Thursday, April 10, 2008

"In Medias Res"

Though my favorite high-school English teacher, Ms. Lord, wouldn't believe it I do remember something from The Odyssey- that the story began "in medias res," or "in the midst of things." Hopefully the parallels between my Atlantic rowing expedition and The Odyssey end there, but one thing is certain - there's no way that I'll be able to cover on this page everything that the Row for Hope team has accomplished up to this point. Instead, this story will start "in medias res..."

Over the last two and a half years we've built from the ground up a healthy 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity that is poised to break new ground in the fight against cancer. We've had designed and built an unusually small but incredibly sea-worthy ocean rowboat and named her Liv, after the old Norse word for "protection." Though by reading this account of my project you'll gradually get caught up on what we've accomplished to date, the purpose of this is really focused on the future and what we'll accomplish over the next year.

I can assure you that we're aiming high - a year from now I will have rowed across the Atlantic ocean in a nineteen-foot boat, Row for Hope will have funded cutting-edge research at a leading institution, and, with our donors' help we will have put ocean rowing on the forefront of the next generation in fundraising strategies.

For now I'll leave you with my favorite picture of the moment, taken on a morning row a few days ago:

1 comment:

usrowboy said...

Paul,
Congrats on getting this far! This is more than 75% of the battle. The row is the fun part :)

In 1969 Phil Bolger (Gloucester MA) designed a one man ocean boat for me but my thoughts at the time were that it was far too small to carry enough food and gear. I also came to my senses! (see Bolger: Small Boats) He also designed a two man boat for me but that project never really started. The "Dovekie design built by Edy and Duff in MA is eerily similar.
He also designed a boat for the late Ned Belik who rowed from Cape Cod almost to Ireland but perished at sea. The boat was found intact, but Belik did not have his tether attached. (heed the advice of others should they tell you to call it quits) So there is one such ocean rowing designer.
The old plywood 24'3" boats were clunkers, weighing in at over 720lb minimum. They had long straight keels and when you stopped rowing, the boat turned broadside to the wind and waves. Not good. They were also rather slow. But the fact that you have a composite boat is better for both strength, watertight integrity, and hopefully speed.
We've spoken in person and on the phone. If you need to reach me for any input feel free to email usrowboy@nj.rr.com
Regards, and if I dont' see you before you leave, safe journey!
John Zeigler
Atlantic Rowing Race 2001