2014-05-08 / News

Bodacious Dream reaches Galapagos Islands on circumnavigation

By Ken Shane

Dave Rearick reached the Galapagos Islands last week on his circumnavigation of the globe. He came across the famed tortoises while he was there. He will leave for the Panama Canal this week. 
Courtesy / Dave Rearick Dave Rearick reached the Galapagos Islands last week on his circumnavigation of the globe. He came across the famed tortoises while he was there. He will leave for the Panama Canal this week. Courtesy / Dave Rearick Dave Rearick arrived late last week at Academy Bay on the southern edge of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands. His arrival completes the latest leg of his solo circumnavigation of the globe aboard the Class 40 sailboat Bodacious Dream. Rearick left Jamestown on Oct. 2 and has made stops in Bermuda, South Africa and New Zealand.

The journey from Wellington, New Zealand, to the Galapagos took five weeks, which is the shortest leg that Rearick has sailed since the initial leg from Narragansett Bay. Bodacious Dream covered about 6,500 miles on the most recent part of the journey, and in all, Rearick has sailed more than 21,000 miles since leaving Jamestown.

The stopover in the Galapagos, which is expected to last for one week, represents a change in the route from Wellington. Rearick was originally going to sail around Cape Horn and into the South Atlantic Ocean, but delays in his journey would have forced him to sail the treacherous cape when conditions are at their most fearsome.

“I guess that part of the dream will have to remain on the list for now,” Rearick lamented.

When he arrived in Wellington, the possibility of rounding Cape Horn remained, but a weather system forced him to stay in New Zealand.

“We still considered it a possibility to head around Cape Horn until a cyclone got wound up to the northeast of New Zealand, and I had to wait until it settled down before taking off,” Rearick said. He wasn’t able to leave the North Island’s capital until March 27. “That would have put me at Cape Horn about the equivalent of Oct. 20 in the Northern Hemisphere, just too late to be sensible.”

Rearick said that he enjoyed “wonderful” sailing along the route from Wellington to the Galapagos. The wind only kicked up above 30 knots a few times, and he was able to maintain the course that he set. The mental game while sailing long distances alone is another matter, however. Rearick reported that he feels lonely at times, and wishes that he could share his experiences with other people. While he is communicating with the world with photos and blog posts, there is a delay before people are able to see his dispatches and read about his adventure. (People can follow his journey at Bodacious DreamExpeditions.com.)

“There are stars enough to fill your pockets to overflowing,” Rearick said. “The Southern Cross is a special sight for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. The sunrises and sunsets have been amazing. The sea birds – albatross, gulls, petrels – all seem to stay with me and keep me company. Just watching them float back and forth is like listening to soft music.”

Overall, Rearick said that he is coping well mentally and emotionally. The real test, however, will be when he returns home and reintegrates himself back into his daily life.

“Work, friends and people all will provide various challenges. Probably the most difficult challenge will be facing it head-on and not allowing myself to turn and run back out to sea to get away from it all.”

Although he will only be in the Galapagos for a short time, Rearick hopes to observe some of the wildlife for which the islands are known. In particular, he would like to have a look at the famous Galapagos tortoise, the largest of its kind. The tortoise can reach a weight of 800 pounds, and has a lifespan of more than 100 years in the wild.

When he leaves the Galapagos Islands, Rearick will head for the Panama Canal, a journey of about 900 miles. He expects the trip to last about a week, given the light winds that are characteristic in that part of the world. Once he’s at the canal, it will take Rearick another week to transit the canal’s system of locks and lakes, and emerge in the Caribbean Sea.

“It’s an amazing planet this whole Earth,” he said. “I am just starting to gain a comprehension of the size and magnitude of everything, and how small, but significant, each of us is in the way we live. While the ocean is so large, thousands and thousands of miles of water, from Bodacious Dream I can only see about 3 or 4 miles in any direction, and that enforces the significance of my impact. I’m not a little thing in a huge ocean. I’m a significant part of my actual neighborhood.”

Rearick hopes to complete his circumnavigation and arrive back in Jamestown around June 14.

Return to top