All posts filed under “Budgeting

Sailors, I need your help – Win stuff!

Campaign Progress (read below to see what these numbers mean):

of the required users
of the required placemarks

As avid readers will already know, I went back to Australia for a couple of months to see family, and also to work in order to pay for all this madness. I managed to get quite a lot of work done, and was able to put together enough money to truck my boat across America, as per the plan. However, past that… The budget doesn’t allow for much else. That all being said, there is a way out of this, thanks to the founders of Bluemapia.com – The same company I’ve been working with, for the past several months. They’ve put together a sponsorship package which will provide me with the much needed funding to cross the Pacific this year – However, in return I need to achieve certain goals on the Bluemapia.com website. To briefly explain, Bluemapia.com is an online web application which allows users to freely sign up, and contribute sailing related media and information. The concept hinges around user-generated content, termed ‘placemarks’. A placemark is a piece of information (photo, text, video etc) directly related to a specific point on the earth (a waypoint). My goals are to get 300 new users on Bluemapia.com, and 600 new placemarks. That might seem like a lot, but it’s not – There are thousands of monthly viewers reading this website, and a large majority of them are sailors – You already have the knowledge, and I’m kindly asking you to consider putting it on Bluemapia.com to help me out, and also to help build up a phenomenal sailing resource. It costs nothing to signup, and everything you submit is Creative Commons licensed – That means it’s yours forever.

For all your help, and if these goals are met… I’ve organised some cool stuff to give away: Through my own volition and unrelated to the Bluemapia.com sponsorship arrangement, I’ll be giving away a prize each to the top three placemark contributors. They’re all solo sailing related, and will be shipped to wherever you are in the world (including the three great capes!):

First prize – A SPOT Messenger – Update your position via the push of a button, to notify your friends and family, while also publishing it live to the web.
Second prize – Four sailing books every solo sailor (or, for that matter, every sailor!) should own: Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum, Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi, The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier, Alone through the Roaring Forties by Vito Dumas.
Third prize – Sailing the world alone – A DVD documentary on the 1994 singlehanded BOC Challenge.

To take part, assist in my passage across the Pacific, and contribute your sailing knowledge to Bluemapia.com – Sign up and start adding placemarks. A counter will be added showing how progress is going in the coming days.

Thank you Bluemapia, and to everyone who continues to read this site, write comments, emails, and just show an interest!

Nick.

$10,000 prize – Vote for Constellation!

My dream is to finish this voyage: To truck Constellation overland to San Francisco, sail the South Pacific, ride a bicycle across America, and sail through the heads into Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne – I’d like to achieve this by the end of 2009. ING Direct in Australia are offering a prize that could make that happen – They’re offering $10,000 as first prize for their ‘My Dream Is’ competition. This voyage fits perfectly into the criteria, and so I’ve entered. The competition rules encourage entrants to include ING branding in their photo – I’ve attempted that, and I hope the message of what I’m trying to do comes across.

Click on the above image or here to vote and rate it as ‘5’. The public choose the top 100 images for the competition, and then after that, it’s up to panel at ING to decide who’s dream is worth funding!

It will only take a minute of your time, and doesn’t require you to fill out a form, enter your details, or anything else – Just a mouse-click. Voting stops on the 14th of December. (Note: The site takes a while to load properly – Give it a second)

Thanks everyone! nick

Constellation, Cape Cod, Planning

Wow, sorry for being so terrible on updates… I’ve been busy with a new job (yes, I have a job – More in another post!), a little traveling and more work on Constellation, as she continues to get revamped for the voyage ahead. While I haven’t been great on posts, I do upload photos and other things periodically – The frontpage always contains all updates related to my trip – Photos, twitter, blog etc.

Mari, who has been dedicating a lot of time and effort to help me over the past month, continues to assist, and Constellation is really coming together. We’ve even managed to build a new boom from a Catalina 30, that was lying in the yard in gross disrepair. With all manner of noisy tools, we cut two feet off the end, re-fashioned the end-boom roller fitting, and made various other modifications. With most of the new boom finished, we mulled over how it was actually going to connect the boat, at which point Mari disappeared to his computer and made an Autocad drawing of the stainless pieces we needed. He then emailed off to his friend Peter in another state, who had the pieces made and Fedex’d back – Genius! Thanks so much to Peter for helping out! If I hadn’t ended up being surrounded by engineers, I would have been left to fashion it Nick style, which no doubt would have involved lashing the boom to the mast with tin wire and electrical tape.

While Mari did beautiful things with hot air guns and soldering irons:

All new panel electrics

I pulled the starboard toe rail off, and re-bedded it in an attempt to stop the mysterious leaks I’m encountering. Constellation continues to look forlorn on land, but, of all the boats in the yard, she definitely looks like she’s sailed the furthest, and in my opinion, looks pretty cool with all that gear hanging off the stern (not including the fenders)!

Constellation, Long Island

My new job allows me to work from anywhere (perfect!), so I took the opportunity to visit Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I’m really falling in love with the North East of the USA… And I’m putting on weight as I sample as many New England Clam chowders as possible. I’ve even had lobster roll or two, in attempts to make up for overdosing on Ramen for the past year. I might grow a big bushy beard and start wearing flannel.

The US media continues to attract my attention with its madness over the economy and the election. I remember how lucid and relative things felt, when I was somewhere about here. It’s places like that where you have happy existential moments, if you can imagine such a thing.

As to how Constellation will get to the Pacific, I still don’t really know. I do hope with my new job I will be able to save enough to truck as planned, and as the petrol prices seem to have plummeted of late, maybe it will become more affordable. I’ve recently heard rumours that boats have traveled overland via the Canadian railway, but I can’t really find any clear evidence or services. Is there anyone out there that knows something about this?

I’m very much looking forward to some deep offshore sailing with Constellation, and I really just need to get to San Francisco for an April/May 2009 departure. I now look at a map, and while we have a long way to go, sailing direct from San Francisco to the Marquesas, or even Fiji direct chops off a massive part of my voyage in a single stretch. If all goes to plan, I may very well be in Australian waters by this time next year. That may sound like a long time, but it isn’t – It’s just around the corner… Around this time last year, I was in France just about to do my first big offshore leg across the notorious Bay of Biscay, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Back then, I was terrified but adamant… Unsure of how I could keep things rolling. But we’ve come a long way since then, and now it’s all just a matter of more hard work, time, and good fortune.

Thanks everyone for your continuing support and good wishes – I continue to get emails every week from well wishers, and they never cease to amaze me!

nick