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    Question - "What does having a dream mean to you?"
    Answer - "A dream is a goal glimmering in the distance; it is an inner calling which, when accomplished,
    serves as the rite of passage into wisdom." Erden Eruç - Sep 17, 2004

    Image: Lydia scanned the hull to capture input data for 3D digital rendering. Lydia scanned the hull to capture input data for 3D digital rendering.
    Image: Kurt's work gave us a way to virtually browse the rowboat. Kurt's work gave us a way to virtually browse the rowboat.
    Image: We now have the hull shape in digital format. We now have the hull shape in digital format.
    Image: Another perspective Another perspective

    Message to the world: We need help
    Jan 1, 2021    
    I have a new endeavor which requires partnerships, visibility and most importantly appropriate funding. You may treat this as my New Year’s Resolution.

    I am building a new rowboat. I have another expedition in the works. I would like to row across the Pacific Ocean. I will raise awareness about plastics in our oceans. I will create educational value. I want to collaborate with scientists. Furthermore, I will establish a half dozen Guinness World Records and historic firsts.

    Time is of essence. If I can stick to my schedule, I intend to launch from California shores in May, a month dictated by storm seasons. I have through March to complete the build, April to test it. I intend to use this new vessel to resume my Six Summits Project in memory of Göran Kropp who was known for bicycling from Stockholm to Nepal while towing his climbing gear on a trailer then climbing Everest in 1996.


    Göran fell to his death while rock climbing together in eastern Washington in September 2002. I was his belayer and that accident changed my life. I had been dreaming of a circumnavigation by human power until then. On the flight back from his funeral in Stockholm that November, I drew the world map on a piece of paper and marked the highest summit on each continent except Antarctica. I would go to each of these peaks by human power then climb them; so the Six Summits Project was born.

    Before launching my expeditions, we established the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Around-n-Over in Seattle with a mission to educate and inspire especially children. Since then we raised and applied over 100,000USD for educational projects, I held many conference calls with distant classrooms by satellite phone from my rowboat and made an effort to meet students in their classrooms during my journeys that followed.

    Wasting no time, I left Seattle on Feb 1, 2003 by bicycle. I pedaled up to Alaska in winter conditions with studded tires and Göran-style with my climbing gear on a trailer in tow. With two other friends, we walked in snowshoes towing a sled up the length of the Kahiltna Glacier to basecamp. Two more team members flew in with supplies at the basecamp for the climb. We stood on the summit of Mt. McKinley on May 29, 2003, which became my first summit out of six. I then flew out of the basecamp to meet Nancy Board in Homer. We were married by an Alaskan native ceremony under two trees between two rocks inside a prayer circle on the shores of Sadie Cove situated across the Kachemak Bay. A cool glacier breeze descending from the head of that fjord was sweeping over our small wedding party, etching those moments in our memories.

    I purchased a used rowboat in 2004 and rowed solo across the Atlantic in 2006 from the Canaries to Guadeloupe to gain experience. Then between 2007-2012, I completed the first solo circumnavigation by human power, becoming the first person to have rowed the three major oceans while setting 14 Guinness World records in the process. My journey was such a daunting goal that to succeed, I had to become the person who could establish such historic firsts along the way. During my circumnavigation, I climbed Mt. Kosciuszko in 2010 and Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2011. With funds running out, I bypassed Everest, Elbrus and Aconcagua in favor of completing my circumnavigation. Media coverage was sparse and the lack of sponsorships due to the 2008-2010 global financial turmoil during my circumnavigation, did not help. Nancy and I funded half the expedition costs from our own family resources.

    Everest, Elbrus and Aconcagua remain on my list of summits to reach by human power before climbing each, respectively. Next up is Everest.

    Permission to pursue my dream

    Leading up to my circumnavigation by human power, there was a long period of paralysis by analysis while researching and seeking affirmation from potential sponsors. I had not yet mustered the courage to commit.

    I first started thinking about a circumnavigation in 1997 when I traced my finger across a map hanging on the wall of our software development lab in Silver Spring, MD. Then 9/11 attacks in 2001 rocked the country, the business world went into a tail spin, wiping out any chance of sponsorship discussions, giving me yet another excuse to stall. Göran's accident in 2002 was the harsh catalyst to snap open my chrysalis to give myself the permission to pursue my dream. Fitting the definition of a tragedy, it had taken the death of a friend on my belay for me to mobilize.

    20 years later, I am having a déjà vu experience with the full recognition that I am not getting any younger. I have had this simmering goal, an incomplete project seemingly deficient in commitment to continue ever since I completed my circumnavigation in 2012. I have since been delaying action using my lack of funds as an excuse, and lately blaming this pandemic which is proving deadlier than 9/11 ever was, caused by a virus more insidious than any known terrorist organization. This time though, I am wiser: I WILL NOT wait again for a tragedy to mobilize me.

    Pending sponsorship, I am committed to take on this expedition. I had to begin the process and trust that help would materialize as it had ubiquitously during my circumnavigation. Now, I am finding that materials sourcing will take longer during this pandemic. Therefore remaining orders have to be placed today to stay on schedule, hence my ask for your help to locate funding.

    I already started by building a canopy shelter next to our home in August to house my existing rowboat and to double as a workshop for the build. Then I had a surgery that I had been avoiding to address an adult umbilical hernia in October, lest it become a bigger problem later during my expeditions. My order of cedar strips took forever to rip and to sand, which I finally received mid-November. Then there was a hold up on my order of marine plywood which needed puzzle joints to be cut on the shorter edges for a longer glue up. The pandemic was gumming up supply lines and the milling process.

    I then assembled a 24-ft long 12”x12” strongback to build my new rowboat. I needed accurate forms to mount on this strongback. The chairman of our Board of Directors at Around-n-Over, Bill Hinsley introduced me to Mike Complita, the Principal in Charge at Elliott Bay Design Group which is an employee-owned naval architecture and marine engineering firm based in Ballard near Seattle. The offer was to carry out an accurate 3D scan of my rowboat. I knew that a 3D rendering would allow us to draw precise cross sections at any desired location, a fundamental need to get the rest of the build done right. So I decided to wait...

    On Thursday Dec 17th, I met Kurt Jankowski and Lydia Benger, two EBDG engineers. Lydia used a handheld laser camera unit to capture the 3D rendering as she slowly moved around my rowboat. She even got under my rowboat to capture details beneath. In the meantime, Kurt set up a different camera on a tripod which rotated 360-degrees on a vertical axis to capture and splice together a continuous image. Then he moved the camera to another location to repeat the process all around the boat and even on her deck. Once he uploaded these image captures for processing, what he obtained was a navigable 3D view of my rowboat.

    You can use this link and jump from circle to circle to browse my rowboat: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=pvDBTJwg2ew

    Kurt then converted those same images to a set of 3D plots to define the external surfaces of my rowboat, including her hull, cabin, front storage area, deck and transom. This allowed him to digitally slice my rowboat into cross sections which were two feet apart. When ready, he emailed those contours to a printing shop in Fremont. All I had to do was to drive there to pick them up.

    This was a significant step forward. I am grateful.

    Please stay tuned for progress news on the build.


    Previous Dispatches

    Longest time at sea...    May 16, 2019
    As of today, Jacob Adoram has been at sea for 313 days, longer than my 312 days 2 hour record which I held since May 2008 for the longest time at sea for a solo ocean rower. He will receive a Guinness


    Erden Eruç: ExWeb’s Newest Ambassador    October 13, 2018
    My relationship with ExplorersWeb began in 2005 as I was preparing for an Atlantic row. This community of explorers have been a


    We were proud    Nov 22, 2016
    Louis Bird and I successfully completed The Great Pacific Race from Monterey Bay to Honolulu between June 4 and July 29, 2016. We placed first among the “Classic Pairs” class of rowboats w

    Later dispatches - Previous dispatches

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