May 24, 2018
9 Days Until Launch
Whelp, the time has come upon us yet again – only single digits remain in our countdown to launch from land only to see blue water for over a month! From here on out, I am going to try my hardest to send a daily update as to Anne (our rowboat) and her crew, as we fight against the Pacific to raise awareness and funds for Attack Poverty.
First and foremost, it’s important to thank everyone who has helped us reach this point. We wouldn’t be able to do this without a massive support system back at home. We have many great financial supporters that our outlined on our website and logoed on Anne’s hull, and we are looking to get even more to help Attack Poverty’s mission! Additionally, there are dozens of individuals who have offered their experience and time, and (perhaps most importantly) so many who cheering from home and sending love and prayers for our journey. A special head nod to my amazing wife and kids for putting up with me as we face yet another ocean.
Today, Anne survived her first major sea trials: the inversion test. Done in duplicate (one for testing the boat, and one for testing the crew), essentially Anne is intentionally capsized to test her self-righting ability. While at sea, should we encounter poor seas, there is always a possibility for the boat to capsize (turn upside down). As a rule of thumb, the main cabin hatch is almost always shut while at sea, which traps enough air in the cabin to make a nice, buoyant bubble that will want to rise up if Anne’s upside down. Today, we tested that theory…
Anne has spent the early part of the week on her trailer as Brian and I focused on outfitting her (making sure we have all the critical equipment, tools, spares, food, etc. for a successful crossing). We removed Anne’s anemometer (our wind monitor) to make sure she wouldn’t rip off from the test. For those curious as to why we didn’t test it with it installed, it’s not a critical piece of equipment to finish the row. It’s certainly nice to have, but we could finish the row after an inversion without it. Unfortunately, removing the anemometer damaged the cable, but we found a replacement and are good to go!
We Gorilla-Taped the hole for the cable, and towed the trailer over to the boat ramp to launch Anne. Brian directed me on the oars to the crane (we had no rudder in, so steered by oars), and ran two tow straps under the hull that connected to the crane. Then: they raised the crane. Anne flipped upside down, and in less than 10 seconds (which seems like an eternity) instantly bounced right back up. We checked for water, deemed it a successful test, and jumped inside ourselves. I threw on a rugby helmet, Brian threw on a thick wool cap, and we held on tight. Brian accuses me of giving him the “motherly seatbelt arm” as we rolled. It was much faster with us in the boat (500 more pounds of ballast!), and it was quite a wild ride.
For the record: the water’s chilly, but not unbearable.
Now, Anne’s back on her trailer, and Brian and I will finish her outfitting (installing our anemometer and rearview mirror, waxing the hull, and mounting our oars, etc.) through this weekend when we will start rowing her.