

Three months earlier, we awakened to blue skies and cool air on another beautiful south Florida winter morning. The V-berth felt warm and perfectly cozy to Desiree and me, two first-time boat owners finally living our dream. Our sailboat, which we’d purchased two weeks earlier, was nestled comfortably alongside the boatyard dock, where we waited patiently for Monday to come so we could haul her out and begin our refitting crusade.

OK, so the Seawind was in terrible condition: The sink faucets and water tanks were missing, the corroded stove was nonfunctional, the engine was completely shot, the interior was dotted with fresh water leaks, the hull was in desperate need of a paint job, the rigging was unkempt and questionable, and the sails were worn and frayed.

She was exactly what we’d been looking for.

We hadn’t felt confident enough to build a boat from scratch, and we’d quickly realized that the price of a fairly new cruising sailboat was well beyond our means. After much research, we’d decided to find a solid, compact and seaworthy used production boat to gut and rebuild. The Seawind we’d found seemed perfect. We’d specifically sought out a small fiberglass yacht between 27 and 32 feet because we knew we could mentally, physically and financially handle her maintenance once we were cruising.
Plus, we recognized that replacing nearly everything on the Seawind, and doing the work ourselves, would leave no question about the quality and reliability of her many systems. It would also increase our confidence in the boat and ourselves, and provide a great opportunity to learn more about boat construction and repair, matters in which we had little to no experience. Groundbreaking voyagers like Lin and Larry Pardey and Eric and Susan Hiscock, who’d proved that modest boats could serve as world cruisers, introduced us to the strategy of going small and simple through their books and videos.

So there we were, enjoying our toasty V-berth, when a knock on the hull broke our trance. We poked our heads out the forward hatch to see a middle-aged man standing on the dock.

“Hey guys,” said the jovial, excitable fellow, his blonde ponytail waving in the breeze with his every extravagant gesture. “My name’s Carl. I just wanted to say that, man, I really love your boat! I mean, you can really cruise in this thing, it’s designed to go places, you know, not just sit here in Key West and rot away like most of these boats here, ’cause man, that just sucks!”

Later, we joined Carl on the dock for a beer. A lifelong Midwestern dairy farmer, he owned a Westsail 32 and had been working on his boat in the yard for a few weeks. When his kids grew up and left home, he got divorced and moved to Key West.

“I had never owned a boat, never been on a sailboat, never even lived near the water,” he said with a sense of wonder. “But I needed a change and somehow I knew this was the kind of lifestyle I wanted.”

He’d been in Key West for over a decade and loved living on the water.

“How about you guys, you aren’t from around here, are you?” asked Carl.

“How can you tell?”

“First off, you have teeth. You know what they say here in Key West: The tourists are ruthless and the locals are toothless.” He laughed, kiddingly, but then pointed out our clean clothes and Desiree’s soft hair, rarities in this particular boatyard. Looking back on that winter day at the outset of our refit, I know now that we stood out in more ways than one.

We also exuded insecurity.

Never having tackled such an imposing job, we were incredibly nervous about the gigantic work list and long learning curve ahead of us. Furthermore, we felt like strangers to the grim and busy boatyard, an apocalyptic dustbowl where the aroma of dirt and polyurethane mingled with the scent of the more hygienically challenged yard transients, one of whom swore he was raised by wolves in Alaska.

Carl’s friendly overture raised mixed sentiments. We’d taken a huge step into a world that was a complete mystery to us, one that I had dreamed of for years and in which we were now fully immersed. But now that we’d gotten here, it all felt very overwhelming.

September 27, 2013

“Jordan, Jordan, Desiree.” The familiar voice pierced through the loud static of the hand-held VHF radio attached to my belt.

“Go ahead, Desiree,” I replied.

“Can you meet me on bridge deck aft? We spilled some wine on the teak and dinner service begins in 15 minutes.”

“Copy, on my way.”

I briskly made my way though the crew mess, where two crew members and a security guard sat playing cribbage, and past the crew galley, where the heat and the smell of baked salmon poured out into the hallway. I ran up the companionway stairs and outside on deck. As I opened the entrance door, the rock arch of Capri, Italy, passed in a blur along with the tall cliffs, blue haze, lush greenery and pure azure water. Having sat at anchor here for a month with the owners of the 315-foot luxury yacht on which I was employed, they were familiar sights.

I double-checked that my pressed, collared shirt was neatly tucked in and then hurried to the bosun’s locker — where I quickly found the stain remover, a scrub pad, a bucket, warm water and my trusty can of K2r — and finally made my way up one more flight of stairs to the bridge deck.

I spotted Desiree bent over wiping up the spilled red wine to prevent it from further saturating the teak deck. As usual, her hair was smartly braided and her clean white blouse was neatly pressed and tucked in. I joined her, but not before a stealthy pinch of her butt, something that she hated but I thoroughly enjoyed as we tried to hide any signs of mutual affection from the rest of the crew. We’d only recently begun cultivating a relationship during our passage across the Atlantic Ocean from Florida.
Desiree slapped my hand away and said quietly, “Listen, the family will be here in 10 minutes, so get to it.”

“Keep calm and let the deckhand take care of it,” I said.

Desiree shook her head, looked over her shoulder, kissed me on the cheek; in a blink she was gone, with the faint fragrance of her hair lingering in her wake.

As a master of marine cleaning products, I quickly applied each chemical in secret succession to bend the stain to my will, and escaped only moments before the owner arrived, leaving his high expectations intact and his world a cleaner place.

Working aboard superyachts was a great experience for Desiree and me. When the owner and his family were on board, we often worked 14-hour days. For Desiree, one of the family’s lead servers, owner trips were her time to shine. The level of service that most superyacht owners expect would leave the waiters at your local fancy restaurant cross-eyed. Desiree came to enjoy her responsibilities like an athlete in the midst of the big game. The dining area was her arena; dim mood lighting her Friday night lights; the billionaire’s family the passionate, exuberant fans.

I, on the other hand, was a deckhand. But it was also a good gig. I had some great experiences and learned much about ship maintenance and passagemaking. I stood bridge watch during long voyages, became a skilled driver of large tenders, acquired a 200-ton captain’s license, and was adept at painting and varnishing.

More than anything else, I became an ace chamois technician.

Let me explain. Our first mate once told his curious 10-year-old son that he was a professional rain chaser.

“A what?” his son asked, perplexed.

“Well, first I make the ship nice, pretty and dry. Every time the rain comes I run around and do it all over again. Right when I finish, and the boat is completely dry, another rain cloud comes. So that’s what I do; I’m a rain chaser.” His son, in the third grade at the time, went to school the next day telling stories of his father’s courageous rain-chasing exploits, adding to the lore of dangerous occupations by which seagoing men abide.

I was a rain chaser too.

Between owner cruises and charters, when the boat was on standby, we basically held down relatively normal 8-to-5 jobs. So we were able to spend every second of our free time exploring wherever it was that we happened to be docked. Once, we took advantage of a long weekend to rent a small casita in the wine country of Mallorca, Spain. There, we spent our days motorcycling around the island; rock climbing tall, forested peaks in sight of the ocean; drinking delicious cheap wine; and hiking to mountaintops for picnics of Sobrasada sausages, Manchego cheese, fresh baguettes and red wine. A candlelit dinner at our small country cottage was a perfect end to each day’s physical activity.

After one of these meals, settled on the patio under the warm Spanish sky and watching the stars, I asked Desiree to join me for an adventure I had dreamt about since I first began going to sea.

“I want to fix up a sailboat and explore the world like we have been but with the freedom of being on our own boat,” I said, ecstatic that I had finally popped the question but terrified by her potential refusal. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about doing for a long time, and I’d really like it if you came with me.”

She hesitated, flattered that I would invite her to take part in my dream, but cautious about a subject she knew nearly nothing about.
“Do you know how to fix up a sailboat?” she asked.
“No,” I replied, continuing with as much confidence as I could muster, “but we’ll figure it out as we go. How does anyone learn that sort of thing but by doing it?”

That night she agreed to join me, marking the beginning of our adventure together. We continued to work on the superyacht, saving every penny for our secret little plan, which we only spoke about quietly in the security of Desiree’s cabin. Slowly, the dream became more and more of a reality.

One night, talking about the adventure ahead of us, Desiree asked, “How long do you think it will take us to fix up the boat once we buy it?”
I thought for a moment.

“Oh, probably no longer than a month or two.”

August 28, 2014

It’s eight long months into our refit, and that first day at the boatyard when we met Carl, and the many nights we spent cooking outside under the tarp with our boat propped on jack stands, all feel like lifetimes ago.

Though it took us some time to adjust to the length of the project, Atticus is no longer on the hard, though we are still tied up at that same dusty boatyard. We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress; there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We now have a safe, seaworthy boat with a comfortable, livable interior. Yes, among other projects, we still have to replace the rigging, paint the decks and buy new sails. Our original work list, which we methodically put together after purchasing the boat, turned out to be a short outline of our total endeavors, not the fully fleshed-out script we thought it was. As anyone who’s tackled a major refit knows, every project on the list uncovered five more issues needing attention. “Since we’re here we might as well take care of it,” has become a constant refrain in our daily conversations.

Desiree and I have frequently wondered if we should have invested more of our savings for a more “complete” cruising boat, one with less work to be addressed. But we’ve come to conclude that by purchasing the Seawind, not only have we spent less money (perhaps marginally less, considering how many times we had to re-do projects), we’ve also had the opportunity to attend the DIY school of hard knocks, and we’ve proudly earned an advanced degree in “What Not to Do” in boat construction and repair.

We can now tell the difference between polyester and epoxy by the smell of its grinding dust; we accurately know how much resistance our electronics create; we can spot and repair core rot; we can tell the difference between a rash from polyurethane foam dust and from silicon-bronze dust; we know what an overheated stuffing box feels like; and yes, we know how to properly align an engine. In short, we have learned many of the skills necessary to become self-sufficient, prudent sailors. We blend in perfectly with the overall milieu of the boatyard, a mosaic of tans, reds and whites. We stand in the corner with tattered clothes and dirty faces, still smiling. Well, most of the time.

We recently met a couple in the yard, Steve and Kathy, who own a large sailing catamaran from which they operate a charter business. When swapping stories one afternoon, we admitted to Steve just how naive we were when we first arrived at the boatyard. Steve said, “Yeah, but if it weren’t for naivety, would we ever do anything that we are truly proud of? If we knew all the pain, stress, anger and disappointment we might experience, would we even get out of bed in the morning? Naivety can be a gift!”

Sitting here aboard my sailboat, I often wonder, what is a dream? Is it anything like reality? In my experience, nothing ever really happens or feels the way we expect it to. And that’s life. So maybe the important thing is the act of dreaming. Like the children we all once were, we dreamers imagine the world in ways that we desperately and naively want it to be, and pursue our dreams with every ounce of our beings. All I really know is that soon we’ll be sailing, and this one dream will actually come true.


A native of Santa Cruz, California, Jordan Wicht studied film production at San Diego State University before embarking on a life at sea. World traveler Desiree Golen worked in Silicon Valley before joining Jordan to chase their cruising dreams. Together, they’re putting the finishing touches on Atticus in Key West and aiming for a spring departure. For more on their refit and ongoing adventures, including videos, photos and blogs, visit their website www.projectatticus.com.

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Sailing Was More Than A Presidential Respite

Michael Butler

John F. Kennedy, sailing in the 1950s, in a photograph taken by a friend, Michael Butler, who had not authorized its distribution before now.

Politicians who sail may be vulnerable to complaints that the sport seems expensive and elitist. But there were two presidents in the last century who were serious sailors, and both succeeded in weaving the pastime into their political identities.

At age 9, in 1891, Franklin D. Roosevelt was taken by his father, James, aboard his 51-foot sailboat Half Moon down the Hudson and then up the New England coast to the family’s summer cottage in Canada, on Campobello Island in New Brunswick. By 16, Franklin was commanding his own sloop, the New Moon, and navigating the island’s fabled tides. He absorbed himself in naval history (including that of his own family) and started amassing a large collection of naval prints. With an interest in the sea that was central to his vision of himself, he persuaded the newly elected President Woodrow Wilson, in 1913, to make him assistant secretary of the Navy.

After Roosevelt was nominated for president in 1932, he set sail on a well-photographed New England cruise with his own sons on the 37-foot yawl Myth II, calling himself “an ancient mariner” and posing at the wheel. When he told reporters about why he liked sailing, he unwittingly conveyed part of his approach to political leadership, saying that the fun of the sport was that “if you’re headed for somewhere and the wind changes, you just change your mind and go somewhere else.”

Read the full story on Roosevelt and Kennedy on on the New York Times website.

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Ocean Amp – Your Daily Dose Of Ocean

Actually, what is the difference between White Spot Pirates and UNTIE THE LINES? I already tried to explain how the two of them are related on my website, but I hope to make it a bit more clear with this blog post. My far future goal for White Spot Pirates is that it will turn into more than just being the platform presenting the documentary UNTIE THE LINES. White Spot Pirates is about people chasing their dreams. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, to question what you really want in life and what might be keeping you from doing it and who you can overcome those obsticals in your way.

On White Spot Pirates I hope to share stories of people who have made their dreams come true or who are still in the process of making them happen. The prupose is to inspire others with these stories and to share what we feel when we go for our dreams: all those hopes and fears, excitements and frustrations.

Today I would like to introduce Anja Medau to you, Founder of Oceanamp.org. She is making the start of the “White Spot Pirate Of The Month” series. Thank you, Anja, for taking the time to answer my questions!

oceanamp_Anja

Anja, please tell us about the White Spot that you are currently chasing.

My “White Spot” right now is “OceanAmp“. My dream about a global Ocean information platform that includes a global Ocean-Radio station.

I am fascinated by oceans and their power. The way it calms us – I think everyone has his or her personal story connected to Oceans. It is such a big force of nature and it calls up the Ocean inside us.

After a vacation to Portugal some years ago finding out about the terrible effects of mass tourism to beaches and oceans I wanted to do something. Change something. Act. After some research I discovered, that there are many, many for me at that point unknown foundations, that do great things about our oceans. With OceanAmp on Facebook I started a little project to collect as much information as possible about their work, our oceans and their health. But I did not just want to collect them, I wanted to amplify news and actions about our Oceans. The good and the bad ones, the joyful and the sad ones. That’s what the “AMP” stands for.

Since I am a radio-journalist soon I did not only want to spread other peoples news and stories. I wanted to create them myself- on the medium I love- radio. But that is a big challenge.

What makes this dream so special for you?

Good question. It is so special for me, as I have been looking for a long time to get more meaningfulness into my journalistic life. At some point I was so frustrated about it and about the rules or limits that you have to face in that industry that I wanted to get out of it completely. So I became a Yoga Teacher and Somatic Movement Therapist. Hard to make a living as well.

Now I am back in media and Oceanamp is my absolute dream to journalistically work on issues about the oceans, that can be fun, but also meaningful and able to create change instead of only entertainment.

rainbow

How long were you thinking about this project before you actually decided to go after this White Spot? Can you describe the moment of taking this decision? What was the final trigger to do so?

I had been looking for ways to get more meaningful ways in my journalistic career for already a long time. To finally do the step and just make this virtual idea real was just last year. I thought and still think it is a great and important and missing thing in the world that can create a lot of change and awareness. There is various platforms doing so- working in journalistic ecopreneurship in the states- but as far as I know none in Germany. And I did not want to miss the chance to at least try and do it.

The exact moment I decided to do it was a moment when nothing worked anymore in my life. All was on hold. I had no existing, steady client to pay my bills, I had applied for hundreds of steady jobs for more than a year – just denials. I had applied for a visa in South Africa to work there- denial. I started working in a cafe of a friend of mine to pay my rent and learn as much about the café business to be able to start my plan B and open up a café at some point.

My life was a mess. So I thought: I need to do something. It is time for plan B. Either a café or this idea that has been in my head for so long.  And this idea if it works out can lead me to my own independent onlinemagazine and radio, creating my own future without having to apply and apply and knock on other peoples doors, who do not open. I decided to start opening my own door! And just JUMPED! There was nothing to loose anyway.

Did you have to overcome any obstacles / fears to pursue this dream of yours? If so, can you name one or two of the hardest ones? How did you manage to overcome them and where did you take the mental strength from to keep going when times got rough?

For realizing my project, I needed money. So I started talking to some friends in the startup industry, a startup incubator and other channels that financially support newborn webprojects. But all those venture capitalists and commercial financers were just thinking in Dollars, in consuming, in when to exit the project with how much money. Profit, profit, profit. For me that all seemed not fitting. Plus: I am not selling any products- I am providing and amplifying content. Meaningful content. So at that point the only solution was to start my dreamproject all independently by myself.

That was in September 2014.

Since then I am putting my time, money and soul into this project OceanAmp and OceanRadio. It is an own website now, I am starting to collect more authors from all over the world, I am producing OceanRadio all by myself as often as I can – AND: big- success- I managed to get my first content exchange partner- TheTerramar Project from New York!!

So little by little with all my 1-Woman Show power I am making little baby success steps to hopefully get closer to my dream and build a real global, Multimedia- Ocean Information platform.

But with this project times are just starting to get rough. The project is taking on momentum- but that means I need to put even more time and energy into it. And I am coming to a limit, as I have to do a more or less 4 day job as a radio presenter at the same time to make a living.

I need to struchure my days and times, when I can work on Oceanamp and when I cannot. When I need time to get energy back. I had to realize that I cannot work 7 days a week every day. It burns me out. It takes all my motivation from it.

I need to find partners to start a real company. I need to find financial partners that fit my goals, so at some point I do not need to work in different other jobs to make my living. So that is the obstacles that are in front of me. And I am right now starting to work on how to overcome them… structure, partners, patience, finding joy while you go…. Any other suggestions…?

What has changed in your life since you took this new route?

Since I started doing this project I have almost no more time. As I had too much time before now I am in an absolute lack of time. Time management and finding ways to still enjoy my days are Prio 1 on my list every day right now. That is the most significant thing that has changed so far. Starting your own business WHILE you are working elsewhere to make a living is not an easy thing. So finding ways to finance Oceanamp and give me more time to work on it is one of the most important next steps I need to take.

Does discovering your White Spot feel the way you expected it to or is it different and if so, in what way?

Well, OceanAmp is one of some “White Spots” I have had in my life so far. Becoming a Yoga Teacher has been one too. Becoming a Model, TV and radio presenter has been one in the first place. But: If you reach this goal or dream you thought you were having- often it is quite different in reality than this vision or fantasy you had about it. With whatever you do you will be facing obstacles, tasks you hate, people you do not want to work with but still have to, restrictions, and so on…. And so it will be the case with this project too. And yes, it will be shown in the future, how many of these obstacles I can survive, how hard the wind will be blowing against me … but so far I am confident I will get through it!

Did you already have the qualifications you needed to put your dream into reality or did you have to learn completely new skills? If the latter, what was your approach to develop them?

I still have to learn a lot of new skills in term of an Online Business.

There is lots of stuff I have to face that I actually HATE. Really. I am a radio person. I know my stuff . But doing an online magazine and starting it all on my own takes a lot of new knowledge: How does a blog work, how do all social media channels work you need to build, where can you find technical support, how does SEO work, how does content marketing work, where do you find authors, what legal things do you have to follow and which legal contracts do you have to follow, How do you edit fotos and so on and so on.

What strategy will I have since I have to do it all alone right now and my days only have 24hours. Right now my strategy is to do and learn things that I can, but get people and pay people to teach me other things or coach me, that I am not able to do yet. I also pay people who do things that I am not willing to learn. For example design a professional website for me. There is just things in my opinion I rather pay for than loosing my last nerv and in the end creating a platform that does not meet my requirements or standards in looks and/ or functionality.

What did you learn from your project? Are there any regrets?

I often ask myself when I cannot sleep at night as I am thinking of all the things that have to be done for that project: “why are you doing this to yourself”? “Why did you start all this”?

What I learn is that I have to take things step by step. Allow myself to have a process. I am used to know what I am doing and be very productive. Here I do not know much about so many things. And I can only do it as good as I can as much as I can. Hate that. Cause it gives me the feeling of always not meeting my goal. But big goals are too big to be completed in a day or a week or 6 weeks or 6 months. Big dreams take time. And I have to remind myself of that every day and every sleepless night again and again.

ocean

Is there anything that you need help with to fully conquer your White Spot?

Yes. I need partners. A technical partner and a marketing/ business development partner who comes out of the publishing sector. Urgently on the search for them.

Would you like to share anything else with the other White Spot Pirates here?

Ha! I LOVE to share everything! But I would love to do that in person. In the meantime- I’ll share this little motivational saying by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, 1st female President of Liberia, and peace nobel award winner:

If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough!

 

Thank you, Anja, for sharing your experiences with us and for inspiring us with your story! And I wish you all the best for your OceanAMP project. Maybe this post will help you to find a suitable business partner, who knows. So if anyone is out there who can help, please contact Anja.

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UNTIE THE LINES II #10 – Cartagena De Indias

This week in UNTIE THE LINES: A city tour through Cartagena (Colombia) on my Brompton folding bike and some boat projects! Matthieu went back home after his two week holidays and I am on my own again, prepairing for my trip to Cuba…

Coming up next week: Why I never made it to Cuba…

Enjoy and thanks for watching!

Ahoy, Nike & KARL

// Please remember that the videos are NOT real time videos! For real time updates, please visit my Facebook Page or become a Patron.

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UNTIE THE LINES II #9 – Tintipan & Rosario

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Beneteau and US Sailing Team up with Reach Program

Using sailing as an educational platform,
the US Sailing Reach Program
creates opportunities for middle-school
teachers and youth sailing program directors
to work together to teach students
sailing, essential academic skills
and environmental stewardship.

The program is designed to help schools
with their science, technology, engineering
and math (STEM) curriculum. During
2014’s Charleston Race Week, teachers
attending the program’s educator course
set the grounds for big changes in a South
Carolina school district.

Marion County, South Carolina, has
suffered an economic downturn, and the
education system is feeling the effects.
Wayne Burdick, president of Beneteau
USA, brought 10 teachers from Marion
County to Charleston to participate in
the Reach Educator Course. The plan
was to initiate a STEM learning program
within the district to help revitalize
student interest in these subjects. For
Burdick, Marion County’s struggles hit
close to home, as the town of Marion is
home to a Beneteau factory that is a large
part of the region’s economy.

With the help of Nathan Indeegard, a
representative for the Marion school district,
a new Reach club was set up at Creek
Bridge Middle-High School. Both teachers
and students learned about wind
speed, buoyancy and sailing, and built
anemometers and clay boats to put their
newly learned skills into action.

This past March, the students toured
the Beneteau factory in Marion. Armed
with the new information they had gained
through the Reach club, students were
enthralled by the boatbuilding process
and excited to see what they’d learned in
the classroom applied in the real world.

Greg Fisher, director of sailing at the
College of Charleston, then invited 27
students and six teachers from Marion
to visit Charleston and spend a day on
the water with the varsity sailing team.

Though only two students had prior experience
with sailing, by the end of the
day, all 27 students were comfortable
with their newly found sea legs and excited
about the future of sailing.

The program is ongoing, and the initial
success is promising as an example
for similar school districts. Burdick has
mentioned plans to implement the Reach
Program in five more local schools, with
the hopes of garnering a similar response
and teaching students skills while building
awareness of environmental and
ocean stewardship.

Last week, Wayne Burdick, president of Beneteau’s North American Boat Operations in Marion, SC and Windy Key, the training communications administrator for US Sailing appeared on NPR to discuss the ongoing program and the US Sailing Reach initiative. The interview can be found here.

For more information on the US Sailing
Reach Program, visit their website at www.reach.ussailing.org.

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Hand’s Across the Sea Caribbean Getaway Contest

The Caribbean is a beautiful place, and Hands Across the Sea wants to take you there!

The nonprofit’s annual American Sailing Association/Hands Across Sea Caribbean Getaway Sweepstakes begins today. It’s easy to support a great cause and be in to win one of two great Caribbean experiences.

Make a donation to Hands Across the Sea to support literacy for Caribbean children, and you’ll be entered to win a one-week catamaran charter for four people in Grenada, courtesy of Sunsail Yacht Charters and LTD (“Live the Dream!”) Sailing.

Second prize is also spectacular: seven nights for four (two rooms) at The Veranda Resort, a luxury retreat on Antigua, courtesy of Elite Island Resorts.

You’ll be helping Hands Across the Sea put new amazing books into the hands of Caribbean children, from pre-school to high school.

Entries close at 12:01 AM on October 1, 2015.

Find out more details and enter here.

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Beneteau First-22 Giveaway

Beneteau America

Beneteau announces the giveaway of a new First 22 sailboat during the upcoming United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, October 8-12, 2015. The giveaway is part of Beneteau’s 30th Anniversary celebrating 30 years of boat building in the USA. Show goers who purchase their tickets online and are eligible to win will be automatically entered.

On-site participation will be open
during show hours, October 8-12. At the closing of the Giveaway Period, a random drawing will determine
the winner of the grand prize: a Beneteau First 22 which will be on display at the show.

While Beneteau has been manufacturing sailboats and powerboats for over 130 years, Beneteau’s
production facility in Marion, South Carolina, officially started operations in 1986. Today, the plant counts
145 employees and continues to produce 7 Beneteau models; including the First 22, which was developed
in collaboration with the American Sailing Association and launched last year. The plant also manufactures
six Oceanis models ranging from 31 to 45 feet for distribution in the Americas.

Designed to help commemorate three decades of craftsmanship and excellence in the US, the First 22
Giveaway is part of a yearlong celebration. “As a leader in recreational boating, we feel it is Beneteau’s
responsibility to continue to invest in the development of entry-level sailing vessels that make sailing more
fun and more approachable.

“The goal with the First 22 Giveaway is two-fold: celebrate our 30-year
Anniversary of boat building in Marion with a splash and give awareness to this fantastic starter boat that
we know will attract newcomers to sailing,” commented Laurent Fabre, President of Beneteau America.

“The First 22 is a true milestone for Beneteau. For the first time, a boat is developed for a specific market and
built solely outside our European factories. Traditionally, Beneteau starts out building a new boat in Europe
then exports extra sets of molds to build the same model in our factories overseas – like in the US or Brazil,”
explained Fabre.

“We are excited to show the American public that Beneteau is more than ever dedicated to serving their needs. And thirty years later, we are still listening.”

The winner will be selected by a random drawing at Beneteau’s headquarters in Annapolis, MD on or about

October 21st available on the Beneteau America web site at www.BeneteauAmerica.com/Rules.


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