A bit stressed

There comes a time in every project where I am teetering between feeling like everything is totally out of control and very near complete disaster, and feeling the excitement of being so close to completing a significant benchmark. I'm there right now. And I'm also being a bit dramatic. Things are nowhere near 'crazy out of control', but there are SOOO many items going through my brain, that I'm having problems turning all the thoughts off for sleep.

The reason for the stress is because I have made a decision on a really cool intermediate challenge and I am going to make that announcement at the end of August. For now, know that a., it is VERY cool (like I already said), and b., involves partnering with an accomplished ocean rower, and c., it will be a record attempt (of course - right?) that we think we can totally kill. Because of schedule and weather issues, we have to depart close to October 1st, and that is only about 6 1/2 weeks away and I have SOOO many things to get finished before then! Add to this stress mixture the fact that I am on vacation for over 2 weeks between now and then, + the 100 mile ultramarathon in Lethbridge on September 11th which I am still training for, and trying to maintain my cycling training for this upcoming record attempt.

Here is a list of some of the stuff that needs to happen between now and then. If you thing you are able to assist in any way, please let me know.
  • Torque tube box in the hull finished and keel and drive leg installed and working. We received the completed keel post and drive leg from my buddy and Pedaltheocean sponsor Manny at and it looks pretty good. Very beefy for sure. The drive leg gear boxes were manufactured and customized for me by MitrPak.

  • Rudder controls finished and working. We are 95% there now due to Kens EXCELLENT fabrication. We are using a single marine rated push-pull cable routed through the hull and under the arm rest to a lever on top of the arm rest in the cockpit - very slick and VERY SMOOTH action. For the ocean crossing I will install an auto steer servo slaved to the GPS.

    The rudder tube is from Adam at - another Pedaltheocean sponsor. Carbon Fiber Tube Shop makes the best carbon tubes with a huge selection of sizes - definitely better than making them in the shop.

  • This is a clamp with a steering horn for the rudder that I welded up

    Some more weldments for the armrest steering lever

  • Hatches and Port lights installed. The two inside hatches have been semi attached. The others need to happen during body work to properly fair-in the leveled surfaces to fit the hatches and ports.

  • Join the cabin top to the hull. We need to finish the torque tube first. This is a box built-into the floor that will transmit forces from the keel into the bulheads then into the hull. This is also where the drive leg (pedals and prop) inserts into.

  • Install electronics. For this record attempt, we are going to go with a simplified electronics package. A navigation light, tracking device from our new sponsor SpiderTracks - check it out. Very cool! A few solar panels, and hand-held portable electronics with a manually operated water desalinator.

  • Trailer. I have purchased a boat trailer and I'm 50% of the way through making the modifications required to lift WiTHiN about 3 feet up off the bunks to clear the keel.

  • Body work - Ken has covered the bottom hull with micro and needs to sand it smooth, then apply anti-foul paint. He needs to do the same with the cabin top.

    I have been thinking about neon green for a paint color.
    The 80's neon colors are really making a come-back.
    It's sort of reminiscent of the old 1960's muscle car, and I think a thick
    black racing strip would really punch the 'muscle yacht' message home.
    WiTHiN needs to be Outside magazine / Popular Science magazine cover shot worthy!

  • Dozens of smaller items like installing some cargo nets, installing the recumbent seat, a battery holder, a mast to raise the LED nav light, install cleats, etc, etc

  • Buy, acquire, find, make, invent items on my ever-growing list of supplies that we will require for the record attempt expedition.

  • Food - Pack 20 days worth of food.

  • Sea anchor - I need to get the sea anchor lines figured out. Below is a photo of my sea anchor on loan from my buddy and hero Jason Lewis from I am honored to be using this anchor because Jason used it on pedal boat Moksha on his world-first circumnavigation of the planet by human power.

  • According to some information I found on the ocean rowing web sites,
    this seems to be the standard configuration for a small boat. The sea anchor is used
    to help keep the bow (or stern) pointed into bad weather, and to stop being blown off course by strong winds.

  • Web site - Get the new web site up and live before the end of August. The new site is being designed by Julia Lauer and Stephen Capp with snappy copy writing by Chris Keam. It's at that point when I will announce the record attempt expedition, the new charity, etc.

  • Plan two media days - one in Calgary at the end of September at Glenmore res just before we embark on our record attempt expedition, and one in the city where we will be launching from. The purpose of the media events is to promote the new charity, the record attempt and of course, PedalTheOean Pacific crossing in June.
The calendar and schedule is as follows:
  • End of August:
    1. get WiTHiN into a lake for initial testing.
    2. roll the new web site out
    3. announce the charity and initiative
    4. Announce the intermediate project record attempt expedition

  • End of September:
    1. Have WiTHiN expedition ready
    2. Media / press event in Calgary
    3. Media / press event in departure city

  • Beginning of October (10 to 20 days):

  • Winter 2010:
    1. Get WiTHiN ready for the Pacific crossing
    2. Do some training trips on the west coast

  • June 2010:
    1. Depart from Victoria, BC - destination HAWAII!!

Labels: ,

6 Responses to “A bit stressed”

  1. # Blogger Elrey

    Green is a natural ocean color. You want to stand out from the ocean colors by using the opposite so that you can be seen. Unlike in cycling, where you ride expecting to be seen, the opposite condition is probably default for (y)our ocean voyage. So ... I recommend the Lambroghini Light Orange, instead.  

  2. # Anonymous Anonymous

    "We are 95% there"
    -with the last 95% to go  

  3. # Blogger David Tangye

    I look forward to the announcement.

    * Re Colour (or color as you yanks say :-)): Elrey is right, bright orange or hot red are much better choices. Then again, if you work on the old fashioned principle that you are out there totally responsible for your own life, it does not matter so much. Irrespective of that, if people ashore become aware of trouble, they WILL start looking, so its only fair that you help them out a bit. A black centre-stripe is great too as a heat-trap if needed and more importantly to stop deck glare. Matt finish black, or dark grey is good on the eyes, but gloss is bad.

    * As said before, I hope you have scheduled several days of sea-time trials, with at least one of 2 to 3 days deep offshore, ie as far from the coast as possible, to get yourself a feel for acclimatising.  

  4. # Blogger David Tangye

    Oh, and re sea-anchor: It would pay to heave to in wind and waves, and see which way the WithIn likes to ride. Unless distinctly stern-upwind I would rather anchor from the bow if possible, so I would rest and sleep better in the "quiet end" aft. You would need to work out deploy and retrieval though, presumably then not from the stern, as you might not want to swing the craft round to stern-first in heavy seas. So deploy, anchored attitude, and retrieve would all be bow-upwind. Deploy and retrieve would be done with you in the forward position. Then I guess the wet warp, anchor and water might all stay out of the stern cabin and your sleeping compartment. I would everything I could to try to keep that section dry.  

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