form IS function

If I seem a bit reoccupied with form over function these days, I'm not
really. Ken and I are working our butts off here trying to get the
boat ready for Vancouver island circumnavigation and choosing a paint
color, boat name and logo is all part of what needs to be done and it
is important to me. Make no mistake - The number one consideration
when selecting a color for the boat is pure function - I need to be
easily seen when out on the ocean. This is a very important safety
consideration. But a powerful visual impact has always been an
important aspect of my previous record attempts and it still very much
is with and WiTHiN (or Koa? I'm having second
thoughts on the name Koa, but more on that later).

My primary goal with all of my human powered endeavours is to attract
attention and inspire others to start thinking about using their own
human power. Skyrocketing obesity rates are resulting in health care
costs reaching upwards of 60 billion in the US (5.8 billion in
Canada). The problem is our sedentary lifestyles and the solution is
pretty simple: we need to get active again. I think what our society
really needs these days is others out there doing really cool things
using their own power. Unfortunately most kids today think a guy who
drove a jet powered bicycle 100 mph is way cooler than a guy who won
the Badwater ultramarathon. Check out YouTube for the proof.
I really doubt that the expensive professional paint job on Critical
Power human powered vehicle was necessary to break the 24 hour
distance record. But it got CP and me onto a 2 page spread in popular
Science. It also got me into the 2009 Guinness book of world records,
and Discovery channel, and other media outlets where I have an
opportunity to possibly inspire others to start thinking that maybe it
is kind of cool to do something physical. The kids seem to get it and
a solution to our health issues needs to start with our kids.

And speaking of that - I would like to ask you to donate $50 to my
charity and sponsor 1 mile of my 3000 mile Pacific crossing. Your $50
will buy a brand new bike for a kid who can't afford one. Do you
remember your first bike? I sure do. For the 8 million families who
are living below the poverty line, bikes for their kids are a luxury
they can't afford. Help me make a difference.
It takes only a couple of clicks and any credit card:

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Introducing KOA human powered boat

Koa: Hawaiian for "Bold"
Thanks for your suggestions regarding a new name for the boat. You had some really great ideas that were definitely responsible for sparking some deeper thought of my own.
When I sat down a couple of years ago with the intent of developing a keynote speech, I did some pondering about what it is that has allowed success in my life. It occurred to me that the personality traits that worked for me weren't the typical ones you would expect. I'm not especially smart - I almost failed the 4th grade, my marks were below average in High School and I didn't go to University. I didn't have any money - shortly after I struck out on my own and launched my first business when I was 21, the banks took all of my credit cards away from me. I remember having to buy gas for my car at the Hudson Bay parkade downtown because they had a small car rental business and I discovered I could use the Bay credit card that my mom had given me to buy clothes with, to purchase gas from their rental operation. They eventually took that card away from me too. Coincidentally, that's about the time I started to really get into riding my bike a lot! And, I wasn't especially physically gifted in any way either. When I decided it was time to lose 50 pounds and get into shape I entered my first triathlon. Of course, it just had to be the long distance Ironman triathlon and I didn't even know how to swim!

The simple fact that I signed up to complete one of the toughest sporting events in the world without even knowing how to swim said it all. And it is typical of the kind of attitude that I have had most of my adult life. That is, I just think of something that I want to do, make sure that it is just a bit beyond my comfort level and ability, and I simply do it. And I don't quit. I don't think about how to accomplish my goal or what the obstacles are or anything like that. I just start my journey by taking my first step. Jumping into the deep end so to speak. Then I learn a little - enough to plan my next step, and so forth, and so forth.

I believe that any of us can accomplish some pretty amazing things in life when we just have a little faith in ourselves and we commit to doing something a bit bolder than we think we are capable of. And that is the secret right there. When you are bold about what you have set out to do, you will have the passion, excitement and motivation that you will require on your impossible journey. Anything less, and I think many of us just don't care enough. I have lived my life by the wisdom of the great German poet Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe: "What you can do or dream you can do begin it. For BOLDNESS has genius, power and magic in it".

So therefore, I hereby name my boat "Koa" which means "Bold" in Hawaiian.

Following are some logo ideas. I would love to hear your vote and comments (the tiki dude have chain ring teeth):



Following are some additional ideas I was playing around with. I like the brush script, but the orientation doesn't really work for the boat.

Koa building progress

Ken has been working his arms off sanding, sanding, sanding. The body work is taking WAY longer than we originally estimated which is pushing our Vancouver Island shakedown cruise later into October. Jordan and I don't want to leave it so late in October because the likelihood of encountering a winter storm increases every day as we progress into winter with the north pacific high pressure zone slowly disintegrating and allowing the storms to blow directly into Vancouver Island.

Our objective with the shakedown cruise is to circumnavigate Vancouver Island - 1000 km staring at Port Hardy near the north end of the island. We will head south down the protected east coast of the island which will give us ample opportunity to get used to the boat, living conditions, pedaling conditions, switching positions without capsizing the boat, etc. It will also give Jordan and I an opportunity to slowly nose into more advanced ocean conditions as weather permits to feel out general stability in waves and wind as well as how effected we are by high winds.

We are planning on stopping off in Victoria for a couple of rest days, some media interviews, wait for a good weather window, then tackle the exposed wild west coast. The reason we have chosen a clockwise direction is that prevailing winds starting about mid October tend to veer from Southerly to Northerly and it would be better to have the wind at our stern as we make our way up the west coast.

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Paint color ideas

Please weigh-in on your choice of paint color:

Choice #1: Viper Bright Orange Pearl

Choice #2: Crayola Crayon Skin Color

We liked the skin color idea so much, that we just went ahead and painted her skin color. Yes, this is an attempt at being funny. The photo above is just the beige colored epoxy micro coating prior to sanding and finishing.

New name for WiTHiN ?

I originally called the prototype boat WiTHiN because I believe that human power is our power from within - and since a human is powering the boat from inside, the boat is also being power from within. I even designed a nice friendly logo to match the curvy prototype boat:

But now, I think maybe the new expedition boat needs a name of it's own. A name and logo that fits better with our awesome, edgy, stealthy new design. I'm just not feeling WiTHIN anymore and I'm open to exploring something new. Some people commented at the lake trials last week that she looks like a bad-ass barracuda or a shark. I played around in Illustrator today with some logo ideas using the Barracuda name and I drew a sort of cartoony Barracuda. Let me know what you think or if you have any ideas for a new name.

In other news, Ken and I are making are way through a long final list of things to finish to get 'her' ready for the second lake trials, and my Vancouver Island circumnavigation with Jordan Hanssen. One of those steps was reinforcing a loop on the bow for an anchor and sea anchor. We wanted to make sure that it was good a strong and we don't have access to the inside anymore, so we used a beefy stainless loop embedded in micro fibers and covered with fanned out uni-directional carbon in the direction most of the force is likely to come from.

There is a bit of carbon tape on the inside, electrical, body work, paint, and installation of equipment / electronics. All in 2 weeks - can Ken do it?

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Lake test on SUNDAY!

I cannot believe that we will actually be ready for the very first lake trials on Sunday!

By looking at these shots taken today, you might not believe it either, but we are much closer to finishing than it might appear. There won't be any paint on WiTHiN, or electronics or equipment aside from the pedals, propeller, keel, seat, rudder, portlights and hatches, but she will be water worthy!

The objective with the first initial test will be primarily to measure actual speed compared to design speed, and feel out the general stability. Rick Willoughby designed the hull of WiTHiN, and the prop for 78 rpm at the pedals which produces 150 watts of power and should create about 8 km per hour of speed on a flat calm lake on a windless day. Since I can't install my SRM power meter onto the gear box based drive leg, I measured my heart rate at 150 watts & 80 rpm today on my trainer.

On the lake on Sunday, I'll want to confirm that a cadence of 80 rpm should produce about 8 km / hour of speed and result in about 105 beats per minute in the engine.

We have tomorrow and Friday to get the cabin top on, install the propeller, fill the drive leg with oil, fit the keel bulb on, place my recumbent seat in position, and install all of the ports and hatches,

Check out the new Follow Greg page at the new site! Our new Spidertracks satellite tracking device is now running with live updates on the map! I'll be running it on Sunday during the lake trials, so if you can't make it down to Glenmore reservoir, you can watch all the action live on the web site! (well.. by "live action" I mean watching a little green dot move around a digital satellite image of Glenmore Reservoir on a Google map along with the occasional Twitter update - still exciting. Kind of).

Here are some pics of today's progress:

The hole of the left is for the keel post - hole on the right is for the drive leg tapered plug

This is the drive leg with the tapered plug. The plug is made of Chockfast epoxy chocking compound and was poured into the drive leg bay with the drive leg in position. This stuff is like rock when it cures - amazing

This is a view down the drive leg bay in the torque tube. That's me down there. The threaded end of the keel post fits through the hole on the left and it secured with a nut. Stuart designed this "torque tube" box to transfer the forces from the keel into the hull and bulkheads of the boat. You have no idea what it took to build the torque tube. I would say probably 10 to 15 man-days. The keel tube would probably bend (and it's 1.25" square solid stainless steel!) before anything broke in the hull. If that happened, the keel could be dropped out by simply removing the retaining nut.

This is a view of the upside down hull showing the drive leg without the lower gear box and prop. Note the thin line around the drive leg tube. That is how tightly Ken made the drive leg plug fit into the hull bottom. After body work and paint, you probably won't even see it. The square hole on the left is for the keel tube

The cabin top

Sanding blocks for body work on the hull

Rudder tube hole

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62% chance of success

I've been trying to figure out how to mount the VHF radio antenna, my AIS antenna, GPS antenna, Navigation light, radar reflector. that's a lot of stuff up high which is not great for windage and offsets what we are trying to accomplish with the keel bulb which is required for stability. So, I posted a question to the forum and got some helpful advice from that group.

At OARS, I noticed a sobering post by the site administrator titled "Incomplete Rows in 2009" There were short descriptions of SEVENTEEN incompleted expeditions so far in 2009. Yikes!

I checked the Ocean Rowing Society statistics page and saw that in all-time, there have been 405 attempts to cross an ocean by human power (for the most part, that has been by rowing - but we plan on changing that :-)) and 156 of those attempts were incomplete - that's a whopping 38% failure rate! Over 1 in 3 attempts end up in failure, and of those, 6 were lost at sea.

From the OARS forum, below is the list of incomplete ocean rows for 2009 and reasons for their failures (updated July 28th, 2009). This is IMPORTANT stuff and I think that anyone considering a human powered ocean crossing should take all of this to heart and plan accordingly. In the years that I have been following ocean rows, I have found the same issues responsible for prematurely ending an expedition - time and time again. I'll summarize those issues after this list, and go over some of the steps that I can take to mitigate those risks:

On 28 July 2009 John Maher sent a message to the members of Shepherd Purple Heart Ocean Row - Subject: End of the road

"It is with regret that I confirm that Molly's quest has been ended. In dense fog, in the deep of the night and rough seas, all communications were lost with no way to generate power due to technical malfunctions. This left us in a suicidal situation to think about continuing as the boat could not be seen and with no communications a decision was made between the team, the Falmouth and Canadian coastguards to start a rescue mission with the aid of an oil rig support vessel. With the use of their radars Molly was located and made safe. He is in the process of being returned to dry land complete with boat and a further update will follow in due course. To confirm both Molly and boat are now safe."

13 Jun 2009 - statement from Simon Prior on his decision to retire from the race
"Here I am onboard the race support vessel and I’m most grateful for the kindness, warmth and empathy that the crew have shown to me upon collecting me from my rowing boat, Old Mutual Endurance. The last 54 days have been, if anything, an amazing experience with highs and lows in equal measures. Very sadly I have fallen short of the target that I set myself and I’m distraught that Mauritius never came into view.
The whole project of rowing an ocean is an enormous undertaking; physically, mentally, financially and logistically. I have learnt so much about every aspect of myself and of the seas.
The oceans are vast, phenomenal places, offering the most peaceful solitude and the most humbling of extreme seas. The ongoing issues with my watermaker and rudder lines sealed my fate. The watermaker continually failed and all storage and drinking containers became contaminated with mould, impairing my already weakened body. The rudder lines also continued to cause issues and in hindsight were never strong enough for the forces upon them.
The rudder lines broke four times in total and without sufficient spare rope to replace the lines, I was unable to steer the boat adequately. With these issues ongoing, I was finding myself sadly repairing items 3-4 hours everyday and with the days already ticking by my spirit was finally broken".

On May 29th Charlie called the US coast guard for a rescue, activating his EPIRB to guide them to his position. He was 10 days into his row and in seas of 5-7ft and 15knot winds. His boat was left adrift and has subsequently been recovered. This was Charlie's second unsuccessful attempt to row the North Atlantic solo after calling in a rescue 50miles out to sea in 2007.
Watch a local news reports on the rescue:

Retired after pintles holding the rudder to their boat broke and they lost their para-anchor. Their boat has been cast adrift but will continue to be tracked by the Race Office while all possible options to salvage the boat are considered.

From the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009 news page:
Following the retirement and recovery of Boat 2 'Dream it Do it’ to the Abrolhos Islands Roger and Tom were flown to Geraldton so that Roger could seek medical examination and assistance from Geraldton Hospital. Examination confirmed the original on-board diagnosis that Roger had indeed cracked a couple of ribs.

From the Indian Ocean Rowing Race 2009 news page:
Throughout Monday 20th April, the progress of boat 8 had been monitored, and in consideration with the forecast wind strength and direction there was concern for the safety of Hoppipolla. The Support Vessel was directed to Hoppipolla’s position and at 09:00GMT (17:00 WA time) Mick Moran, requested assistance. Mick had been experiencing problems with his steering system and centre board and had been finding it impossible to row in the desired direction. The Support Vessel took Hoppipolla under tow and returned to the Batavia Marina.

From blog dated 26th April
“Whatever It Takes” discovered water leaking into their aft cabin through the hull bilge pump. As the dark of night was approaching, Go West worked furiously to stop the leak. Dave donned a survival suit and jumped overboard armed with a screwdriver. He spent about an hour in 4 meter seas working on the problem. After an excruciating time he had successfully screwed the housing in properly (one screw was 10mm proud of the housing). The leak had only reduced by about 50% so he attempted to stem the leak with waterproof ‘putty’. It was a valiant effort, but to no avail. The Australian Maritime College “Whatever it Takes” had a terminal leak, the stern cabin and lockers had taken on around 150 litres of water.
After calling in a resuce the team was safely towed ashore.

Communique de Bouvet Rames Guyane 29.04.09
Bertrand de Gaullier, which had capsized Monday and triggered two beacons, waited to be rescued for 36 hours. An expectation of the more painful it was quickly realized that two tags were no longer on board and it would be very difficult to find relief. But Bertrand has never lost his composure and followed the procedure of recovery in professional sea despite his injured right arm which made him suffer for many weeks. It is true that the Captain and Commander of the base of the marines and commandos Lorient, Bertrand de Gaullier des Bordes has always been accustomed to exercise extreme and dangerous situations.

REMY ALNET - SOLO (BOUVET RAMES GUYANE) - Translated from French
Testimony of Remy 18.04.09
"I was in the cockpit and I wanted to put the music louder. I was opening the panel of my car when a wave larger than the other has completely flooded the interior. The boat was unbalanced and quickly capsized. I wanted to run the pumping system, but it did not work. I have plunged more than ten times, unfortunately without success. I'm back on the hull of my boat but I was getting cold and lose strength ... I knew I had to tinker a place of retreat since the arches for that purpose had been broken at the outset, I then had the idea of crossing the oars on each side of the boat and then to pass ropes between these two extremes, I thus made a sort of ring. Then it plunges back that I had to recover my survival suit and food to consider an expectation that I knew I could be long. I imagined that we were looking for me and I kept hoping but it was very hard because the waves me destabilization and a little balance in my shell, I often fell into the water. I can say that I swallowed seawater overnight. But I clung to my oars, I do not let go. I had more strength, and I finally cling to the oars. In addition, the boat sank, he was only 50 cm above the water ... The night was interminable. When, at daybreak, I saw the freighter that was 300 yards away, I went back under the water for my rockets. I waited until the last moment to recover because I knew I had to drown the cabinet and then the boat would sink a little more. I've touvées and got back on the boat. I had three, the first one did not work, the second not only at the third that it worked. The crew of the Astro Chloe saw me and took me retrieved using a basket. They tried to save my boat but it did not work. "
Currently aboard the Super Tanker "Astro Chloe, Remy Alnet will be landed on a boat patrol in Brazil to be deposited in Cayenne. "I do not have my papers, I lost everything and it is preferable that I landed on French soil," explained the skipper.
Hear the testimony of Remy Alnet

Communicates Bouvet Rames Guyane 11.04.09
If the conditions of wind and current remain the leading men of the Bouvet Rames Guyane Cayenne should see during the weekend, thus crossing the Atlantic to train in six weeks. At the other end of the water, things get complicated for most skippers and South, although it dragged on the shores of the Black Pot, Patricia Lemoine throws in the towel and announced it abandoned.

Olly's departed Tasmania, Australia on 23rd January and began an attempt to row around Antarctica and become the first person to complete a circumnavigation of the globe without touching land. Olly decided to suspend his how at New Zealand. Olly managed to get within 12nm of the coast before being pushed back out to sea so was forced to call in a tow and was picked up at 25nm from land (in 40kn winds and a 4m swell) and he and his boat were safely bought ashore. Olly gives his reasons for suspending the row in his blog dated 10th April:
...our mileage made good is miserable and would works out if I was to carry on regardless in completion of the end goal in about 5 years..... In large this poor progress is down to problems with the boat. She does not like to go downwind of her own accord or indeed once the wind gets above 20knots not even under oars. Since the average wind speeds in the Southern Ocean are 20-30kts this is obviously something of a problem. The boat is also incredibly heavy about 2 tonnes and on a calm day I can make only about 1.4kts average which is v slow. We had anticipated making about 1000nm a month as per my Atlantic boat but evidently this has not been borne out. Another fact taken into consideration was that this is the worst year on record for drift ice coming out of the Ross sea. With Icebergs over 5km long reported in the region.

On 15th April Victor's team announced that his desalinator had stopped working and that he would be abandoning his row. He was rescued by a nearby fishing vessel. His boat was lost after the line towing it behind the fishing vessel broke. The following day he posted this blog:
Thanks to the US Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, Governments of Senegal, Spain, France and the NGO New Future Foundation of Senegal. I am very well. The line that was towing the Spirit of Zayed was broken during rough seas. The authorities are attempting to locate and retrieve the vessel.

Erden has decided to come in to land in the North of New Guinea and continue his circumnavigation (by ocean rowing boat across the oceans and by bike across the continents via the highest mountain on each of the 6 'mainland' continents) later in the year. He will be walking across New Guinea from September, then kayaking to a suitable island from which to continue rowing to mainland Australia. Then it's back on the bike via Mt Kosciusko aiming to reach Western Australia by April 2010 to set off on the indian ocean leg of his journey.

Blog updated by Eddy's support team 21st January
17/01 Watermaker stopped working
18/01 Eddy unable to repair watermaker whilst at sea. Whats more he has hurt his right thigh (torn muscle or spasms?). Added to that the batteries haven't been charging properly.
19/01 In the evening Eddy accepted help offered to him by a safety organisation, to take him back to the island of El Hiero, where he was taken to hospital, a normal procedure in cases like this.
20/01 Eddy left the hospital and unfortunately had to record the damage caused to Martha Dos while she was being towed.
21/01 Eddy has made an inventory of the contents of the boat and is keeping us informed as to how he wants to proceed.

Press release dated 15th January
Falmouth Maritime and Rescue Coordination Centre are currently coordinating the search and rescue of ‘La Mondiale’ the British ocean rowboat and its 14 crew. ‘La Mondiale’ is attempting to break the current record by rowing from Gran Canaria to Barbados, with the overall intention of raising £1 million for charitable causes. The Coastguard received a call this morning at 10.21am informing them that the rowboat had lost its rudder after hitting a submerged object 280 miles North West of Cape Verde, a temporary rudder had been rigged up but had now failed them. Martin Bidmead, Watch Manager, Falmouth Maritime and Rescue Coordiantion Centre, said:“We have been able to talk to the crew which consists of several nationalities: British, Scottish, Irish, Canadian and Faroese. They are all safe and well, they are not in a situation of distress only the boat is disabled. But the weather conditions on scene for the next few days will not allow them to make the repairs to the rudder. A Bulk Carrier ‘Island Ranger’ on passage from Brazil to Italy is currently making its way to the rowboat and is expected on scene at 8:00pm to offer assistance.”

Aldo and Ken were headed for the Cape Verdes to make repairs to their electrics which had failed leaving them with limited communication and safety equipment.
From blog dated 6th January
Once again the weather had taken a turn for the worst and we were unable to row. Late Tuesday afternoon we were both in the cabin, feeling rather bored and frustrated when just by chance Ken looked out to see a huge cargo vessel heading straight for us, only hundreds of yards away. Immediately we sprang into action and set off the flares to raise the alarm. The first flare didn't work but luckily the second one did and fortunately the Turkish crew of the big vessel spotted us just in time to change it's direction and a major collision was (at first) avoided. Unfortunately the day finished catastrophically for RITA. During the events that ensued poor RITA got wrecked and we boarded the cargo vessel to be taken ashore to Cape Verde. We are devastated but thank God we are alive.

Announcement on tracking website dated 3rd January
Unfortunately following severe sea sickness, and a suspected stomach ulcer, Leo Rosette has been forced to return to La Gomera just days into his Atlantic crossing. Leo is now safely back on land and being treated at the local hospital in San Sebastian de la Gomera and hopes to restart his adventure once he has been cleared to do so by medical staff. Woodvale Challenge would like to thank everyone who played a part in recovering Leo and his boat Halcyon.

Here is a ranked list of reasons for failure:

3 x watermaker failures
3 x rudder + 1 broken by hitting submerged object
2 x capsize flood + 1 flood caused by bilge pump leak
2 x power system failures
2 x psychological issues
1 injury + 1 severe sea sickness
1 inadequate boat performance

1. Watermaker - Time and time again I have read about this problem. To me, it seems like 1 out of every 2 ocean rowing expeditions has problems with the electric desalinator. Sometimes the unit is repaired at sea, and sometimes a smaller manual backup unit is used. In the case of the Woodvale ocean rowing race, they are required to take fresh water as ballast. In an emergency, the rowers are allowed to drink this water, but doing so disqualifies the rower(s) from the race.

At the very least, I need to become very familiar with the operation and servicing of my Katadyn 40E electric desalinator before I depart. I should be able to take it apart and put it back together again. To minimize the possibility that the power supply is causing the problem, I think it would be wise to have two redundant power sources / batteries and the ability to easily switch between the two. I also need to have a good spare parts kit. My back-up matermaker is the Katadyn Surviver 06 manual desalinator. To resort to using this would be a pain - literally because it takes an average of 2 hours of pumping per day to make one day's worth of fresh drinking and cooking water. We are thinking about making a pedal powered mechanism to operate this which would make it much easier to use. I won't have any fresh water back-up onboard because I won't have the room.

2. Rudder - I think we have a pretty beefy rudder and steering system. The rudder is operated by a heavy-duty push-pull cable designed to be used on large sailing yachts and power boats. If something did break on the cable, I can disconnect the push-pull cable, and rig up an emergency steering line system with a pulley and take control over the rudder. If something were to happen to the rudder itself - like striking a submerged object and breaking, then I may have to remove it which would be a simple operation of just removing a clamp and a pin. I think it might be worth bringing a light weight, simple spare rudder along.

3. Capsize floods - This is the scary one. In recent history there have been 2 deaths and capsizing has been the primary cause of both of them. In February, 2007, Australian Andrew McCauley attempted to become the first person to cross the Tasman sea by kayak. After 30 days and nights
in a slightly modified off-the-shelf kayak only about 75 km away from his destination of New Zealand, Andrew went missing. The next day they found his upturned kayak. It is speculated that Andrew capsized in choppy seas and got separated from his boat. The winds were strong that day, and they would have blown his kayak away from him very quickly. The lesson applied here for me is to always wear a safety tether when in the cockpit with the hatches open. It would be possible to be tossed out of WiTHiN by a rouge wave and partial capsize wile standing up through the top hatch. A tether would at least keep me close to the boat where I could climb back aboard.

The second death was 62 year old Nenad Belic who was rowing his home built ocean rowing boat across the North Atlantic from Cape Cod to Ireland in May of 2001. He went missing after about 4 1/2 months. His boat was found upside down fully flooded 230 miles west of Ireland. This case is a bit puzzling. I have searched for more information and can't seem to find any. I did find a drawing of his row boat, and to me, it didn't seem to have any separate water tight compartments. I would think that if it capsized with a hatch or portlight open, it would totally flood, and possibly not right itself. Evidently, this is what happened to Nenad.

If WiTHiN were to capsize with all of the portlights and hatches in the cockpit open, but with the hatches for the cabin and bow storage compartments closed, then the cockpit would flood - but, she would right herself due to the keel, and the cockpit could be bailed out. I'll have an electric bilge pump in the cockpit to help with the bail out. The rule will be that the inside hatches for the cabin and the bow storage compartment must be kept closed if any of the portlights or hatches are open in the main cockpit. Also, I must wear a tether if there is any possibility of capsizing with the cockpit hatches and ports open.

4. Power system failures - There could be a number of reasons for this. If the system is strictly solar powered, then a few days of very cloudy or foggy weather could exhaust the batteries. There could be faulty wiring, broken fuses, or malfunctioning electronic equipment. I will have 2 separate sources of power - solar panels and a wind generator. I think it might be smart to have each of them charge a different battery, and then split the electronics between the two batteries with the option to be able to switch power sources. I should also easily be able to power something directly from either the wind generator or solar panels and bypass the batteries and charge controller.

5. Psychological issues - there is only one way to avoid this: TRAINING. I must expose myself to the ocean environment to adjust to that environment.

6. Injury and sea sickness - I have experienced sea sickness and it's NOT fun. I know that typically after 2 or 3 days your body will get used to it and I think that possibly medication could be the bridge that takes me to the third day. As for injury - I will take a very thorough medical kit.

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The new web site is now up and running!

What's new:
  1. Let's give away 3000 bikes to 3000 kids!

    Goal: 3000 bikes for 3000 kids in 3000 miles

    Currently 1 in 3 of North American children are overweight. The health care costs associated with this issue cost Americans over $13 billion a year, and Canadians over $1 billion. A leading cause of this alarming epidemic: our sedentary lifestyles.

    The solution starts with getting kids active again! There are currently over 8 million families in North America living below the poverty line. For many of these families, providing bikes for their children is a luxury they can't afford. What’s worse, many of these kids will end up sitting at home and watching TV instead.

    Remember your first bike? Unfortunately, too many children are growing up without those special, valuable memories of young freedom, outdoor activity, and self-reliance. Let’s change that! Together, we can make a difference - one bike at a time. Donate a bike to a child who can't afford one. Sponsor a mile for as little as $50.

    For every mile that Greg pedals WiTHiN across the Pacific ocean, Kimberlee's Bikes For Kids Charity will donate one bicycle to a deserving child who can't afford one. When you sponsor a mile of the Pedal The Ocean voyage (for just $50!) you’re putting a bicycle in the hands of a deserving child and playing an important part in our fight against sedentary lifestyles and the childhood obesity epidemic. If Greg makes it to Hawaii he will have traveled 3000 miles. With your help, that means 3000 bikes for 3000 kids!

    BE THE FIRST TO DONATE - Click here.

  2. Direct link to the blog and latest Twitter posts.

  3. Follow Greg page

    Thanks to PTO sponsor Spidertracks, you will now be able to follow my every move as I human-power my way across the Pacific ocean, or where ever else my travels with WiTHiN take me. And no, I'm not currently in New Zealand. Spidertracks is in NZ, and that's where my tracking unit is being shipped from.

  4. New Photos and Videos gallery

    Check out photos and watch YouTube videos from the sea trials, Critical Power human powered vehicle record, last Septembers Critical Power 2 human powered boat record, boat building progress, and lots of other craziness.

  5. Visit our pedaltheocean sponsors, and read more about our amazing team that is making this human powered coolness actually happen!

  6. Consider actually becoming a PTO corporate sponsor! We have corporate and small business packages starting at $250 which include your logo at the web site, and a small logo on WiTHiN. We are still looking for a title sponsor and we are prepared to completely brand WiTHiN to match a title sponsors brand including a name change.

    All personal sponsorships including the "across with Greg" name on WiTHiN sponsors will now be donated to the '3000 bikes' objective with Kimberlee's Bike for Kids Charity.
I would like to extend my HUGE, HUGE, HUGE gratitude to three professionals who donated their time to make the new web site as cool as it is:

Stephen Capp from Capp Creative - PTO webmaster.
Stephen Capp is a website designer in Calgary Alberta and has been designing and coding websites in various capacities since the 90s and is his home on the web. His primary purpose is to help individuals and small businesses promote their businesses by building them better, more effective websites.

Julia Lauer -
Ambush Graphics, Inc - PTO web site designer
Julia has over 20 years experience producing graphics, and can provide support you in any endeavor to build a strong, vibrant corporate message by providing the client with creative marketing pieces for print and on the web

Chris Keam - Expedition copywriter
Chris has worked as a writer and editor (web, print, corporate communications, and broadcast) in Vancouver since 1989. His creative nature, dry wit, and slightly skewed sense of humour are the qualities that he can harness to create effective communications.


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!!

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Peace and rainbows

Peace, rainbows, a mean machine, and a shiny new logo!

Peace and rainbows. man.

We have the lower hull almost totally assembled now, so for fun, we placed the cabin on, and the other top deck panels. It's really starting to come together! Ken is doing a fantastic job and we are progressing nicely - a little slower than I had hoped for, but the quality of Kens workmanship and Stuart's design is second to none. This will be one, mean - state of the art - human powered machine when she is finished.

We started removing some of the jig stations. I can stand on the bow, and it is rock solid.

We prepared the edges of the cut-outs for inspection hatches in two bulkheads and carboned the bulkheads into the hull. 15 layers of uni-directional carbon surrounds each hatch / portlight cut-out!

I am getting tons of help purchasing supplies and equipment from new sponsor Glenn Mulhare from Mariner Parts. The shipment of hatches and portlights is due to arrive today and we're working on specifying the electronics now (solar panels, radios, GPS, etc). It is going to be pretty state of the art. The AIS will talk to the GPS, and the marine radio will broadcast the GPS coords, and I can get sat weather on the GPS, etc - it's all going to be pretty awesome. My good friend George and PTO sponsor from MitrPak is working on the drive legs right now. They should be here in a week or so and we should be able to start working on the structure to hold it in place.

New sponsors are coming online including a tracking device, a sea anchor, a machinist who is milling the prop, a web developer, a web designer, a copywriter, a new charity, a safety boat, and many others who are kindly volunteering to be a part of this in various ways. Thanks to everyone and welcome to the team! Details and names will all be announced when we roll-out the new web site. If you would like to 'join the PTO team' and feel like you have a bit of time or expertise you can offer, email me - I always appreciate the help.
I'm also making good progress on other PTO project items including securing a safety boat for the expedition, the new charity that I hope to raise $250,000 for, and a splashy new web site. I'll announce my new partners and more details soon! Here is a sneak preview of the new PTO logo:

I am speaking at a grade 9 graduation ceremony tomorrow morning and then Helen and I are off to Bellingham on Friday to run the Northface Endurance Challenge on Saturday. Helen's running the half and I'm running the 80 km. I'm ready, but with a lingering knee injury, so I'm a bit apprehensive about that. Oh well... all part of the adventure I guess. I won't be setting any records that's for sure, but since this is my first ultra, my goal is just to finish within the cut off time. Wait.. what is the cut off time anyhow? Let me check... Oh, it's 13 hours. I should be ok. (famous last words!)

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Ocean boat progress. FINALLY!

Finally some real progress on the new ocean crossing boat!

The image above is a model that Ken made using the developed panels designed by Stuart Bloomfield. This is basically how the new boat will be built. The first step is to create the flat panels which are carbon over Corecell closed cell foam core. Then we cut-out each panel shape and form the top and bottom hull halves by placing the panels into a wood jig then joining them together with carbon tape.

My good friend Steve McDonough kindly offered to donate some workshop space in his new hanger at the Springbank airport, so I jumped at the opportunity and Ken and I are going to be building WiTHiN at the new hanger.

The very first step was to test our panel making procedure by running some stress tests on a sample panel. Rick Willoughby suggested two tests - a break test and a flatwise tensile test. He also made a spreadsheet for us to record and quantify the results. Following are the photos and results for each test:

This is a 2" square section of the test sandwich panel. The lamination schedule is 1/2" thick Corecell, then 5 oz unidirectional carbon, then 6 oz bidirectional carbon. (same for both sides of the core). Both sides were fully whetted out with epoxy resin then vacuum bagged.

This shows the break test setup. I used my lat pull-down machine with wood blocks to support the test panel. Weight lifting plates placed on the sliding weight holder pressed down on a 2" wide strip of stainless steel on the test panel.

Our first sample broke at 176 lbs. The 2" x 12" long test panel weighs only 1.75 ounces and I since I weigh only 155 lbs, I could stand on it without it breaking. However, when it broke during the test, the sample sheared apart due to a poor bond between a thin coat of micro on the core and the first layer of carbon - not good.

We made a new panel without the micro and it weighed less at only 1.6 ounces and tested much better. The photo shows how it sheared under compression on the top layer as expected.

I coated another sample panel with an additional coat of epoxy which would simulate a surface finish coating (like micro and paint) and re-tested it. This .3 oz layer of epoxy made it a whopping 60 pounds stronger in the break test and it took 200 lbs to break it!

The most important test is the flatwise tensile test which measures the bond between the laminate layers and the core. What we didn't want to see, is the laminate layers separating from each other, or separating from the core.

To break the 1.25" diameter core sample took almost every weight I had - a total of 276 lbs!

This test resulted in a high 96% of theoretical optimal strength and it broke half-way through the core material which is exactly what we wanted to see.

We had the panel drawings printed out at full-scale. These will be used to trace the panel shape onto the flat carbon panels, then they will be cut out and assembled in a wood jig that will hold the panels in position until they are joined together and bulkheads are inserted.

This is a photo of Ken looking down the pattern. The exact length on the print-out was about 20 mm short of what it is supposed to be, so we are going to ask the printers to re-print them.

Helen and I are off on a hiking trip to Peru to visit Machu Pichuu on Saturday. It's an organized hiking trip from lodge to lodge as we make our way from Cusco to the legendary ancient civilization of Machu Pichuu. I am going to take the opportunity to fit in plenty of trail running at altitude in preparation for my 50 mile ultra marathon in June.

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Marathons, Motivation, Making Boats & Most Extreme

Surf City Marathon

Helen and I just got back from a GREAT trip down to Huntington Beach, California for the Surf City Marathon - a top rate event which I HIGHLY recommend if you are looking for a scenic marathon to run. We were there with our good friends Kevin and Cindy Casper.

Cindy had a great race and she qualified for the Boston marathon! Way to go Cindy! Kevin ran his first half marathon, and Helen successfully finished her 15th marathon - whew! I had a good day as well with my 2nd best time of 3:17, 11th in my division and a Boston qualification.

Ultra Marathon

As you might recall, I am planning a possible attempt at the indoor velodrome 1 hour unfaired recumbent record for some point next Spring/Summer. However, since my training for the Surf City marathon went so well, I have decided to also plan something that I've been wanting to do for many, many years now - a 50 mile (80.5 km) Ultra Marathon. Yikes! I haven't picked the race yet, but it will be in June which gives me about 4 months to train. My training started on the day after the Surf City Marathon with an attempt to run which was quite laughable. More like a very enthusiastic hobble than a run. Boy was I sore from that marathon!

Training for the ultra will consist of short runs almost every day with two back to back long runs each week consisting of 3 to 4 hours each. I am actually looking forward to the challenge.

New Web Site

My speaking career has been keeping me very busy. I was in DC a couple of weeks ago to speak to Nutricia Corporation and that was a TON OF FUN! They are a GREAT group and I got a super enthusiastic response from them. Future bookings include a potential presentation for a Winter Olympic sponsor event in Vancouver!

A lot of my business is generated by Google search, and my web site place on organic google search for keywords "motivational speaker" in very important. To improve my position, I need to start to generate links from other web sites to my web site.

You would be doing me a huge solid if you could link from your web site - possibly with the linked text "motivational speaker" Many thanks, and I would be happy to link back to yours from this blog in return.

Also, if there is anything at the speaking web site that you care to comment on, please email me your thoughts at Sometimes we are so close to our trees, that it become difficult to see our forests if you know what I mean. I have worked very hard with my mentor - motivational speaker Steve Donahue, on staying relateable in my actual presentation which I think has resulted in a very impactfull but honest presentation. Your comments - both good and bad are appreciated. progress

Ken and I have ordered and received all of the carbon and core supplies and we are ready to sart construction of the new ocean crossing boat. We are just waiting for final details on the drawings from naval architect Stuart Bloomfield.

As you may recall, last year I made a 30 mile trip out into the Pacific ocean from Tofino, BC with the prototype version of WiTHiN and encountered some 15 foot swells and I got so sick I thought I was going to die. Link to that blog post here. I really love the wild west coast of Vancouver Island and was so inspired during the two sea trials that I conducted there, that I decided to look more seriously into a new route for PedalTheOcean.

Rather than crossing the Atlantic by human power which dozens (and dozens and dozens) have already done, I could be the first person to travel from Canada to Hawaii under his own power - this has never been attempted before. The distance is about the same as my Canary Island to Barbados route, and the currents, waves and average weather conditions are also similar.

I contracted weather expert Rick Shema at to do an analysis and comparison of both routes, and Rick thinks the new route is doable. I have a PDF report if anyone is interested in reading it. A departure window of May/June is required, so I am looking at possibly June of 2010. This gives me this winter and spring to finish construction and this summer, and next winter for sea trials and experience building.


OK - check this out. Ollie Hicks has departed from Tasmania on his ultra extreme ocean rowing quest - to be the first person to circumnavigate the planet by rowing. He is circling Antarctica via the Southern ocean. Ollie is rowing 18,000 miles of the most hostile marine environment on earth. He will will encounter freezing temperatures, 50 foot waves - OMG! You can follow his progress here. I will certainly be watching.

Also Mostly EXTREME

Jennifer Figge is attempting to become the first women to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. Figge is a 56-years-old mother, ultra runner, and swimmer. A few weeks ago she dove into the Atlantic ocean with the goal to swim across 2100 miles from the Cape Verde Islands off the African coast to Barbados. According to Jennifer, her epic swim should take about two months, swimming around eight hours a day, but the math doesn't add up. An average endurance swimmer can swim about 3 km / hour (on flat, calm water - not in rough, open ocean!). 8 hours per day * 3 km/hr = 24 km per day. 2100 miles converted to km is 3300 km. 3300 km / 24 km pr day is 137.5 days! that's about 4 1/2 months, not a couple of months. Still, I wish Jennifer the best of luck and I will definitely be following. Here is Jennifer's FaceBook page.

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It's been FAR too long!

Wow - how time flies hey?

I have been very bad at keeping the blog up to date - sorry. Here is a quick update on some of the various projects I am working on: - human powered ocean crossing

You might recall that last winter I decided to push the pause button on PedalTheOcean for a few reasons.

One of the reasons, was to focus on getting the 24 hour human powered boat record right. In June of 2006, I built a pedal powered boat and challenged what I thought to be the world record for the most distance traveled by human power on water of 168 km (according to the International Human powered Vehicle Association). I found out that Carter Johnson had bettered that by a HUGE amount. 242 km to be exact. I wanted to revisit the challenge and do it right this time. I spent the entire Spring, summer and early fall, designing, building and testing a new boat that would be capable of challenging Carters kayak record.

I was successful when I surpassed Carters 242 km mark with 20 minutes left to go and ended up with a total of 245.16 km in 24 hours on Whitefish Lake, September 8th, 2008.

The other reason for pausing was to get a grip on the entire expedition - what I really wanted to gain from it, and how I wanted it organized to facilitate a safe and fulfilling journey for me and everyone involved.

I have decided to change a few things:

1. I am NOT going to stamp a strict time constraint schedule on the project. Frankly, there is no hurry and I don't need the stress.

2. I am not going to stress about finding a corporate sponsor. If one comes along and there is a good fit, then great, if not, then I am prepared to do what I need to do, to make the crossing along with my personal and small business sponsors (that's you guys!) who have been very supportive so far.

3. I will DEFINITELY do the crossing WITH a safety boat. This is a promise that I made to my family and I plan on keeping it.

4. I am thinking about changing oceans. Canada to Hawaii has never been human powered and it would be a first. Other advantages of this new route is not having to find (and PAY$$$) a way to ship my boat to Canary Islands and not having to deal with any of the other logistics such as the Spanish Coast guard, etc. I have already checked in with the Canadian coast guard, and as long as my vessel was safe, they wouldn't object to allowing me to leave. I have hired Rick Shema from - a weather expert who did a viability study of the new Pacific route and it is very comparable to the Atlantic Canary Island to West Indies route. May would be the preferable departure month. If all goes as envisioned, then May of 2010 (next May) would be my departure date.

I have started construction of Ocean WiTHiN - the new ocean crossing boat designed by naval architect Stuart Bloomfield. The drawings are being finished now and I am happy to announce that I have hired local composites guy Ken Fortney to start construction.

We would like to have the new boat (for now called Ocean WiTHiN, or OW for short) ready for open water testing in the Spring, then maybe sea trials in the summer. My goal would be to spend as much time on-board gaining experience in the Pacific ocean off of the west coast of Tofino later this summer and next winter in preparation for a journey to Hawaii in May (conditions permitting).

Recumbent indoor velodrome hour record

My training is going pretty good. I have increased my 20 minute power from 250 watts to 260 watts over the last 7 week cycle. That's not super great, and really nothing to brag about, but it is improving and my latest 20 minute test which was yesterday may have been a bit lower than what I was capable of. I'll try another test this weekend. I would really like to see 270 watts. The NoCom is great, but I haven't been outside because the ground is now covered with snow, so most of my training has been inside on the mag trainer (another reason why the 20 average power might be a bit low).

I have some ideas for cleaning up the steering tiller bar which in my opinion is a very large creator of drag. I plan to get onto experimenting with some of my ideas as soon as my schedule eases up, which should be after tomorrow night because....

Motivational Speaker

I am doing a keynote address to a corporation's annual customer event tonight. Professional motivational speaking is something that I have been passionate about since my sister Theresa and I started doing KidPower school presentations over 3 years ago. Each show I do is a big deal in my mind. They say that when you speak, your goal should be to change the world, but my goal is to change lives. I prepare and treat each presentation as seriously as I would for an Ironman race and a world record attempt.

Here is a quick 30 second introduction video to Bold!:

And here is a the web site for my motivatinal speaking:

Human Powered Flight

I'm not sure exactly what direction I want to pursue with this project. I have a few options. There are a few designs that are being considered and these will need to be built in-house from scratch (a huge job!). Another option is to bring a HPA over from Germany. Velair was built by Peter Frank in 1989 and requires at least 255 watts to maintain flight for at least 3 hours which is way beyond my ability for going after the impossible 115 km MIT Daedalus record.

I have spoken to Executive Vice President Al Krause from the IHPVA and Chris Roper, the IHPVA Vice President for Air records. They have agreed to set up a new record category that would be similar in spirit to the existing 24 hour human powered distance records for both land and water. Since accumulated flight distance in 24 hours is counted, I would be allowed to land and take-off as many times in 24 hours as I wanted - exactly the same rules that allowed for pit stops during my 24 HPV record in Critical Power as I made my way around the 1/4 mile oval race track in Eureka California, and the 24 hour human powered boat record in Whitefish where I circled a 5.79 km loop on Whitefish Lake in Montana.

Of course, the clock would continue to tick during the stops and only miles of actual flight would be counted (wheels off the ground). I'm thinking that a dry lake bed or the salt flats would work for this. Even better would be a frozen lake in the winter near sea level. I could use some sort of light weight skis. The advantage with this approach is density altitude - the air is much thicker at sea level when it is cold and the power required for lift is reduced.

One of the issues is getting the HPV over here from Germany which would require a container ship and cost about $5000. Still, far less expensive than building from scratch.

Well, that's all for now. I'll send out another update and let you know how the big keynote went. I'm getting excited!!


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Sneak preview of the new boat!

Click on any of the images below to enlarge.

Naval architect Stuart Bloomfield from Bloomfield designs is making good progress on the design of next version of WiTHiN - the speed demon that I will human power across the Atlantic ocean. It's still a work in progress, but I thought I would show you how it is looking.

I took a .dxf file of the basic hull shape from Rick who converted it from Stuarts drawing and imported it into my 3D software where I added hatches and windows and other details. The construction method will be based on developable surfaces. First, we create flat panels which are carbon over varying thicknesses of core material (probably something like CoreCell). Then computer cut the flat panels and join them together around the bulkheads to create the boat.

This flat panel method of construction is fast and less expensive than the traditional CNC machined foam plug/mold method. It's also very strong and according to Ricks computer simulations, just as efficient as a compound curved hull.

With the two hatches on the roof, I will be able to sit up on the top deck

or kneel on the sea-anchor locker which is behind my seat to
deploy the sea anchor or a drogue

The aft top deck hatch also makes it easy to enter the sleeping cabin

Another 'living position' is to sit on the sea anchor locker top and
look out through the aft top deck hatch

After the seat is rotated out of the way, I can stand up
through the sliding pilot hatch

There is a hatch separating the cockpit and sleeping cabin

This view shows the sleeping cabin hatch open and resting
on top of the sea anchor locker

A view into the sleeping cabin. There is a rear port light window to
see behind, and two round port lights on each side.
The monitor that you see hanging down from above is
the AIS radar monitor

This is a view out the front window. The port lights on the sides open IN and DOWN.

There will be enough room to crouch to access the
bow locker and to remove the drive leg

Earthrace has started!!!

Look at this awesome looking beast! It's Pete Bathune's Earthrace - a 100% biodiesel powered wave piercing boat that departed today from Spain on it's way to set a new round the world power boat speed record.

You can follow Earth Race progress here: The race tracking map and data is presented by none other than my buddy Pat Brothers from Racerecon (now Rushdigital).
You can support the record attempt for as little as $10 by buying a nautical mile at the Earthrace web site.

I just finished reading Pete's best selling book about their first failed attempt to set the record last year. Earthrace - Futuristic Adventures on the High Seas is a GREAT read and I can really identify with how difficult it was for Pete and his team to even make the start line! I think just getting to the start line is more than half the battle.

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Am I a Sea Biscuit?

Am I destined to end up as yet another Sea Biscuit?

After hearing the 100th story about the Sea Biscuit from the locals in Tofino, Murray and I decided to do some investigating and learn more about this ill-fated world circumnavigation in an eight foot sail boat.

Sea Biscuit is a 8-foot (yes, as in EIGHT feet long from bow to stern) sailboat that Floridian Harley Harlson built to circumnavigate the globe, nonstop. Construction details here. Previously, the smallest boat to circumnavigate the globe is 12 feet long, sailed by Serge Testa. I highly recommend his book called 500 days. A really great read! In my opinion, Serge really knew what he was doing - I'm not so sure about Harley, but then again, perhaps people are saying that about me.

Harley arrived in Tofino to start his world circumnavigation in August of 2006. He made it from the trailer to the public boat launch dock where he discovered a foot of water in the bottom of Sea Biscuit that leaked in through his rudder bolts. Failing to repair the leak, and missing his weather window, Harley returned home and docked Sea Biscuit at the marina at the end of Olsen Road in Tofino where Murray and I found her on Sunday.

The two stories we heard from the locals were: "He was lying in a wet bed pan for 2 weeks bailing water out with a sponge" and "The coast guard seized his boat and wouldn't let him go". Neither story was true. It's funny how a story sort of has a life of it's own that may only be loosely connected with the truth.

I am not sure just how much testing Harley did previous to his failed launch in Tofino. I did read in an interview that he tested Sea Biscuit in a lake, but I am really not sure about how much open ocean sailing he did with her. That might have been a good idea.


I have said this before and I think I need to repeat it - if not just to re-confirm my own objectives regarding this record attempt. About 1 year ago in my blog, I said:

I want to make this clear - this challenge is NOT about doing a solo, unsupported survival adventure across the Atlantic ocean. I have the highest respect for those who do that like current ocean crossers Roz Savage, Jason Lewis, Bhavic, Ralph Tuijn and previous ocean crossing expeditions Leven Brown, Greg Spooner, Colin and Julie, and the many others I follow and have followed.

My 'thing' is the combination of technology and human performance. A fully supported human powered Atlantic speed record attempt is exactly what this expedition is. The support / safety boat will accompany me and provide supplies, traffic lookout, water making, equipment backups, communications, repairs, food, company and even occasionally a safe place to escape to (if ocean conditions allow). This allows me to focus on designing and building the fastest, most efficient human powered ocean boat possible, and my ability to pedal the machine 3000 miles across the Atlantic ocean in less than 40 days.

Since then, I have decided that a "fully supported" speed record isn't a fair comparison to the existing unsupported Atlantic crossing record of 43 days set my Emmanuel Coindre, so my support boat will be a safety boat only, and will not be used for support of any kind unless there is an emergency in which case my unsupported crossing either becomes a supported one, or I am rescued and have to abandon the crossing.

I certainly hope that this project is viewed by others as a serious endeavour to demonstrate the potential of something long forgotten - our human power in all of it's forms. PedalTheOcean is a physical, mental and emotional challenge unlike anything I have ever set out to do.

Seeing Sea Biscuit falling apart in a pile of seaweed under the dock at the end of Olsen road, is a really good reminder of how I could potentially be viewed by the people of Tofino - those who saw me on TV, read about me in the paper, or have seen me come and go from the WeighWest marina.


Like every worthy challenge, there is always more to it than you can ever imagine or can possibly plan for. At times like this I need to remember this bit of greeting card wisdom: "Persistence prevails when all else fails". Following are a few of the "learning experiences" that I am dealing with right now:

EXPERIENCE: After Mondays 9 hour training session on the water I know first hand how important gaining the appropriate experience will be in my ability to succeed at this challenge. The best kind of experience will be time spent in WiTHiN on the ocean - there would be no substitute for that. Murray and I discussed this during the drive back from Tofino, and what I would like to do when the new boat is finished (calling it "Ocean WiTHiN" for now) is dock it in Tofino fully equipped and provisioned for multi-day trips. Then I can fly out from Calgary which is a very easy and inexpensive flight and head out to sea in WiTHiN. I could start with a day trip similar to what we did with Matahil's support boat, but do it on my own. Then I could slowly advance to an over night trip, then a 3 day trip, etc. I would experience all kinds of weather and ocean conditions and I think this kind of training would be very good for me.

Sea sickness: They say it can't be trained, but I doubt that, as I know from many others that 2 to 3 days is usually when the body gets accustomed to this alien rock and roll environment and stops getting sick. That is basically what training is. There was an episode of Myth Busters a while ago where they tested sea sickness cures. They found only 2 cures that worked: Ginger and medication. I will experiment with both, as well as some trampoline training. I used to be a gymnast in high school and was very surprised at how dizzy I got doing simple flips on a trampoline a while ago. I am certain that I can train this motion sickness away by simply doing trampoline flips every day. If that's the case, perhaps there will be some residual inner ear / spacial awareness that I develop that will carry over to the ocean environment.

OW (Ocean WiTHiN) design: One of the causes of motion sickness is a miss-match between where the eye registers the bodies location in space, and it's actual location in space. As soon as I looked away from my small front window, I got sick. I also found it very difficult to see anything outside - I rarely saw Matahil and he was always close to me. I think I would like to re-visit the sliding canopy idea for the new boat design. The Naval architect Stuart Bloomfield designed opening hatches and a small sliding pilot hatch on the roof, but I don't think this is enough to provide me with the 'livable' open environment that I want in the cockpit. I would like to 'really be there' - not watching everything from the detached view point of a closed-in cockpit. The advantage of a sliding canopy cover is that I always have the option of sliding it over for really bad weather or big seas. Of course, the sleeping cabin is closed off with a bulkhead and hatch, as is the bow storage locker, so with the bilge pump on the cockpit floor, even if WiTHiN flooded, I would still be capsize safe.

Stuart Bloomfield and Ricks closed canopy/hatch design (click to enlarge)sliding cockpit cover

I noticed how much work it took to stay on my bearing and I think I will look into installing a small autopilot. This should not only make my forward progress a bit more efficient (always on track), but will also ease the work load for me. If anyone knows of a small, very efficient autopilot, let me know. The smallest I have found is this Simrad TP10.

Support boat: Being the optimist that I am, I always thought that I would be able to find someone sailing from the Canaries to Barbados who would be willing to accompany me as my safety boat. I know now that this is a lot to ask, as staying even in the broad vicinity of me in the middle of the ocean takes a lot of work. After speaking with a few boat brokers and yacht management companies, my best bet is to arrange my own crew, and buy a yacht capable of a trans oceanic voyage, then sell it at my destination. My friend Stefan Dalberg has volunteered to skipper the support boat, and I hope I can find a few more crew interested in the experience.

Spanish coast guard: This is a problem. I have heard from others who tried to deal with the coastguard, that they do not negotiate with individuals. Letters and attempts to contact them go unanswered for months. So far, every independent ocean rower who has departed from Canary Islands has left at night incognito. One option is to join the Atlantic rowing race in December of 2009 which includes a support boat shared by all of the race participants, and Spanish coast guard clearance. I like this option because of the community and the publicity opportunity. Speedy WiTHiN is an interesting contrast in amongst all the sluggish row boats.

Shipping WiTHiN: I had budgeted about $7000 to ship WiTHiN to the Canary Islands. Because she is over 20 feet long, she has to go in a 40 foot container which is twice as expensive as a 20 foot container. Plus, it will take up to 2 months for delivery! OUCH. And another $14,000 to ship back to Miami.

Schedule: December of 2008 is definitely OUT. There is no way I can get proper training, finish building WiTHiN, test her and ship her this year. Looks like December of 2009 for Canaries to West Indies route, or I could leave as early as June of 2009 if I were to change routes and head across the Pacific instead (this is an option that I am considering, as it also eliminates my shipping problems. More on this later).

We have made some serious progress since I made that comment about the support boat a year ago, but I still have very far to go. I need to remember that it's all about the journey, not the destination. This journey will be a long one, and I need to stop every once in a while and remember to enjoy it.


Here are a few more photos from Mondays sea trails in Tofino:

Soon after we left the dock, I started to over heat. With the new keel, standing up in WiTHiN is no problem

Leaving the Weigh West marina at sun rise

Long Beach

WiTHiN leaving Tofino with the town in the background

We got home just in time - just missed a big winter storm!

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Big Seas!


Watch this video in HD - click here!

"At first you are afraid you are going to die.
Then you are afraid you are not going to die".

This is what my support boat driver Matahil Lawson says about sea
sickness. I can now attest that it is completely true, and in the
midst of barfing my guts out for the third time in a brutal 9 hour
training session 20 km into the pacific ocean off the west coast of
Vancouver Island, I was having serious doubts about what I was setting
out to do.

It was an amazing experience - one that I will never forget, but also
a real eye opener for me.

My buddy Murray and I met Matahil for breakfast at 7:00 am at the
WeighWest marina in Tofino, BC where WiTHiN was docked, and we were on
the water by 8:00. Matahil has a 24 foot open aluminum boat that he
built himself and agreed to support me for a full day out on the
Pacific. My friend Murray from Houston, TX kindly agreed to come along
and help out (he didn't know what he was in for). I had been watching
the surf report closely for the week leading up to our sea trials, and
I was anticipating some 5 meter (15 feet) waves further west off the
coast. This would be my opportunity to experience some real open ocean
conditions in WiTHiN - I was excited and ready.

Packed on board was 7 liters of drinking water and a few packs of
dehydrated meals with my JetBoil camp stove. I was wearing my life
jacket with a personal emergency locator clipped on and had my GPS,
SRM power meter, and iPod charged up and ready to go . I was in 2-way
radio contact with Matahil and Murray, and I had a cell phone for back
up. The objective was to get as far west off the coast in 4 hours as
possible, then turn around and pedal back.

I was immediately impressed with the visibility through my front
window. During my last trip to Tofino, I had to use my video camera
monitor system to see outside because my window fogged up on the
inside, and water drops collected on the outside. This time, I had
installed a manual window wiper, and my doctor buddy Chad gave me a
bottle of his special surgery liquid that stops fogging on optics.
Both worked perfectly and I had clear vision through the front window
for the first time.

We cleared the northern tip of Wickaninnish Island and headed west out
to sea. The swells started to grow and within the first hour we were
in 12 footers. I was apprehensive at first, but I didn't find them too
scary. After a couple of hours the waves grew bigger and started
coming in from different angles and my comfort level had grown
considerably. I had my top hatch off and both side windows open for
venting. As the water mountains grew in size, I became increasingly
comfortable with how WiTHiN and I were handling the conditions.

The new keel really helps dampen the rocking and it's all I need for
stability to stand up without tipping over. My speed was about 7 kph
on 150 watts into an oncoming sea. The wind was low and there is a 1
knot current that runs from south to north along the coast for about
200 km from shore which I was cutting directly across. My speed ranged
from 5 km/hr riding up the swells to 12 km/hr surfing down. I headed
West for 4 hours at an average speed of 6.4 km/hour and reached 20 km
west of the coast.

After 2 hours I started to feel a bit queasy, at 3 hours I felt very
nauseous. It took every bit of concentration on the horizon to avoid
throwing up. At 4 hours we reached a pod of feeding hump back wales
(watch the video - truly AMAZING shots by Matahil and Murray from the
support boat!) and as soon as I stopped moving I got violently ill.
Serious projectile vomiting over the open top hatch - repeatedly until
there was nothing of my breakfast left. I felt horrible. How was I
going to make it back to shore now - maybe it would go away.

Nope. I got sick 2 more times - each just as violent as the first, but
the last time there was nothing left in my stomach so I just choked
after each dry heave. By 6 hours in I had eaten exactly NOTHING and
drank about a liter of water all day. Typically on long training rides
I eat 300 calories per hour to keep my muscles fueled and my blood
sugar levels up. I was TRULY running on empty - an empty stomach, low
blood sugar and dehydrated. And on top of that, I felt like I was
going to die. - no, I felt like I wished I would die. We couldn't tow
at this point, as the ocean was just too big and it would have been
too dangerous - this was obvious. I just had to suck it up and keep
pressing on back to shore.

I think Murray had it worse. He started to feel sick almost as soon as
we reached the open ocean and he was sick for almost the whole 9 hour
ordeal. When I saw him at the half way point I thought he looked like
Fred Flintstones green Martian friend Kazoo. When Murray saw me he
wondered if he looked as bad as I looked, and I was wondering the same
thing about myself. Dam it, there goes another new friend. My friend
burn rate is pretty high these days.

When we reached the protected waters of the coast Matahil used a rope
and a bucket as a drogue which he tied to my stern and he towed meback
to WeighWest marina. I was completely spent.

Total time spent pedaling was about 8 hours, total time spent on the
water was 9 hours. The distance traveled west out to sea was 19.88 km
from the far northern tip of Wickaninnish Island. The distance I
ACTUALLY traveled as measured by my GPS track was 20.7 km. The 4%
additional distance actually traveled is due to how much WiTHiN was
veering off course due to directional stability issues caused by waves
and surfing. You could call this a 4% "wobble factor". If I had to
travel a 4000 km straight line, I would actually have to travel an
additional 160 km due to the wobble factor.

My moving average as measured from the GPS was 6.4 km/hour and my
average watts of power was about 125 watts as measured by my SRM power
meter. That compares to about 7 km/hr without the keel.

Overall, it was a pretty thrilling experience. The ocean is one wild
place - very humbling. We saw sea lions, a bunch of sea otters,
numerous whales, an albatross, and some seals. Matahil was impressed
with the average speed I maintained, and the fact that within a few
hours we were 20 km out to sea in my human powered boat WiTHiN, which
at it's basic essence is just a tandem kayak. He thought that pitching
is a problem as is the directional stability. In some of the video
footage, I can see the bow swing from right to left as waves push it
around. He also thought that WiTHiN could benefit from a dagger board
which would help her track straight when surfing down a wave. He
noticed WITHiN veering right or left in the troughs rather than
pushing straight through. Because my situational awareness inside
WiTHiN is so poor, I really have no feedback aside from watching the
heading indicator on my compass fluctuate wildly. Matahil said that
ANYONE would get sick in WiTHiN in the conditions we were facing. It
was really rocking and pitching quite a bit.

Where do I go from here? I just don't know at this point. I need some
time to digest these recent events, as it seems that there are many
problems with this expedition and solutions aren't exactly obvious. I
will expand on that later.

"Life is a series of experiences, each of which makes us bigger, even
though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop
character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we
endure help us in our marching onward."
Henry Ford

Greg K

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SBS TV Korea Interview

Here is the SBS TV, Korea documentary on human power featuring Pedal The Ocean in Tofino during sea trials. Pat and I were very impressed with producer Jin-Kyu Yoo and his camera man Sang-Ryun Woo. They even spent the effort and expense to produce a custom computer animation of WiTHiN for the special.


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Discovery Channel interview & sneak preview of the ocean boat!

When Pat and I were out in Tofino for sea trials, my PR genius Mark Dusseault arranged a media day in Victoria for local media to shoot pictures of WiTHiN and interview me. The entire afternoon was spent with a crew from Discovery Channel filming a second interview. The first Discovery Channel show is here:

The second piece turned out well, but I think they kind of focused in too much on the window issue - it wasn't really that big of a deal. Over all the goal was to see how stable WiTHiN was in waves and chop, and it did OK. I think the biggest thing I learned was I wanted to see what a keel would do to mitigate the excessive rocking. We'll find out soon.

Speaking of the second sea trials, WiTHiN is pretty well ready to go. The keel is now finished, and the other day I added this manually operated windshield wiper. I had also replaced the PETG window plastic, so it's no longer frosted slightly with paint over spray like that last one. This should make it easier to see out the window.

You can see the handle to operate the wiper under the top deck.

Another problem I was having in Tofino was my vent fan falling off the Dorade vent. It was held in place with a Velcro-like fastener. The reason is so that I can rip it off and manually shut the valve on he vent if I had to. To keep it in place, I bonded 3 latches onto it. To remove it, I just flip the latches and pull it off.

The last item repaired was where the old stops were for the outriggers. I had to kick them off to get WiTHiN through the door of the pool when we pool-tested the keel. I grounded the rough fiberglass down smooth, and filled over with micro.

Ready to go! Now I just have to find a support boat. I made a call to a friend who works for the Canadian coast guard office in Tofino to ask about boat availability for a couple of days within the next week or so to support me during my trials. He says that whale watching season has just started and many of the whale watching boats are fully booked. He's making some calls for me.

Is anyone local interested in going with me to Tofino?

The 24 hour human powered boat record

I just finished a 7.5 hour ride. Ugh! It was -10 C degrees this morning, but it was supposed to warm up later and the sun was up, so I figured I would break the day up by doing 5 hours outside, then another 3 inside. The outside ride was not fun. I froze my toes.

My hamstring started to get pretty sore. I'm not sure if it was because of Wednesday's KILLER AT intervals, or because the geometry on the M5 isn't exactly what I've been training on with the inside trainer. Anyhow - not a lot of fun.

One advantage that postponing the ocean crossing has is affording me a bit more time on other projects - including the 24 hour HPB record. I was thinking about an early June attempt, but I only get 1 month of unfrozen water here to train on. Glenmore res opens in May. That means that most of my training has to be either downstairs on the inside trainer, or outside on the M5. Outside is fine, but that really sucks when the temperature is less that 10 degrees C. I would much prefer a month or two of warm weather to alternate some long, 14 to 16 hour outside epic rides with some ultra long lake training days on the new boat. Scheduling the 24 hour record attempt and race for later in June would give me an additional month to train.

The Styrofoam hull and outrigger floats for V11G are due in from Saskatchewan today. I will order my carbon, epoxy, and other supplies on Tuesday, then schedule a composites work day here maybe the following week - depends on if I can get all of my supplies.

Manny the CNC machinist extraordinaire has finished machining the new prop for V11G !! It is a piece of ART!

Sneak preview of WiTHiN-ocean!

Postponement of the 24 hour record has it's drawbacks - I am counting on this summer to complete all of the testing required for the new ocean crossing version of WiTHiN. Even with the postponement of the ocean crossing until next December (actually, it will probably be much earlier - like next JUNE. More on that later), I need this summer to complete all of the testing. This includes basic testing, as well as a few multi-day trips with the boat FULLY provisioned and equipped.

World record winning naval architect Stuart Bloomfield has completed some preliminary designs for the new boat. Check it out:

The big advantage to using the flat panel method of construction is speed and ease of building it. The panels can be made before hand using core materials and carbon on both sides. Then the panel shapes are laser cut from computer files. The carbon panels are seamed together to form the boat.

The front windshield is raked back, but there are two 'A frame' beams running from the roof line to the bow top deck. The beams are both structural and aesthetic.

Boston marathon

Helen and I have the Boston marathon next month and this will be an interesting experiment for me. I've been running only ONCE per week because of an old calf injury from last years 24 hour record. It's not going away, so I've cut my running way back. One long run per week - that's it. This week I did a 2.5 hour run and next week it will be 2.75. So far, it seems to be working. I have plenty of energy during that long run, and my calf hasn't been hurting. I wont be setting any personal bests in Boston that's for sure!

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Keel pin-up girl

I figured you were probably getting sick of seeing my (just turned 47 year old) face on the blog, so I got Helen to pose with the new keel for you. You are welcome.

The keel consists of a 3.5" diameter stainless steel pipe welded to a 3 foot long stainless tube. The tube slide over a stub tube which is welded to a 1/4" stainless steel plate which is bolted to the hull through the seat rails.

I welded a 1/16" thick steel fin to the keel strut. I'll fill the gap in with bondo and shape to an airfoil. Everything was going too well. I finished welding on my fin and went to slide the keel onto the stub post and it didn't fit! Then I realized that I forgot about the weld-through on the other side of my stainless tube! ARGH! It was a bead running about 12 inches down the inside of the tube - impossible to grind off with a standard grinding bit for the dremel.

I ended up having to make my own took to reach down in the tube to grind off that excess weld. It took me as long to grind that weld-through off as it did to make the whole keel!

The keel is bolted onto the plate on the hull with two bolts to nuts welded to the other side of the tube. To get the keel on, I will tip WiTHiN onto her side and from the dock, slide the keel tube onto the stub post, then screw in the bolts.

The big cylinder was filled up with lead shot. I purchased four x 25 lb bags (EXPENSIVE! They cost $50 a bag!). Unfortunately, only 50 pounds worth of shot filled the 24" long cylinder. I think the cylinder pipe itself + the keel strut, etc is probably worth another 20 lbs, so I'll have a total of about 70 lbs. I wanted 90 lbs, but I will have additional ballast on the floor of WiTHiN, so I'm pretty sure I can match the stability we experienced during the keel test at the pool last week.
To fair out the leading and trailing ends of the ballast cylinder, I welded some plate on to form a round leading edge and tapered trailer edge. I will fill them up with bondo mixed with lead, then sand smooth

Expedition Progress:

Have you ever noticed that progress comes in bursts, and in between these bursts you slip backward? Right now I feel like I am stuck in an anti-progress eddy!

Quotes for shipping WiTHiN to the Canary Islands are coming in at around $14,000 one way! And I have to drive it to New York. This is about double what I had budgeted. Then another $14,000 to ship her back from Antigua to Miami, and again, I would need to drive to Miami to pick it up. I also found out that I need to allow 7 week delivery time.

If I am to meet Nick (my support boat) for a November departure, I need to have WiTHiN shipped out by the beginning of August. I set a deadline to have the new boat built by Early June, but that was based on getting plans finished two weeks ago.

We have to finish the drawings, contract a builder, have the entire boat built, install all the hardware, and equipment and supplies and then get it out to Tofino for sea trials - all before August first. Oh, and then I have to drive for 3 days to New York.

Postponing for 1 year is something that I am seriously considering. One advantage is more time to seek that elusive major sponsor, and another advantage is more time to develop that sea experience that I am so lacking thereof. If I did postpone departure for a year, I would definitely plan some intermediate challenges.


I had a 6 hour training ride scheduled for tomorrow, but the weather is going bad. Snow and a high of zero, so it looks like I'll be riding inside for the day. Yeah! fun fun fun.

The good news is I got an iPod Touch for my birthday, so I plan on watching some TV shows, podcasts and YouTube while sweating away downstairs in my basement for 6 hours. Maybe hour 1 I'll read my book (see what I'm reading on my FaceBook page - Greg Kolodziejzyk), hour two - play some Guitar Hero, hour 3 - a bit of email on the iTouch or Nomad, hour 4 & 5 - watch a DVD movie on TV, hour 6 - watch some YouTube videos on the iTouch. I can also listen to a couple of audio books I have started (Long Way Down and The Proving Ground), and some tunes.

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Live Life!

Live your life to the FULLEST. Susie did.

Susie Lantz (left) and Helen (right) on a beach on the Oregon coast

Canmore resident Susanna Lantz was skiing with a friend in an area known as Chickadee Pass, on the south side of the Great Divide bordering Banff and Kootenay national parks, when an avalanche swept down the side of the mountain around 4 p.m. prematurely ending the life of this wonderful 28 year.

Helen and I met Susie a couple of years ago on our Oregon coast bike trip. She was this amazingly energetic and enthusiastic spark who was living her dream by cycling from Vancouver to the tip of South America. We spent a day with her, then we split off and wished her the best of luck on her adventure.

Her unfortunate story made the front page of the Calgary Herald and Helen recognized her face, and I recognized her name. A few minutes spent digging through photo archives of our Oregon trip resulted in a sad confirmation - it was indeed Susie.

Susie - your positive attitude, energy, enthusiasm and zest for life was infectious, and you will be missed.


Ocean WiTHiN progress:

I am happy to report that we have contracted a naval architect to produce working drawings of Ocean WiTHiN. Stuart Bloomfield from Bloomfield Innovations will be talking the basic dimensions from my overview and drafting plans that will go to a composite fabricator for construction. I am considering a few builders now.


If we can negotiate an early departure from the Canary Islands with the Spanish coastguard of November 1, then I will be crossing the Atlantic with skipper Nick Dwyer from Around-in-ten as my safety boat. Working back from there - this is what the schedule looks like:

November 1st - DEPARTURE from La Gomera Spain
Oct 15th - WiTHiN and I arrive in La Gomera
(two weeks to get WiTHiN ready)
Sept 1 - deliver WiTHiN (fully provisioned and equipped) to the
container ship on the coast for 6 week
transport to Canary Islands
Aug - second sea trials
July - first sea trials
June 30 - WiTHiN ready for sea trials (equipment, electrics,
hardware - everything installed and ready to go)
June 1 - WiTHiN bare-boat built
March 1 to 7 - plans delivered to boat builder

I made cardboard cutouts of the various Lewmar port lights and sat in the mock-up to figure out exactly where these windows should be placed. I plotted a horizon line on the coroplast canopy and shifted my view by moving my head forward, back, right and left such that I could get a full 360 degree view around me to watch for other ships.


I am still planning on another attempt at the 24 hour human powered boat distance record for early June. As I have said before, this intermediate challenge motivates me to start taking my training seriously now! After the 24 hour event, I will be perfectly situated to start some seriously long distance training which will get me ready for the ocean crossing.

My long rides have been inside in the little red coroplast playhouse trainer, but the weather here has been marginal for outside rides, so I cleaned up the M5, and in an hour I'll be heading out for my 2nd 5-hour outside ride with my buddy Dr. Chad Anker who is training for Ironman Coeurdalene.


As you know, I will be building a brand new human powered boat for the 24 hour 'Pedal vs Paddle' challenge. This is Rick Willoughby's tried and tested design, so there shouldn't be much time consuming R & D involved in this build. Jarrett Johnson is CNC machining the hull and outriggers out of solid foam right now. They should be finished next week. Ben and myself and whoever else we can grab to help will be adding carbon and Kevlar to the foam hulls. Then a drive frame and seat goes on, rudder, prop and I'm done - ready for testing in the nearest unfrozen lake to Calgary.

I had purchased a bunch of Chrome Alloy to fabricate the drive frame with, but decided to build it out of aluminum instead. I've welded aluminum before, but I lost faith in my welding skills when a simple bracket I made failed at the weld. I thought I would give it another try.

I welded up a test join -two tubes about the same wall thickness as the tubing that I planned to build the frame out of. The welding very surprisingly well and I smashed the test part with a hammer as it was held in my vice and it failed on the tube - not the weld. Good news. So I went for it.

I am VERY happy with the result. It weighs 2 pounds without any hardware, pedals, etc. My seat weighs 3 pounds. I need to add a bracket for the right angle gear box kindly provided by one of my sponsors MitrPak, a shaft, the prop (we're hopefully getting this CNC machined), aluminum frames for the seat back and outriggers and the rudder.

I am really trying to have this new boat ready for water testing in March sometime. If it tests out as expected, then I will 'pull the trigger' and officially announce the race.

In March, I also want to get back out to Tofino for another round of sea trials in the prototype WiTHiN using a keel which I still have to build.

So much to do, but I am hanging in there! Susie will be my inspiration for March.

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TWICE as fast as rowing?

I did some additional calculating, and I think I have come up with the following ESTIMATE: There is a 5% chance that my crossing could be either 66.5 days or 21 days, and a 95% chance that it will be 36 to 44 days. Here is the logic behind this estimate - please let me know if I have made any errors:

I know for sure that WiTHiN will be able to maintain an average of 7 to 8 kph for at least 12 hours per day based on my known power output capabilities are over a 24 hour period. I also know that I can expect an average surface current speed of .8 kph for 24 hours of every day. Using the simple calculations below, this was how I had estimated my record breaking 40 day finishing time:

La Gomera, Spain to Antigua = 4500 km
Ocean Surface Current = .8 kph x 24 hours/day
= 19.2 km/day x 40 days = 768 km
12 hours of pedalling per day @ 100 watts, 8 kph
= 96 km/day x 40 days = 3840 km
Total distance covered = 4608 km

But what I don't know for sure, is how wind and weather will effect my progress predictions. So, I decided to run an analysis using the 35 solo Atlantic tradewinds route (Canary Islands to West Indies) ocean rowing expeditions since 1969 from the Ocean Rowing Societies web site.

First of all, lets see if we figure out what the average speed of an ocean rowing boat is, and how that compares to actual rowing times.

The fastest solo ocean crossing (tradewinds route) in an ocean rowing boat is 42 days, the slowest is 133 days and the average of every crossing since 1969 is 82.7 days

From research of previous ocean rowers including reading archives of trip logs, the many books I have read and my communications with many of them, it seems that the average speed observed by ocean rowers while underway is about 2 knots. That converts to 3.7 kph. If we subtract the ocean surface current of .8 kph, we get an actual unassisted average speed of 2.9 kph (this compares to my unassisted average speed of 8 kph).

Let's see if my observation of the average rowing speed works out to the total distance using an average of 12 hours of rowing per day and the ocean surface current of .8 kph:

La Gomera, Spain to Antigua = 4500 km
Ocean Surface Current = .8 kph x 24 hours/day
= 19.2 km/day x 82.7 days overall average = 1587 km
12 hours of ROWING per day @ 2.9 kph
= 34.8 km/day x 82.7 days overall average = 2877
Total distance covered = 4464 km

So, it looks like my estimate of 2.9 kph average rowing speed without current works out to predicting the overall average time to cross the Atlantic by row boat. Therefore, my estimated crossing time of 40 days should be pretty accurate.

Error bars

Now lets calculate the standard deviation and error bars of all solo ocean rows and apply that to my 40 days to see what the maximum and minimum crossing time could be:

# solo ocean rows = 35
Total crossing time = 2896 days
Average crossing time = 82.7 days
Standard Deviation = 24.11
Error: stdev/(sqrt(count)) = + - 4.076 days

Using this standard deviation, I would expect that my crossing could take from 36 days to 44 days (approximately). Actually, that is not right... Since my average predicted crossing time is approximately 50% of the average rowing time, I think that I would need to take 50% of the rowing error which could be + - 2 days, not 4. But I'll use 4 to be conservative.

Anyhow.. I'm a bit rusty on my stats (it's been a while). What would the confidence level be for a 36 to 44 day crossing? 95% ??

Another way of predicting how the random chaotic nature of the weather could effect my crossing would be to simply take the maximum rowed crossing of 133 days, and divide that by my average speed compared to rowing averages (66.5 days maximum), and the fastest rowed crossing of 42 days (21 days minimum).

To summarize, we could say that there is a 5% chance that my crossing could be either 66.5 days or 21 days, and a 95% chance that it will be 36 to 44 days.


Hurricanes and illegal departures

I have been running around in circles trying to secure a safety boat for my human powered transatlantic record attempt schedule for December 1, 2008 - only 282 days away according to my countdown timer posted at the Pedal the Ocean web site.

According to the Ocean Rowing Society's statistics page, a total of 80 individuals have rowed across the Atlantic ocean East to West from Canary Islands to the West indies this 2007-2008 season (this includes 5 who are in the process of rowing as I type). There were 7 solo rowers, 17 duos, 5 groups of four, one group of 5, and one group of 14 rowers who set a new human powered crossing record of 33 days, 7 hours, 30 minutes (this was a group of 14 rowers! How I would LOVE to break that record as a solo!)

Most of these crossings were participating in the Atlantic Rowing Race 2007, an race organized by Woodvale Challenge. The race entrants are followed across by a support boat, and there are rules regarding the kind of support that would constitute a disqualification, and in those cases, the teams are allowed to continue the crossing, but would be either disqualified from the race aspect of the event, or assessed a penalty. For example, in the 2005 Atlantic Rowing Race, Jo Davies from the all girl team called Rowgirls decided that she was unable to continue due to hurting her back when she fell. She left the race by boarding the support boat after 45 days at sea. The Rowgirls team was disqualified from the race, but the three remaining girls continued to finish their journey and eventually arrived in Antigua. (Jo Davies returned this year and finished the race with another 4 person, all girl rowing team and they broke the womens record by 10 days!) Another example of a rower seeking support is Peter Collette on Atlantic Pete who took a package of antibiotics from the support boat during his solo crossing this year. Since there were only two solo rowers in this years rowing race, Woodvale gave the second rower Canadian Paul Attalla the option to have Peter disqualified. Since Peter didn't end up consuming any of the medication, Paul honorably recognized Peter's solo division win.

For me, this ocean crossing is not a survival adventure, it is about setting a speed record. If the peace of mind that comes with a safety boat near-by allows me to focus on my first goal which is to make it across the Atlantic ocean as fast as I can, then I think the investment is definitely worth it. Just like the Atlantic rowing races, if I need support from my follow boat, say repairs that I am unable to make, or a re-supply of food or water, then I would disqualify myself from any claim on a speed record, but I would still continue to make my way across if possible.

There are many rowers - even solo rowers who cross every year without the security of a follow vessel. If they run into trouble, they reply on the local coastguard for a rescue. Essentially, rowers who use a support boat are assuming most of this responsibility by paying for their own rescue and not relying on the state to provide it.

I have a number of options regarding a support boat, and none of these have panned out so far - except one which looks very promising. Here is a quick run down:

1. Charter a boat and hire a slipper and crew. This is the simplest option, as I can choose from thousands of capable boats and crew members. The problem is that most charter companies do not like their boats to cross entire oceans, and prices that I have been quoted are STARTING at $150,000 !!!!!! I could buy a brand new sailing yacht for that amount.

2. Buy a yacht and sell it when I am finished. This could work, but selling a yacht isn't like selling your car. It could sit in an expensive marina slip for YEARS before it sells, and the loss due to depreciation plus maintenance and moorage costs would be substantial.

3. Buy a yacht and keep it. Sailing the world on our own yacht is a future that Helen and I have discussed and might be interested in exploring someday, we are nowhere near ready to take that step. Also moving the yacht to the Vancouver Island area from the West indies would be very expensive as would the moorage fees, maintenance and up keep once it finally gets here. Keeping it and chartering it out through a charter firm might be an option, but again, I'm just not sure I want to get into that business right now. I need to focus my energies and time on the crossing, not investing in a yacht.

4. Find someone who is sailing across from the Canaries to the West Indies at about the same time as I plan to make my crossing. This is the option that makes the most sense. The average sailing yacht takes about 3 to 4 weeks to cross the Atlantic and I am hoping to do it in 6 weeks. I can pay a fee which would make the extra crossing time required of the support yacht worth their while. The problem with option 4 is finding someone - like finding a needle in a hay stack. I have send hundreds of emails to sailing communities, yacht brokers, marinas, posted in sailing forums, placed classified ads in magazines, and nothing has resulted in any prospects.

Until just yesterday. Rob Hurrell who is my support boat advisor in the Caribbean knows of a world circumnavigation sailing race called Around in Ten. You have to check out this web site - imagine this: A single handed sailing race around the world in boats that cannot exceed 10 feet. Your car is longer than 10 feet. I got in contact with the races organizer Nick Dwyer who will be travelling to the Canary islands to pick up his A 38ft steel Roberts Spray yacht that Nick will skipper as support boat for the around-in-ten race. He needs to sail the support boat from the Canaries to the Caribbean for the start of the around-in-ten race in early January.

Nick Dwyer and his new 38 foot support boat

Nick seems interested in helping me out, and we are working out the details. The fit between our two projects is perfect and the timing is almost perfect. Nick needs to leave the Canary islands no later than November 15. My planned departure date was December 1. Leaving two weeks early shouldn't be a big deal, but there is more to it that you would think.

The first problem is the Spanish coastguard has issued a list of port clearances for ocean rowers. The requirements are all reasonable except for the life raft. My boat is too small for a 4 person approved life raft and I will be followed by a support boat, so I don't see it as something necessary for me to carry. The other problem is they won't allow you to leave until after December 1. Nick wants to leave on November 15.

The second problem with an early departure is the reason why the Spanish won't let you leave until December 1, which is the official end of the hurricane season.

Nick and I have been looking at the hurricane risk as it pertains to our Atlantic crossing, and it appears that a November departure could be pretty safe. Here is a plot showing the number of hurricanes and tropical storms throughout the year showing the 'season' from May 1 to Dec 1:

click to enlarge

Specifically, along my intended route, since 1991 there have been few hurricanes or strong tropical storms in the North Atlantic during the month of November, and very few during the month of December. None of the November storms were on the tradewinds route (my route from Canaries to Antigua). Almost all of the storms occur in a zone from the center of the Atlantic to the west side, and North of 10 degrees. By the time we reach the western side where these monsters generally spawn, it will be December and the number of storm occurrences decreases substantially. Here is a list of all the serious storms that occurred in the North Atlantic over the last 17 years in the months of November and December

Tropical storm Olga - Dec 11 to 12, 2007 - near my destination in the west indies
Hurricane Epsilon - Nov 29 to Dec 8, 2005 - far north of my route
Tropical storm Zeta - Dec 30 to Jan 6, 2005 - far north of my route
Tropical storm Otto - Nov 29 to Dec 3, 2004 - far north of my route
Tropical storm Odette - Dec 4 to 11, 2003 - north of my route
Tropical storm Peter - Dec 7 to 11, 2003 - near the mid point of my route (slightly north)
Hurricane Olga - Nov 24 to Dec 4, 2001 - far north west of my route
Hurricane Nicole - Nov 24 to Dec 1, 1998 - far North of my route

You can view a historical plot of all north Atlantic hurricanes and strong storms and their paths from 1995 to 2007 at this NOAA page:

According to my analysis, if I had departed Canary Islands on Nov 15th in any of the 17 years from 1991 to 2007, I would not have encountered any hurricanes, tropical storms or tropical depressions. I would have come close to tropical storm Olga in 2007 at my destination, but it would have taken a 28 day crossing, and I would have been about 100 miles south of tropical storm Peter in 2003 at my mid-way point. That results in an 11% chance passing by the proximity of a tropical storm, but no encounters with a tropical storm and far from any hurricanes.

In the days prior to the Spanish coast guard December 1st departure regulation, from 1969 to 2004 most of the Canaries departures by ocean rowers occurred in October. Half way through October, the major hurricane risk diminishes quite substantially, but the hurricane and tropical storm risk is still quite high. Here are the number of rowing departures during the hurricane season:

August: 1
September: 2
October: 82
November: 6

So - back to Nick, my support boat, and the Spanish coast guard. Am I will to risk encountering a hurricane by leaving on November 15th? Yes - no question. I think the risk is negligibly higher than departing on December 1. Am I willing to 'sneak-away' from the Spanish coast under the cloak of darkness until safe in international waters? I don't know.

Another ocean rower (who will be unnamed) who has tangled with the Spanish coast guard has advised me to skip the permit application process all together and just leave incognito - regardless of what month I plan to leave. What are the risks?

On December 20, 2006, the Spanish coastguard stopped and searched Graham Walters row boat "Puffin" 8 hours after he departed La Gomera in the Canary Islands. They searched his boat and found a couple of pieces of equipment that they claim didn't comply with regulations. They impounded Puffin and demanded $45,000 to release the boat. They later reduced the amount to 6000 euros which Graham paid.

That same day in 2006, 2 other solo rowers were also towed back and fined. They all eventually departed and made it across, but not without fighting with the authorities and paying fines. Ed Baylis and Stu Turnbull were too fast for the coast guard to catch and they got away.

The fine for not informing the harbormaster of your departure is 1000 euros.

The port clearances from Woodvale are here:

I've been told that leaving a small port like La Gomera or El Heiro without being noticed by the coast guard who are stationed in Tenerife isn't difficult. The publicity that the large rowing races generate attract the attention of the coastguard, but 'quiet' departures can go unnoticed. Am I willing to take that risk? I think I need to get in touch with someone who can negotiate an approved early departure for me with the Spanish coastguard and at least make an attempt to play it safe and be legal. However, this is not something that I can leave until the last minute. I will need to get advanced clearance so I can come to a firm agreement with Nick to support me.

A Nov 15 departure could be problematic for me on another front - that is, to have the boat built, tested, fitted out, supplied, delivered and ready to go by Nov 15. Ugh! so much work to do, and I need to get it done right away!



I've been spending some time planning out a pretty daunting schedule for the coming year, and if I can accomplish everything that I have set out to accomplish, it will be one hell of an amazing year! I am really excited about it all - I have TONS of work to do, but I say BRING IT ON because I am totally FIRED UP.

The first major event of the year will be another attempt at the 24 hour human powered boat world record in June!! This time, kayak world record holder Carter Johnson has kindly agreed to join me here in Calgary for a race. Carter currently owns the 24 hour HPB record which is 241 km which he set in his Surfski kayak in the summer of 2006. Last summer, I set a 24 hour pedal boat record of 173 km.

I'm only 68 km short! YIKES!!! To deal with that, Rick Willoughby and I have come up with a new super boat design that I will have to build. It will be very light, very narrow and WAY faster than the bathtub built for two that I raced in last summer.

I was looking for someone to build the new boat for me in exchange for some publicity, but I haven't had much interest, so I'm going to need to suck it up and get back into the shop to build it myself. That's OK - I can do it. I just have to get myself into the right mind set, clean up the shop, roll up my sleeves and make it happen.

I have already started my training program which will slowly ramp up my long 'ride' from 4 hours, once per week to 16 hours shortly before the record race in June. This new boat will be capable of almost exactly 240 km in 24 hours based on my previous power output, so beating Carters record (and beating Carter) will require that I am in better shape than ever before.

A June race will make the perfect training milestone for the Atlantic crossing next December. And for that, not only do I need to finish the design for the ocean boat, but I need to find a builder, get it built, test it, train and all of the other zillion things that need to be done to get me across the Atlantic ocean in less than 40 days. Wow - less than 40 days. And less than a year to make it all happen!

I have been speaking with Kathleen Dohan from the OSCAR program at Earth & Space Research. Kathleen has kindly offered to provide me with research, data and real-time forecasting of the currents along my Atlantic crossing route from the Canary Islands to the West Indies.

I would like to introduce my PR man Mark Dusseault who did such a fantastic job organizing my Victoria media day. The story got picked up by a national news feed and ended up being broadcast right across Canada. I got a phone call from a friend who was in Toronto on business and he saw me in the Toronto Star! We are lucky to have a guy like Mark working with Pedal The Ocean.

click to enlarge (photo by Pat Lor)

For whatever you would like to donate to Pedal The Ocean, I can superimpose your logo onto the bow of WiTHiN in the above photo that Pat Lor shot from the support boat in Tofino, BC. I can also provide you with a large framed wall plaque for your office, and a jpeg file for your marketing. This would also include a small logo on the ocean crossing boat itself, of course. If you are interested, shoot me an email with your suggestions, and I'll put it together for you. 10% of all sponsorship sales go to KidPower.

Got to run - I have some work to do!

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Sneak preview & some speed calculations

I drove WiTHiN to the car wash today and pressure-sprayed her clean. She got pretty dirty from the long drive home from Vancouver Island. To top that off, it's been snowing here non-stop since we got back on Thursday night. I wish I had taken a photo of the boat on the trailer in my driveway with about 12" of snow piled high on the deck. Something just not right about that...

I am planning another trip out to Tofino for more fun in the ocean swells. But first, I'm going to make a few changes:

1. I am adding a ballasted keel to WiTHiN. From the sea trials last week, I realized that WiTHiN needs more rolling stability when the waves are all mixed up like they were the first day we had her out. A 3 foot narrow tube with a bulb containing anywhere from 40 to 100 lbs of weight in it will lower the center of gravity and increase the length of the moment arm. This should really help the boat stay vertical, even when sitting on a 'slanted' slab of water. This is what keeps sail boats from rocking right to left constantly. We were going to build the ocean crossing version of WiTHiN with a ballasted keel rather than outrigger anyhow, but I really need to test out how effective this keel will be in keeping WiTHiN stable enough to stand in, and not rolling around like she does now.

2. I am covering over that useless PETG window and inserting an opening port light window. This will be glass and will be inserted as close to vertical as I can get it. I will also be able to open it up for better venting, or to see in case it gets fogged up.

For the next sea trials, I would really like to get into some seriously windy conditions and I would also like to experience some larger swells. The plan is to go out with a support boat again for safety, and simply head west for a few hours. This should take me a good 20 km from shore. Then turn around and head back. I think two or three days of doing this will teach me quite a bit and will be great training.

Rick Willoughby and I have been incorporating what I learned from the sea trials last week into a design for the ocean version of WiTHiN. Here is a sneak preview:

The new ocean crossing boat will sport a sliding canopy top for fresh air. There will be a small window in the stern cabin so I can watch for traffic.

The stern sleeping cabin will be larger and taller which will allow me to sit up. The cockpit will be a 'wet area' which means that if a wave were to wash in, the bilge pump would kick in and drain it. The area behind my seat holds the water maker, para-anchor and water container. The gunwale compartments are also water tight and will hold a few days worth of food, and my various electronics.

The stern cabin is sealed off from the cockpit by a bulkhead with a hatch. I can enter the stern cabin through the hatch with the retracting canopy partially closed which should act as an awning protecting the cabin from water splashing in. The Bow compartment will hold spare parts, 50 days worth of food, tools, etc.

The new boat will be 30 feet long - check out the difference in size compared to the prototype. Because ocean WiTHiN will utilize a better hull shape, we expect the speed to be about 8 kph on 100 watts average daily power.

Here are my rough initial speed calculations:

La Gomera, Spain to Antigua = 4500 km

Ocean Surface Current = .8 kph x 24 hours/day = 19.2 km/day x 40 days = 768 km
Check out Chris Martin's most excellent analysis of the ocean currents for Dec/Jan/Feb months from the Canary Islands to the West Indies.

12 hours of pedalling per day @ 100 watts, 8 kph = 96 km/day x 40 days = 3840

Total = 40 days (new crossing record), 4608 km

NOTE: this does not take into consideration the pushing effect of the trade winds which blow from East to West. I am looking into what the averages are, and how they could effect a vessel like WiTHiN on the Atlantic ocean.

I would like to finish today's blog by saying thanks again to everyone who has supported this endeavour by becoming a sponsor. We have sold a few logos on the boat for $250 and a whole pile of individual names/T-shirts for $100. I have a long way to go still, but TOGETHER, WE will get there!!

Why don't you think about a holiday in the Canary Islands for next December, or even better - Antigua for a HUGE PARTY next February!

Be part of a WORLD RECORD.
Support Greg's quest to become the
fastest human to cross the Atlantic ocean
under his own power with a $30 "Across With Greg"
sponsorship that includes YOUR NAME on his boat "WiTHiN".

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Victoria media day and more sea trials photos

Man and machines - Greg Kolodziejzyk stands beside WiTHiN human powered boat with Critical Power human powered vehicle in the background on the docks at the Victoria Gorge Rowing and Paddling club.

Mark Dusseault and Greg Kolodziejzyk

Mark Dusseault is amazing. Mark volunteered to organize a media day at the Gorge Rowing club in Victoria and to say he did a fantastic job would be an understatement.

Pat Lor and I arrived at the Gorge at 9:00 am and it was pretty well non-stop interviews, talking with the public and demos until 4:00 pm. The afternoon was spent with a crew from Discovery Channel who are filming a follow-up segment for Daily Planet.

Thanks to Marty and the great guys from the Gorge Rowing and Paddling center for letting us host the event at their facility in the Victoria harbor.

The story got picked up by the CP news wire feed and the stories are just now being published. Here are a few that were published today:

Victoria Times Colonist
Canadian Press
Prince George Citizen
Yahoo News
CBC news
Calgary Sun

Here are some more photos from the sea trials in Tofino:

I'm in the cockpit closely watching my support boat "Close Encounters" through the video monitor

View from outside the cockpit of my support boat "Close Encounters" - a whale watching boat from the Weigh West Resort and Marina in Tofino, BC

Sang-Ryun Woo from SBS TV Korea shooting some footage of the sleeping area in the rear of WiTHiN

I am eating my dehydrated meal in the cockpit of WiTHiN while moored to the dock at Weigh West marina in Tofino. It was a VERY rough night! The video camera that you see was recording some of that miserable night for SBS TV.

Here is my view from the video viewing system mounted on the top deck of WiTHiN

Pat Lor finds the top hatch that blew off WiTHiN!!!

Pat Lor standing by WiTHiN as we wait to board the ferry to Vancouver Island

A seal in Victoria

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Sea trials

The adventure started almost immediately on Thursday morning as Pat Lor and I headed West from Calgary with my human powered boat WiTHiN in tow. We departed bright and early at 6:00 am and after travelling 100 km, stopped to check on the boat at the Banff park gates. To my horror, I saw that WiTHiN's top hatch was gone!!! The boat had slipped forward on it's stand and the strap that holds the hatch down had slipped off. Also missing was the hatch tether which had pulled it's anchor right out of the deck wall. Oh no!

We had to drive back to look or for it - no choice. Taking WiTHiN into the ocean without the top hatch in place would be very dangerous. A wave could pour in and flood her which would result in a rescue.

We drove 100 km back to Calgary and then re-traced the drive back to Banff with all eyes aimed at the shoulders of the highway.

About half way back, Pat found it!!! The hatch was on the right hand shoulder with the bright red side up. It's an 18" x 18" slightly curved piece of fiberglass and he actually saw it.

I wish I could say the remainder of the drive was uneventful, but the winter road conditions were hellish most of the way with a fairly major snow storm near Vancouver.

The good news was that even with the two hour detour and the snow, we actually made the 9:30 ferry to Nanaimo.

We stayed in Nanaimo for the night and drove to a Home Depot the next morning to make some repairs to the trailer before heading over the pass to Tofino.

To say that WiTHiN attracts a lot of attention is an understatement. Pat and I found it difficult to make our repairs in the parking lot because so many people were coming up and asking questions about the boat and the expedition. People were going away to get cameras and returning to take pictures and we got two offers to lend us support boats while in the Vancouver island area! Wow - it was SO cool to get that kind of response from random people. We thoroughly enjoyed talking to everyone.

The 2.5 hour drive to Tofino was fairly non-eventful. Tofino is a town with a population o 1600 in the winter and 20,000 in the summer due to it's exploding tourism industry. Wild Tofino sits on the protected side of a small peninsula on the far west side of Canada's Vancouver island.

We parked the Suburban and WiTHiN on the side of the main road leading into Tofino and went into our hotel to check in and figure out where to park the boat, etc. The hour or so that WiTHiN sat off to the side of the highway was enough time for a significant percentage of the town to see her and want to know what was up. The phone in our hotel room started to ring - fist it was someone from the local paper wanting an interview, then the local radio station requesting an interview. When I got back to the boat there was a note on the door from someone else wondering what was going on.

Pat and I drove WiTHiN down to the public boat launch and managed to get WiTHiN into the water. We were met at the boat launch by our South Korean friends producer Jin-Kyu Yoo and camera man Sang-Ryun Woo from SBS TV. Jin-Kyu is producing a documentary on human power and Tofino was his second stop on a North American tour to cover interesting human powered projects. They included 4 days in Tofino to film my sea trials and interview me about the ocean crossing expedition and my Critical Power human powered vehicle 24 hour distance record. Our deal was that they would pay for a support boat for the sea trials if I brought Critical Power with me, so our relationship was definitely a win-win situation.

As I prepared to pedal WiTHiN back to the hotel marina, I noticed that I could not keep the front window clear of moisture. I couldn't see a thing. Nothing worked - it was like looking through frosted glass. It was so humid and rainy that visibility out the window was about as close to ZERO as you could get. This was a PROBLEM!

I headed out from the public dock and was very surprised by the strength of the current. I noticed on my chart that the currents during peak tides are as high as 5 knots in front of the docks lining Tofinos protected East side. A Fisherman said that the flood tide current was going to peak soon and told us that many kayakers get driven into the sand bars from the strong current. I figured that I could sit on some towels and bags to keep my head above the open top hatch top see out, and if the ebb current was too strong, I could just bail to a dock on my starboard side.

The current was strong, but nothing that I could not power through in WiTHiN. I stayed as close to the docks as I could and at one point is was like pedalling up a fast flowing river. I made it back to the Weigh West marina without issue.

I slept in WiTHiN while she was tied to the dock at Weigh West in front of our hotel. My night started by cooking dinner with my cool JetBoil stove and Mountain House macaroni beef chilly stew. That worked well - I could hold the JetBoil by hand for the 20 seconds it takes to boil 2 cups of water. I pour the water into the Mountain House packet and wait 10 minutes. It was pretty good.

Then I settled in for the night by transferring to the sleeping compartment behind my seat. The bed is very cushy and there is enough room back there to stretch out comfortably. I found that moving around between the cockpit and rear area to be far too restrictive. It took a good 20 minutes and some serious gymnastics to get something from the front, take off a piece of clothing, etc, etc. This will not work for the ocean crossing. I will definitely need more room.

The temperature was about 2 or 3 degrees outside and it was very warm and cozy in WiTHiN. I had both vents open and could feel a breeze blowing through, but I was very warm. This will be another issue out on the Atlantic - how to adequately vent heat from the sleeping area.

I couldn't sleep - the rocking of the boat was too much for me, but I was determined to stick it out. By 4:00 am, the winds and waves had picked up considerably and I was repeatedly bashed against the dock. I gave up and joined Pat in the hotel room for a few hours of sleep.

The phone woke me up at 9:00 am. It was the front desk informing me that one of the lines had broken and that WiTHiN was being tossed around on the docks from her single leash. I ran down there and sure enough, the repeated bashing against the dock during the night had cut through one of the ropes and WiTHiN was almost free! While I was securing her to the dock, the skipper for the hotels Whale Watching boat came by for a visit. I explained to him that I wanted to get our around the peninsula to open Pacific for some ocean swells testing, but that I couldn''t see out my window and relying on the video monitor was not safe enough. He seemed to think that he could lead me out and that I would be able to follow him with the video. We went through some safety procedures in case something went wrong and I was very confident that my new French buddy Pipot Dupuis knew what he was doing. He told me that he had been sailing all his life and had sailed around the world.

By 10:00 am, Pipot, his boat "Close Encounters", Pat, and my Korean TV crew were guiding me out of the Tofino marina area out into the open Pacific. My heart was pounding.

I could easily see Close Encounters in my video monitor and was in constant communications with Pitpot via UHF radio, so finding my way was easy. WiTHiN maintained 7 kph with very little effort and seemed very stable. I tried to roll her by rocking back and fourth, but it was impossible to get the water line any higher than the bottom of the floats. About 30 minutes later, we had rounded the corner and were into some chop. A bit further on we were into rolling swells with quite a bit of chop and white caps. WiTHiN was being rocked about quite a bit, but I felt like everything was under control and I could easily maneuver WiTHiN any direction that I wanted to go without issue.

Jin-Kyu and Sang-Ryun were very happy with the footage that they were getting and Pipot seemed impressed with the performance of WiTHiN. As a test, we decided to tow WiTHiN back to the marina, and we had no problems towing her back at 18 to 20 kph !

Over all, the result from that test were positive, but there are a few things that I need to consider for the expedition boat design. First, I definitely need a good ballast keel. WiTHiN was rocking around too much and you can see this in the awesome video shot by Sang. A keel would definitely soften up the relentless rocking back and fourth. I also need more room in the cockpit! It felt very tight and restrictive in there and I need to resolve the window issue for sure. I can't rely on the video monitor alone - it will help, but I need to be able to see the waves and the horizon. I also see the advantage of being able to completely open up the cockpit with a sliding canopy which is something that I want to design into the final expedition boat for sure. I think the window issue can be resolved with some flat, back-slanted windows like the kind you see on fishing trawlers and my support boat Close Encounters.

That night I sat in with the local radio DJ Clint from "The Bear" as he commentated the hockey game and we did an interview during the first intermission which went very well and was a lot of fun.

On Saturday, we all got together for another Close Encounters accompanied journey to the open Pacific. This time we had less chop but way bigger swells. Pipot thought they were 2 to 3 meters. WiTHiN maintained 7 kph into oncoming waves with easy to moderate effort. Winds were 15 to 20 mph from the side and I could not tell at all aside from WiTHiN leaning a bit to the starboard side. This lean was easily corrected by me shifting more of my weight to the left hand side of my seat - other than that, I had no idea if it was windy or calm. The return trip with following seas saw from 11 to 12 kph average speeds with easy to moderate effort. Everyone on the support boat was feeling a bit sea sick and Pitpot radioed me and asked how I was feeling. I lied when I said that I felt fine. I was actually feeling a bit queasy by then.

The next morning I did an interview with Tofino's independant news source with Kevin Drews. Here is the article he published:

After that, we packed up for the drive back to the east coast and Victoria. I did a phone interview with Victoria newspaper from the car, and we're now in Beautiful Victoria, BC. Tomorrow we launch WiTHiN in the Victoria harbor for local media, TV, radio and newspapers, then spend all afternoon with Discovery Channel for a follow-up segment to the Daily Planet episode they first broadcast in September.

The adventure continues...

Be part of a WORLD RECORD.
Support Greg's quest to become the
fastest human to cross the Atlantic ocean
under his own power with a $30 "Across With Greg"
sponsorship that includes YOUR NAME on his boat "WiTHiN".

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Long winter drive ahead

I can't believe how much time it has taken just to get ready for this Vancouver Island sea trials trip. I can't imagine what it will be like when I am getting WiTHiN ready to leave La Gomera, Spain on her human powered voyage across the Atlantic ocean in a year from now.

I've spent the last few days packing two giant duffel bags and going through check-lists. Today, I loaded WiTHiN onto the trailer and packed the Suburban.

Pat and I leave tomorrow morning. It's about 1000 km from Calgary to Vancouver through various levels of winter driving conditions. I have the 9:00 pm ferry form Vancouver to Nanaimo reserved, so I hope 14 hours is enough time. We'll spend the night in Nanaimo, then drive a few hours across Vancouver Island to Tofino on Friday.

The surf forecast for Monday isn't looking fantastic at this point - about 15 foot waves on Monday - our "big seas" testing day, but 26 mph winds, which might make the conditions a bit nutty - I'll play it by ear, and take advice from the support boat skipper and my local guide.

What am I concerned with? I guess anything unknown is always a concern. I don't know how cold it will get inside WiTHiN - the forecast is calling for average temperature of around 5 to 8 degrees C during the day and around 1 to 2 at night. I have a pretty warm sleeping bag and plenty of warm clothes. I have pedalled inside WiTHiN when it was about that temperature here in Calgary and it got fairly warm inside - warm enough to wear a sweater, so it should be OK. The windows will definitely fog-up though, so I made sure to bring my anti-fog solution, and plenty of rags. I have my GPS for navigation and there shouldn't be too many other boats around since this is the middle of winter.

I am also concerned about rain - it rains constantly in Tofino in the winter. I added a rubber lip around the top hatch to prevent it from leaking, so I don't think rain will leak in, but you never know. I have a hotel room booked just in case.

High winds blasting WiTHiN is also an unknown at this point - I would definitely be concerned about that. It should be OK because WiTHiN is pretty aerodynamic, but she's also a lot bigger than a sea kayak, and as such could get thrown around by the wind. Again, I need to play that by ear also and that's exactly what this sea trial is all about.

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Logos and 'lectronics

My brother AK is a rock star. Really - his passion is his band Plaid Tongued Devils and his business is signs. Props to AK signs for the rockin decals Alan did for me. WiTHiN looks like she's ready for business.

Thanks again for all of your support in the form of personal and corporate logo sponsorships. I decided to put the corporate logos on the prototype boat, and personal names from the "Across With Greg" sponsorship program will go on the actual ocean crossing boat. To see your logo on WiTHiN, click here.

Pat Lor and I leave for the west coast on my little mini-expedition next Thursday (Jan 10) and I'm really looking forward to it, especially now since my brother in law Pat agreed to accompany me and lend a hand. As I have said before, I am planning on three days touring around the protected waters of the Tofino area. This will provide me with a great opportunity to learn more about some of the space confines of WiTHiN and whether or not I can live with that for the ocean crossing.

On Monday the 14th, I am meeting Jay Bowers, a local surfing instructor and a whale watching boat with a Canadian Coast Guard skipper from Ocean Outfitters. The plan is to venture out past Vargas island into some open Pacific swells to test how WiTHiN handles the bigger ocean. I want to see how wind effects her, how she surfs down swells, and what it feels like to be confined in the capsule cockpit while riding the ocean swells. I haven't been sea sick yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of exposing myself to the right conditions. It will be a learning experience for sure. The safety boat will be nearby in case I run into trouble like a rudder or drive leg failure.

Then on Wednesday 16th we launch WiTHiN in Victoria for some local media interviews and another Discovery channel interview. On Thursday I am heading back to Calgary, but stopping in Maple Ridge, BC for a tour of the Nimbus kayak factory, as they are interested in building the ocean crossing boat.

The photo above shows most of my electronics ready for packing. From left to right, top to bottom, the water proof Rugged Tech keyboard, Sony HD camcorder, VHF marine radio, cell phone, McMurdo Fast Find Personal Locator Beacon, Garmin GPS with marine charts loaded for the Tofino area, my SRM watts meter, a water proof sports video camera which Will be mounted outside of WiTHiN, my Nomad PDA with a built in GPS and Memory Map software with marine charts of the Tofino and Victoria area, a bag of various manuals, a paper print out of the charts, tide tables, contact frequencies and phone numbers, flashlights, cables, and two boxes of AA batteries. Not shown is the camera which took the picture and my iPod.

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getting ready for the mini-expedition

I've been busy getting the prototype ocean crossing boat "WiTHiN" ready for a training and testing mini-expedition to the Pacific ocean on Canada's west coast.

I need to accomplish two tests, the first is a multi-day trip through protected waters which will be a great opportunity to experience what it will be like to sit in the capsule and pedal all day. I need to learn more about how my equipment handles the ocean environment, how to cook while at sea, where to store supplies, communications, etc, etc.

above image courtesy of Pacific Surf School in Tofino, BC

The second test will be a whole lot more fun. I have been speaking with Jay Bowers of Pacific Surf School in Tofino, BC on the Pacific coast of British Columbia about helping me experience some winter open Pacific conditions safely. He really knows the area well and has a few spots in mind where we can 'nose-out' into some really big swells with a RIB boat accompanying me for safety. This could be a second trip out west - not sure yet, as I am still trying to orchestrate it all.

Check out this animated map of the swells in the Tofino area:

On Christmas day, the forecast is for 32 foot waves! Out further (shown in PINK on the map above), the swell is 48 feet high! According to my buddy Stephan who has sailed the smallest sail boat in history around Vancouver Island, in winter this coast is known as 'the graveyard of the Pacific'.

Don't worry, I'm not going out in 32 foot swells. At least not if there is big wind.

Believe it or not, a South Korean TV production company wants to fly in to film the sea trials and interview me. Go figure.

I have been very busy getting WiTHiN ready for these sea trials. I'll take you on a bit of a tour through the following photos:

The armrest gunwales are now covered with a white vinyl to cover over the sharp fiberglass ugliness. I also have foam padding under the arm rest in front of the steering handles on the gunwales. I installed two cleat-cams to secure the outriggers in. The outriggers slide in and out through two aluminum tubes behind my seat. To pull them IN, I use two cords through pulleys. To lock the floats tight up against the hull, I just slip the cords through the cleat cams. The cleat cams can also secure the rudder steering lines if i ever wanted to lock the rudder. I have bungee cord running through hooks on the gunwale wall to secure supplies and equipment.

Show above from bottom to top: My personal EPIRB (yellow), on the wall is my LED flashlight held in place on a Velcro strip, my water proof Rugged-Tech keyboard, up higher on the wall is my diving knife, the yellow Trimble Nomad computer, and up top on the instrument bar is my GPS. A secondary GPS is built into the Nomad which is running Memory-Map Pocket Navigator. This very slick piece of software allows me to plot my position on a moving map and as well, plot the position of tankers who are transmitting a radar signal with the addition of an AIS reciever.

On the floor in front of my seat is 6 liters of drinking/cooking water.

On the far right is my air horn (red horn) and on the bottom (blue) is my JetBoil cooking system from one of my sponsors. This is a fantastic gas stove which fits onto a neoprene protected cup. I can boil enough water to cook an entire dehydrated meal in about 60 seconds while HOLDING the entire stove. JetBoil also sent me a coffee press, repair tools, spare parts, and a hanging kit which I plan on using as a gimble - I'll just hang the JetBoil from the roof when boiling water. I used this system on our Broken Island kayak trip and LOVED it!

Lower right is my VHF two-way radio and above that are the electric switches for the vent fan, sound system from another sponsor - Rock The Boat Audio. Left to right on the swinging instrument bar is my Garmin GPS, SRM meter, Satellite radio and the LCD monitor which shows video from the camera mounted on the top deck. At the very top of the photo you can see my pedals, the chain-ring and part of the drive leg.

Behind the seat is the 12 volt marine battery, to the right is a coiled line and behind that is the fire extinguisher. Hanging on the right is the headrest. the blue and white box on the left gunwale is the AC charger for the 12 volt marine battery. Under the seat is an additional 3 liters of drinking water with a drinking tube. Upper left is the vent fan.

Behind the seat is my vinyl covered mattress and I have 3 gas onto of that which will be held down by bungee cords which hold the mattress down. The sacks contain my sleeping bad, blankets, clothes and 3 days worth of food.

This photo shows my navigation light which is mounted on a pole bolted to the rudder tube.

The sleeping compartment in the stern.

I've been trying to keep my training up this winter, so our (early) Christmas presents to each other (Helen and I) was cross country skis which we have been taking full advantage of. These photos are from Lake Louise with our good friends Val and Gary Erickson last weekend.

I've been back onto the recumbent bike at the gym for an hour a day. I will be increasing time spend on the bent as I approach the mini-expedition, then increasing time and intensity even more leading up to a possible repeat of the 24 hour human powered boat distance record attempt this June in Calgary with endurance kayaking super-star Carter Johnson.

Aside from another shot at the 24 hour record, I have Boston marathon with Helen in April, so my running right now is in recovery/maintenance mode - about 30 to 45 minutes per day on the elliptical trainer.

the plan is to make many extended WiTHiN trips to the west coast this winter Spring and Summer. Hopefully by Spring, we'll have the actual ocean boat construction completed and I'll be able to switch from the prototype to training on the real thing!

Rick Willoughby and I are collaborating on the ocean boat design right now. Here is a sneak preview - it may end up VERY different than the prototype boat:

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LV marathon: mission successful!

As I indicated in my previous blog post, the goal for this years Las Vegas marathon was to pace my wife Helen in for a personal best, and a Boston qualifying time goal of 3 hours, 50 minutes. I am very happy to report our MISSION COMPLETE! We smashed her goal and finished in 3 hours, 44 minutes. The time clock in the finish photo above differs from the actual chip time due to over FOUR minutes of congestion getting through the crowds at the start line!

Helen and I made a deal years ago to do the Boston marathon together, so outside of Ironman training, we've both been trying to qualify for Boston. I got lucky and hit my 3 hours, 20 minute time last year, so it looks like we will both be going to Boston in April.

We were in Las Vegas with Helen's sister and AOG photographer extraordinaire Jennifer Armand and her husband Cyrille. It was Cyrille's first marathon and I designed his training program and coached him through it. Our goal for Cyrille was 3:30 and he finished in 3:28 AND a Boston marathon qualification! That's amazing for a first marathon!!!

Left to Right: Helen, Greg and Cyrille

"Across With Greg" sponsorship list growing!

Thank you all a million times over for your support! The list of "Across with Greg" names to go on WiTHiN is growing every day. Here is a list of all the sponsors to date:

As I indicated in my last blog post, I am planing on a mini-expedition to the Gulf islands this month or January for further testing. WiTHiN is being painted now, and I plan on adding logos for my corporate and small business sponsors to her before the mini-expedition. I am expecting some press to cover the event, and we are talking to Discovery Channel about filming a follow-up to their original segment on Pedal the Ocean.

For as little as $250, you could have your company's logo on WiTHiN for the mini-expedition. Click here for more details:

$250 small logo & plaque:

$400 small logo, 3 T-shirts & plaque:

$1000 bigger logo, 10 T-shirts & plaque:

$3000 medium logo, advertising content package & plaque:

$10,000 major sponsor:

$25,000 title sponsor:

For an over-view of all of my sponsorship products, click here:

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Wireless Nomad Blog post

My Nomad ultra-rugged PDA

Today's Blog post has been transmitted wireless via my new NOMAD rugged PDA computer. My good friend Julia from one of my sponsors Trimble Corporation just sent me their brand new Nomad rugged PDA. It features integrated wireless, Bluetooth, a GPS, 1 GB of flash storage and a high res sunlight visible VGA display.

Plus, you can throw it down the stairs into pool of hot lava and it will still work! (well, I haven't tested the lava part yet, but it is water proof to a meter of water for 30 minutes).

I have my water proof "cool series" USB keyboard plugged into it, so I can type instead of the hunt and peck method o using the stylus to pick out letters on the display keyboard.

Thanks so much for your support with my Across With Greg name on the boat sponsorship program!! At $30 per name on WiTHiN, I need to sell about about 3300 names to pay for 1/2 of the expedition costs. That's my goal, and so far I have 56 Across With Greg subscribers.

You can help by spreading the word. Send an email out to some friends today letting them know about my project.

EASY and fast: Click here to donate $30

EASY and fast: Click here to donate $100 and buy a PTO T-shirt

Sea Trails

I have been communicating with the WestCoast Paddler group about my upcoming sea trial trip. I need to accomplish two things:

1. LIVING TEST: I need to spend time in WiTHiN getting used to long pedalling days and living aboard so that I can feedback any changes that are required to the new expedition boat design. For example, one of the things I have recently discovered, is how difficult it is to enter the rear sleeping area with my feet toward the stern. I may have to make the deck over the cockpit a few inches higher.

I'll be experimenting with cooking while at sea, moving about the boat, cleaning, bathroom, navigation, communications, etc.

Ocean rower Greg Spooner thinks this is the most important experience I can gain to prepare for an ocean crossing.

2. ADVANCED SEAS TEST: I need to gain some open ocean experience for both myself and WiTHiN. I would like to test how she surfs down large swells, and the effect of heavy winds from every direction, her stability abeam the sea, etc. I would also like to test how effective a sea anchor is if lashed to the bow or the stern.

The Westcoast paddlers agree that perhaps these are two separate tests. For test number 1, a route through the protected Gulf Islands will probably work well, as I have access to marinas and services and help if I run into trouble. For test #2, they recommend leaving a protected port and nosing into some more advanced ocean conditions during an appropriate weather window. I might like to have an RIB boat accompany me during this test. We inserted two stainless steel tubes through WiTHiN's bow and stern (I call them her nose-ring holes) to securely hold a towing line.

My mini-expedition stuff table

For the living test, I am starting to make a list of supplies, equipment and safety gear a that I will require for 3 days on the water. I've set up a table outside my shop to hold everything I think I'm going to need. Some of these items are linked to more details:

  1. Marine radio
  2. Personal EPIRB
  3. Camp food for 3 days
  4. Stove fuel
  5. GPS maps of gulf islands for Garmin GPS (CA001R inside passage)
  6. Navigation light
  7. Fire extinguisher
  8. First-aid kit
  9. Compressed air horn
  10. Tool kit
  11. Bilge pump
  12. Paddles
  13. Jetboil camp Stove
  14. Water bags
  15. Sleeping bag (should be good for 0 degrees C)
  16. Blanket
  17. Sponges
  18. Extra AA batteries
  19. Nomad computer & Rugged Tech keyboard
  20. Digital Camera and video cam
  21. Cell phone
  22. Garmin Etrex Venture Cx GPS
  23. Toilet stuff (don't ask)
  24. Bathroom kit
  25. Clothes (warm!)
  26. Gulf islands chart (paper)
  27. Emergency numbers and frequencies
  28. iPod
  29. SRM
  30. Bike shoes
  31. Life jacket
  32. Throw line
  33. Compass
  34. Neoprene booties
  35. Extra line
  36. Towel
  37. Coffee
  38. Coffee cup
  39. Flash light
  40. Knife

A small fire-extinguisher is mounted behind the seat
I'll be working with the Westcoast paddlers on the exact route I will take through the Gulf islands. As far as the advanced seas test goes, I might just play that by ear. If the weather is bad, and I get a safe opportunity to venture out into the straight of Juan de Fuca, then I may go for it. Or, I may try to plan that for another trip.

I finally convinced someone to paint WiTHiN for me! She'll be trailered out to Bob Douglas's paint shop this afternoon.

Marathon training

Helen and I are competing in the Las Vegas marathon this Sunday. It was my goal to go for a PR 3:15 finishing time, but I don't think that is going to happen this time around. My Achilles tendon, calf and hamstring on my left side is still really bothering me. I've been keeping up with my training, but I am afraid that an all-out effort might injure me more, so I've decided to pace Helen instead. Helen has been very close to her Boston Marathon qualifying time, so we're going to see if she can nail it in Vegas with me pacing her. Please send her an email and wish her luck.

My brother in-law Cyrille is also going down with us and he's doing his first marathon, so you might as well go ahead and send him a good luck email also!

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YOU are invited to be part of this world record attempt

Thank you all for your input and advice regarding my sponsorship offerings. In the end, my conclusion was that it is as important to build a community of support as it is to raise the capital that I require to pull it off.

Therefore, I have decided to sell "Across With Greg" sponsorships that include your name on the expedition boat WiTHiN at an very affordable level of $30. I am also offering packages of 3 and 5 names for $75 and $100. I figure this might make a cool Christmas gift, so with each purchase you get a nice printed folding card that describes what the Pedal the Ocean Atlantic record attempt expedition is about, and features the recipient's name that will be printed on the boat.

I am also selling T-shirt + "Across With Greg" name packages for $100, and premium expedition gear packages for $150.

I have received quite a bit of interest from small businesses interested in having their logos displayed on WiTHiN for an affordable price level. I am offering a small business or group sponsorship package which include your company logo on the boat for $250 - pretty reasonable I think. These small business packages include a framed plaque signifying your companies support for the expedition.

I have also developed additional sponsorship products that range in price from $400 to a title sponsor position for $25,000.

I think you will find the online store easy to use. I accept VISA, MasterCard and PayPal. All sponsorships include a 10% donation to KidPower.

To challenge the current 43 day human powered Atlantic crossing record, I estimate it will end up costing me over $200,000. If any of you are interested, I can provide you with a breakdown of the budget. Assistance in the form of sponsorship income is GREATLY appreciated, but I also value the support you all have given me and hopefully will continue to give me in other, non-financial ways. Just being out there listening and offering your feedback helps me more than you can know! THANK YOU!

If you can't join me as an official sponsor, then perhaps you could pass the web site URL along to some friends who you think might be interested in Pedal The Ocean record attempt and/or my KidPower school education program. If we can get news of my quest spread in a viral way, then $30 per name can really add up!!!

Adding this as a signature in your email is also something that would help:

Be part of a WORLD RECORD.
Support Greg's quest to become the
fastest human to cross the Atlantic ocean
under his own power with a $30 "Across With Greg"
sponsorship that includes YOUR NAME on his boat "WiTHiN".

The sponsorship main page where you can make your purchases is here:

A list of current Across with Greg and corporate sponsors is here:

The main Pedal the Ocean web site is here:

To stay on top of my progress, the Blog web site is here:

More information on KidPower can be found here:

I thank you for your support. I'm not sure I would be doing this if it wasn't for you. (well, I probably still would, but it wouldn't be nearly as fun!).

Best regards,
Greg Kolodziejzyk

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T-shirt designs and the survey

Thank you very much for your response to my survey request and your emails commenting on the T-shirt designs. My "Across with Greg" sponsorship concept is to offer individual sponsors a Pedal The Ocean expedition T-shirt and your name on the expedition boat WiTHiN.

If you have not yet voted on where you think the price point should be, please vote here:

Across With Greg Poll

Most of your email comments regarding the various designs that I am considering for the T-shirts have resulted in more Pedal The Ocean Expedition logo designs, so I have added the following two concepts. Your feedback on these would be greatly appreciated.

Greg Spooner who is a member of my advisory team rowed across the Atlantic ocean in 2006 with a team of 3 other guys. He told me that they raised over $20,000 to help offset the enormous costs in their ocean crossing by selling T-shirts and names on their boat, plus they raised an additional $50 thousand for the American Lung Association.

I might also add that I would plan for 10% of all donations to go toward our KidPower expansion project, and certainly every penny beyond what my actual costs are in crossing the Atlantic will be invested into KidPower.

Our modern sedentary lifestyle is putting our kids at risk of becoming the first generation that will have a life expectancy shorter than that of their parents. Childhood obesity can cause poor self esteem and be socially isolating. In adulthood, being seriously over-weight can often lead to illness and premature death. Unfortunately, between 10 and 15% of our children are obese. Obesity in childhood often leads to obesity in adulthood. Most parents want the best for their children - including the chance to lead a long and healthy life. For obese children this goal is seriously threatened.

KidPower is a national education program focused on developing young children into healthy, active and positive people. Kid Power will deliver tools for children, families and schools to promote healthy lifestyles delivered through:

1. KidPower In-School Presentations

2. KidPower Blog

3. KidPower Podcasts

4. KidPower Newsletters

5. KidPower Website

6. KidPower Competitions


My school talks and programs aim to show children what the human body is capable of and inspire children to get out and get physical. Not everyone is capable of setting human powered speed records but we are all capable of more than we think. By showing what is possible I hope to ignite imagination in children in physical activity and technology. I think my presentations help expel fears in children by giving candid question and answer sessions.

As always, your continued input is welcome! You can add your comments to the comments section in this blog, or email me at


Your opinion required please

How much would you be willing to contribute for a personal sponsorship to the PTO expedition? A small donation would buy you a T-shirt your name on the ocean boat WiTHiN.

The Spirit of Canada sailing boat raised millions by selling $100 T-shirts which included the sponsors name on the hull of the open 60 sail boat that they built to participate in the Vendee Globe around the world race which is on now.

I love that idea because it builds a community where everyone can feel like they are part of the project. I would love to have you join me on my human powered Atlantic crossing record attempt!

Would you please respond to this poll? It will give me some insight into the best way to market this concept - if at all.

Across With Greg Sponsorship Poll

How much would you pay for a PTO T-shirt that includes your name on the expedition boat WiTHiN?

NO, I would not purchase this

Following are some ideas that I designed for the T-shirt choices. Please let me know what you like or don't like about this concept and the designs either by commenting to this blog post, or email


Crossing the Ditch leaves tomorrow!

I've been following the progress of James Castrission and Justin Jones of Crossing The Ditch. James and Justin are attempting to be the first to kayak 2200 km across the Tasman sea from Australia to New Zealand. They are leaving tomorrow.

I will be following their progress very closely, as Lot 41 which is the name of their two-man kayak is very similar in a lot of ways to WiTHiN as you can see from this photo. James and Justin were set to depart last summer (Australian summer, not ours), but ran into some complications with their boat stability. They have spent the last 5 years preparing for this.

To follow their progress, check their web site:

or sign up for their email newsletter:

I would wish Justin and James luck, but "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. " and I know these guys and their expedition manager Pat Brothers from Race Recon are very well prepared.


PTO on Discovery Channel

PTO on Discovery Channel!

The Discovery Channel show Daily Planet filmed a segment about me and Pedal The Ocean way back in June. It finally aired yesterday on Discovery Channel Canada.


IMPORTANT day for the human powered world!

I need to make a fairly important announcement:

Jason Lewis has just finished his human powered circumnavigation journey of 14 years! I have been following Jason since his Pacific crossing in pedal boat Moksha from California to Hawaii in 1997 with Stevie Smith and have also supported his effort periodically. Jason is an inspiration and a hero. However, I am also a supporter of Colin Angus who completed his human powered circumnavigation earlier this year.

There is an ongoing debate between the Jason Lewis and the Colin Angus camps. Colin became the first person to circumnavigate the earth by human power earlier this year, but he didn't follow some of the rules that Jason Lewis (and Erden Eruc who is currently rowing across the Pacific ocean) says is part of a true circumnavigation. According to Jason and Erden, a true circumnavigation must pass through two antipodal points and Colin's route, although greater than the circumference of the earth at it's widest part of 22,858.7 miles, did not.

I'll let you decide. Here is Colin's justification of his circumnavigation:

and here is Jason's:

I'm not making any judgements, as they are both hero's to me. But, I'd like to know what you think. Send your thoughts to the comments link on this blog post, or email me at or return reply to this email.

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Capsize Test!

Who Hoo!!!! That was way too much fun!

You HAVE to check this video out. We set up a water proof lipstick camera to the bow of WiTHiN facing back, one in the cockpit of WiTHiN to catch the action from Within WiTHiN, and our HD video footage shot from the dock.

Over all - a pretty successful day.

WiTHiN handled at speed much like what I remembered from my kayak hull top deck weight simulation test. She motored right along nicely at speed and tipped quite dramatically when I threw that over sized rudder all the way to one side which was pretty fun - no concerns or surprises at all. You can see in the video how responsive she is to rudder movements. Again - she is a blast to ride! The steering has been changed from that long plastic push/pull rod to a cable loop and it is WAY easier to steer now that it used to be.

We clamped 80 pounds of ballast to the floor to offset the additional weight of the full top deck and as a result, WiTHiN sits much lower in the water now. This meant that we needed to heighten the drive leg bay walls and Ben did an awesome job of converting my old flexible rubber and neoprene bladder to a nice solid wood frame which worked very well. We still have a couple of inches of water floating on top of the drive leg plug, but as long as I was not upside down, this water wasn't an issue. During the capsize, though, that water splashed around the cockpit, so something is going to have to be done about that. Probably a deeper plug will need to be made.

The capsize test went as per predicted. WiTHiN is not stable upside down and it took quite an effort by Ben and Cyrille to flip her upside down with me strapped into my seat. Instead of cleats on the bow and stern for tow ropes, we drilled holes through the hard points in the tips of the bow and the stern and then inserted stainless steel tubes which were bonded and glassed into place. These through holes will be far stronger than cleats when we get to sea trials and require motor boats to tow WiTHiN into and out of rough areas. We constructed handles that fit into these through holes which were really handy for carrying WiTHiN from the trailer into the water, and for Cyrille and Ben to grab a good hold and flip WiTHiN around.

We bolted a 4 point racing seat harness onto the seat rails, so even upside down, I was held firmly into my seat. After the first capsize, all of the dust that had collected inside WiTHiN instantly got dispersed into the air and I could barely see through the dust cloud inside the cockpit. I started to gag on the dust and we had to open the canopy for a while to allow it to drift out. Quite a bit of water was flying around inside WiTHiN during the capsizes which was mostly from that 2" of water sitting on top of the drive leg plug. Some water was coming in through the hatch and we need to do a better job of sealing that hatch up. The front window did not leak at all.

For safety gear, I had a diving knife fastened to the inside wall of the cockpit which if necessary, I could stab through the PETG plastic window to escape. I also have an emergency oxygen supply bottle called Spare Air.

The capsizes were a blast!! Totally fun. I didn't want the ride to stop and I am really looking forward to getting WiTHiN into some rougher ocean conditions to experience and learn about that. I am concerned about how to manage the next aspect of testing - rough ocean testing. I don't know how to safely test WiTHiN in those kind of conditions. I imagine getting a zodiak to tow me out into rough water would be the way to go, but I just don't know enough yet about the dangers of doing that. If WiTHiN was solid enough (no more leaks), then I could pedal her out into open ocean, but I would be concerned about strong currents either taking me out to sea, to pushing me down the coast into shore. There is a reason it took Roz Savage and Erden Eruc a month and a half to find the perfect conditions to leave the California coast for Hawaii in their row boats. Rough seas + wind + currents + shores don't mix.

The other issue that I am still looking for an answer to is stability for standing. Periodically, I will need to stand up through the top hatch, climb out onto the top deck, and climb up from the water level. Currently, WiTHiN is not stable enough to allow me to do that without tipping her over too much and risk flooding the cockpit. I need some way to temporarily add stability for these maneuvers.

Standing up with the test strap-on keel

During this capsize test, we experimented with a ballast keel. I welded up a rig that strapped onto WiTHiN and suspended 50 pounds of ballast 3.5 feet below WiTHiN's floor. This was enough extra ballast to allow me to stand up, climb-in, etc, but I don't like it as a solution. Mostly because 90% of the time, I will be safe and snug in my seat in WiTHiN and won't require the additional ballast from the keel - In a sense, I would be hauling around this extra weight and drag for no reason most of the time.

My dad Rudi enjoys a spin in WiTHiN

A retractable outrigger is too flimsy for the ocean and I would be afraid that a giant wave would just rip it off. Moving parts like that out on the ocean aren't very safe. I've thought about folding outrigger arms that are stored inside the cockpit, but there isn't really very much room in there! Also some of you have suggested inflatable bags, but again, there isn't much room inside WiTHiN to store those, and I'm not crazy about all the fuss of getting them inflated and installed every time I need to stand up.

Please send your ideas to the comments section of this blog post, or to me directly by replying to this email.

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WiTHiN ready for capsize tests!

"Take me to your leader"

I am planning on running a full-deck capsize test this Saturday at the lake.

While I have been away eating and drinking to my hearts content in Italy, Ben has been hard at work in the SquirrelWorks shop finishing the installation of WiTHiN's full top deck window and hatch. (We named the shop SquirrelWorks after our mascot black squirrel that hangs out near the windows on the south side of the shop.)

I decided that I did not like the side-entry hatch and we moved the hatch to the top. WiTHiN is NOT stable enough to stand up in without it tipping over, so I need to think about some other way to add stability for entry/exit.

The new top entry hatch

The old side entry hatch - don't like.

One idea is a swing-arm outrigger. The single arm outrigger would be a long strut that rotates on a bearing mounted on the top of the deck. When it is stowed and not in use, the float becomes an extension of the stern of WiTHiN. To use the outrigger, a handle could be used from inside WiTHiN to rotate the arm into a 90 degree position.

The swing-rigger concept:

When I first drew this up I liked it, but now I don't. Too many things can go wrong with that outrigger arm and the mechanism required to activate it. If this outrigger is the only method of providing the stability that I require to stand up, climb out, get in and get out, and it failed, I would be in trouble.

Instead, we are going to experiment with a ballast keel. 25 pounds or so about 4 feet below the hull might provide enough counter balance to allow me to stand up through the open hatch. It may also allow me to climb in from water level. This is something that I will experiment with on Saturday.

The additional ballast added to counter the weight of the top deck is 70 pounds secured to WiTHiN's floor. I welded a threaded rod to the seat rails that secures a stack of standard weight lifting plates.

The hatch is secured with 4 window latches that pull the hatch tight against a neoprene seal. I decided not to put hinges on it yet and instead to hold it down with 4 latches and have it tethered to the boat. When not on, this option will allow me to dangle the hatch door inside the cockpit or strap it to the roof. If the top hatch works, then I can always add two hinges later.

We are trying to source a 4 point safety harness right now. This harness with me bolted to the seat rails in the front, and the rear bulkhead in the rear. When I am in, and strapped down to my seat, we should be able to flip WiTHiN upside down and I should be safe and secure in my recumbent seat. This will keep me safe during a capsize and will also keep the weight on the bottom of the hull to assist in right-siding.

Some other changes we made are new steering lines that route through the deck. I have two lines on the perimeter inside decking that I can hold onto to move the rudder. The line is a loop so i can control the rudder with one hand or both - way better than the plastic push-pull arm that I was using for the 24 hour record attempt.

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Human Power Rocks Nextfest!

John, Ben and I are back from NextFest and it was a blast! WAY more work than any of us expected though, but well worth it.

The highlight for me was being interviewed by Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers and TV hit series Rockstar: Supernova) for Indie103.1 fm, a popular Los Angeles radio station. Those who know me, know how much I love my music, so to get a chance to sit and chat live on the air with a rock and roll super star was pretty freaking cool! Dave is really into human power and is an avid runner.

I was amazed at the general public's reaction to Critical Power and the 24 hour distance record - even in the shadow of some pretty impressive displays like solar cars, jet packs and robots. We had a sign on CP that read "World Record 650 miles - 24 hours by human power" which always stopped people in their tracks and generated tons of questions. They just could not fathom 650 miles on a bicycle - many had never even driven their cars 650 miles in a day. I didn't stop talking for 4 days! I think this kind of publicity is very good for human power in general. Perhaps it will get more people thinking about riding their bikes again. Or maybe they'll just all want an electric drag bike like the Killacycle.

Our neighbor at the show was Bill Dube with the world record A123 Killacycle electric drag bike. We had dinner with him and his crew on Friday night where he talked about what could go wrong during a press burn-out demo he planned the following day. The next day Bill's scary prediction came true and during the burn out, the Killacycle took-off and smashed into a parked car sending Bill to the hospital. Here is the video. Bill ended up with some minor injuries including some stitches on his head.

For the first few hours on Thursday and Friday, thousands of kids on school tours swarmed through NextFest. The simulator was wildly popular with line-ups that stretched across the Transportation Pavilion. The simulator held-up very well and worked flawlessly thanks to Ben's awesome workmanship and design.

At NextFest, Google made a big announcement that they were sponsoring the new Lunar X prize where a team must successfully land a privately funded craft on the lunar surface and survive long enough to complete the mission goals of roaming about the lunar surface for at least 500 meters. The prize is $30 million clams.

Not to be outdone by Google, we made an announcement of our own called the Lunar AOG prize. FIVE BILLION dollars (yep - that's BILLION) for the first human powered trip to the moon. John figured that if we deposited 7 dollars into an account, by the time someone succeeds at a human powered trip to the moon, that 7 bucks should be close to 5 billion.

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Hello everyone - I have some really great news:

1. Guinness World Records recognizes my HPB and HPV records!
2. Brand new Adventures of Greg web site
3. Pedal the Ice Cap - a new adventure!
4. "Human Power Rocks" weekly video web cast

1. Guinness World Records recognizes my HPB and HPV records!

I have been working through the Guinness maze of forms and rules and procedures and received some very good news earlier this week. They have added two new categories to their records to accommodate my achievements:

The greatest distance on a human powered vehicle in 24 hours is 1041.24
km (647 m) and was achieved by Greg Kolodziejzyk (Canada) at Redwood
Acres Raceway in Eureka, Alberta, Canada, on 20 July 2006.

The greatest distance achieved by pedal powered boat in 24 hours is
173.76 km (107.9 m) by Greg Kolodziejzyk (Canada) on a lake in Calgary,
Alberta, Canada on 2 June 2007.

As far as I know, I am the second person to be recognized for a human powered vehicle record - the first being Sam Whittingham for his 200 meter sprint. If there is someone else with a human powered vehicle Guinness record, please let me know.

Guinness had a category for 24 hour distance by pedal powered boat, but it was held by a TEAM of 4 Italian cyclists and was 175 km (only 2 km more than mine). I had to convince them that a solo effort should be considered as a category of it's own.

2. Brand new Adventures of Greg web site

A new look: (if you have the old version loaded, you may have to click your refresh button to clear your cache and load the new page).

The new site is designed to better reflect my goals regarding human power. The new quote says it all: William Pollard said: "Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow."

It's a high band width site with some small flash videos running. Please check it out and let me know it you had any problems or lengthy delays loading it. Also let me know what kind of internet connection you have.

3. Pedal the Ice Cap - a new adventure!

This is still in CONCEPT phase. More research needs to be completed before I commit to doing it, but I thought it would be useful to put it up on the web site and get your feedback:

300 miles across the second largest ice cap in the world. Again I am challenging tradition: What happens when we mix cutting edge technology with optimal human performance to cross an ice cap in record time? Can we use technology to improve upon the tried and true cross country ski?

4. "Human Power Rocks" weekly video web cast

You can click through to this flash video from the new AOG main page, or here:
I would really like your input. Here are some questions I would like you to answer for me:

1. Do you think something like this is worth continuing?
2. Every week, every month?
3. Should I include ALL news from the HPV world? Interviews with HPV'ers?
4. Any other suggestions?
5. Did it load fast enough on your computer?
6. How was the length?
7. Was the quality good enough? Image quality, content quality, production quality?

Feedback can be sent directly to me

or, you can enter a comment for every one to read on this BLOG page.

Thanks very much for your support and feedback!


I'm now a salty dog

This is me now, one experienced salty dog.

Helen, my son Cody, and I spent 5 days living and learning aboard our chartered 39 foot Bavaria yacht cruising the islands south and east of Vancouver Island. Our captain was a lovely girl from Brisbane, Australia who teaches here in Canada during her winter, and runs a charter business at home with her husband during her summer.

The weather sucked - rain set records and this photo shows fog that never happens in July. We didn't mind though - the scenery was spectacular.

The purpose of the sailing adventure was two-fold. First, Helen and I have often wondered if sailing the seven seas was something that we might like to get into some day. Second, I need some real ocean experience and education and this was the perfect starting point.

This is Helen at the Helm, our instructor Kelly from down-unda on the Starboard side and my son Cody texting his girl friend.

After our exams, all three of us walked away with our "Canadian Yachting Association Basic Cruising Standard" certifications. We can now charter a 34 foot sailing yacht by ourselves. yikes.

Cody at the helm

Our fearless instructor Kelly from Melbourne, Australia

The next step is to advance to an intermediate course that would take me out into the open ocean. This course should better prepare me for what I might expect on an ocean crossing.

Kelly was a great captain and the course was very informative. My brain is still sore from all the thinking and learning. Sailing terminology seems like a whole new language. Port, Stern, Headsail, Mainsail, Halyard, lines, sheets, a close hauled tack. But the week was fantastic - we all loved it and feel like we learned so much.

Kelly learning us some 'portant sail'n stuff

Cody MSN'ing his girlfriend. Sometimes we docked in a marina that offered wireless.

A morning photo from the deck of our yacht "New Beginnings"


Last summer was pretty crazy with adventure and travel packed into our very short 3 to 4 month window of summer weather a-way up North here in Calgary. This summer is no different. Here is a quick list of some of events that we have checked off our summer to-do list, as well as what is still to come:

June 2-3: The human powered pedal boat 24 hour distance record. Actually, that really started in May with trips to the Glenmore Reservoir with WiTHin (my human powered pedal boat) where I ended up logging over 60 hours pedaling WiTHiN around the lake.

July 11 - 15:
Helen and I spent a week in Montreal for Cody's Senior National Diving Championships. Cody did very well and Helen and I were able to take advantage of the change in environment to fit in some great training for Ironman Canada.

July 18-24:
As soon as we returned from Montreal, the three of us were off to Victoria for the sailing course. Krista is in Ecuador on a Teenage Adventure trip with Adventures Cross Country
August 16-27:
We are at our Cabin in Whitefish, Montana to fit in some last minute training.

August 23-27:
We will head straight to Penticton, BC to compete in the 25th anniversary of Ironman Canada on August 26th!

August 28 - Sept 2:
From Penticton, we head directly to Vancouver Island for a kayaking/camping trip through the Broken Islands off the east coast of Vancouver island.

Sept 10-18:
Ben Eadie, John Mackay, Helen, Cody, Krista and myself fly off to Los Angeles to participate at Wired Magazines NEXTfest.2007 technology exhibition where we will display Critical Power and our new streamliner simulator.

Sept 20-30:
Helen and I are off on a bike trip around Italy to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.

Sometime in October:
A trip back out to Vancouver Island for some ocean testing in the full top-deck version of WiTHiN!

Have you seen this map? It's pretty frightening:

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Visualizing the future

WiTHiN - the prototype ocean crossing human powered boat

The various Adventures of Greg projects like Pedal The Ocean expedition are all about to move into a higher gear. After some serious soul searching since the 24 hour HPB record, I have decided that if I am going to accomplish my long term goals, I need to structure my operations to better focus on what I need to be doing with my time.

I find that after a day of hard training, I am next to useless in the shop, and nothing gets accomplished. Either that, or the progress I do make is crap because I have taken short cuts or have failed to see obvious way of solving a problem.

The other problem that needs solving is that I have been avoiding the 'hard stuff' - no, not the 8 hour training days, or expedition planing, but the real 'hard' stuff - getting on the phone and contacting potential corporate sponsors, lining up media partners, finding gear sponsors, doing PR, etc, etc. I know I am the best person for that job, so I decided that I had better suck it up and learn how to do it, or it won't ever get done.

Ben Eadie

With that said, I am happy to announce that I hired Ben to work with me 3 days a week. He'll be mostly working in the shop over the next few months getting the Critical Power HPV simulator built for NextFest and getting the full top-deck version of WiTHiN finished and ready for sea trials this fall.

WiTHiN - the ocean crossing human powered boat

I envision being able to accomplish a lot more in the pursuit of exploring the limits of human power with Ben's help. Certainly far more than what I would be able to accomplish as a one-man-band like it's been for the past few years. We have some pretty cool plans for KidPower, ideas for a video blog series, and some really awesome human powered projects on the drawing board! Just training for, and organizing all of this is a full time job. Someone has to build the stuff and that is where Ben comes in.

Here is a brief preview of what may be store for you over the next year or two:

KidPower: We want to build a web site where kids can register their own little mini adventures. I'd like to call it, or (those specific domains are not available). The goal of the mini-adventures is to set a personal or community record, or to accomplish a difficult challenge. All mini-adventures would be physical activity based and through the web site, the kids would be offered blogging tools and support from the KidPower team and community. We could solicit Corporations to donate prizes and awards to encourage the kids to accomplish their adventures.

Some early ideas for some challenges:

1. Walk a 1000 miles
2. Walk a 200 km in a month
3. Run 100 km in a month
4. How many km can you run in one month?
5. How many km can you bike in 6 months?
6. Skate 100 miles this winter
7. Dance 100 hours
8. Run a 5 km race
9. Run a 10 km race
10. How many basketball bounces can you do in 2 hours?
11. How many skipping rope skips can you do in one day?

SolidWorks Critical Power Simulator simulator (funded by - We are building a new portable streamlinerSolidWorks corporation) that will be a part of all school presentations. Now all of the kids will get a chance to feel what it is like to pedal Critical Power to 50 kph and navigate through the busy streets of a virtual city!

The SolidWorks Critical Power simulator

Pedal The Ocean trans Atlantic record attempt: The prototype ocean boat WiTHiN will be ready for sea testing by the end of September and I will be heading out to Vancouver Island for sea trials.

New Adventures of Greg record attempts: Here is a quick preview of some of the potential projects that are being considered:

1. A Paddle vs Pedal 24 hour human powered boat race. Is 260 km in 24 hours on water by human power possible? I think it is!
2. Human powered ice cap crossing record (currently 8 days for solo)
human powered ice cap crossing vehicle concept

3. Human powered flight record
4. Human powered circumnavigation of Vancouver Island record attempt (currently 28 days for solo)
5. The human powered hour record (currently 86.77 km fully faired, or 45 km unfaired)
6. The human powered recumbent 100 mile record

People are always amazed at how far or fast you can go when you mix a little cutting edge technology with good old fashioned muscle power. Human power doesn't pollute, and it's use is the key to solving the serious health issues that we are facing today. My goal is to raise awareness of the problems afflicting modern society caused by our sedentary lifestyle. I hope that through my various projects, I can inspire and motivate others to become more active. EVERYONE - not just the kids!


Here are some more photos of the kind of riding I get to enjoy here in Calgary. Greg B and I drove about 40 minutes west to the Kananaskis turn off and cycled up the Highwood pass, down the other side and back to the car for a solid 6 hour ride.

We say a bunch of mountain goats, some big horn sheep and one Grizzly. Well, I say it was a large Grizzly because it was brown and had a hump on it's back, but Greg thinks it was a small black bear. I saw it at the side of the road and yelled to Greg who was in front of me. My voice startled the bear and it suddenly looked up at me like it was going to charge. Can a bear out run a Cervelo P3 carbon?

The ride was super tough for me because my legs were fried from the Stampede half marathon I did the day before. It was a good race for me - I came in 4th in my division out of 125 guys with a 1:33 finish time, so I was happy. My PR 1/2 marathon is 1:27, but that was barefoot, so this race was a good chance to compare the effect of your running shoe weight on your average run pace. The rule of thumb is 1% speed gain for every 1 ounce of weight saved on your footwear. My runners are 9 ounces and my kayak booties weigh 4 ounce which is a difference of about 5 ounces. That would equate to about 5 minutes which was just about how much faster I was when I didn't wear my shoes at the Police Half last April.

In theory, this is all really great, but in practice, I have yet to be able to run longer than about 90 minutes without suffering from brutally sore feet. A lifetime of running, walking and standing in shoes has resulted in some serious atrophy in my foot muscles, so building up to being able to run a full marathon without shoes is going to take some time. Currently, I do about 1/2 of my running without shoes. I usually alternate a day with shoes and a day without shoes. Also, when I am not running, I go barefoot or wear my flat sandals.

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LIVE updates during the 24


On Saturday June 2, 2007 starting at 9:00 am MST, I will be transmitting blog updates directly from a camera phone on WiTHiN - probably about one per hour or so. I won't be emailing these updates, so if you want to follow my progress, you will have to visit the blog home page:

Ben and John Mackay will try to get to an Internet connection at various points to upload YouTube videos and photos of the action. The RSS feed is here:

I will have a cell phone on WiTHiN - it's hooked right into my iPod. I'll have plenty of time to chat, so call me if you want. 403-651-2748

We are meeting the surveyor out at the reservoir tomorrow morning to figure out and measure my course. Tomorrow night is the 'last supper'. Then Saturday morning I get to work. I am getting kind of excited - looking forward to getting back on the lake. I have been resting this week and I'm almost a full day into my carb loading, so my energy is starting to return.

URL's and numbers:

The main web site:
The Blog:
The 24 hour record information page:
Greg's on-board phone # 403-651-2748

Also the new web site is now finished and LIVE:


Media craziness!


They don't call him the PR wizard for nothing. Neil Bousquet from Synergy Marketing has been working magic getting me press coverage for the 24 hour record attempt this Saturday. I've been bombarded with Television, newspaper and radio interviews all week.

The major reason I decided to go for a new 24 hour human powered boat record is because I thought the event would be a great opportunity to generate some good publicity for the Atlantic crossing expedition. The plan was to complete our sponsorship package and coincide a push to find sponsors with the press that we generate from the 24 hour event.

Landing sponsors requires a very pro-active, sales approach. You can't do your PR, sit back and wait for sponsors to knock on your door. It doesn't work like that unfortunately. You have to pick up the phone, make contacts negotiate and develop relationships. We had someone on the team who was going to do that, but due to some very unfortunate circumstances, that job is now open.

And so we decided to proceed with the 24, issue the press releases, and finish the official web site anyhow, then wait until things calm down a bit and fill the open sponsor marketing position, then make our push later this summer or early next fall.

The press that Neil has generated for Pedal The Ocean has been spectacular! The high-light was a 10 minute appearance by yours truly on the Breakfast Television show on CityTV. The YouTube video of the show is above.

Here is a list of this weeks interviews:

  • Almost a full page in the Calgary Sun
  • Front page of Metro News
  • Two pieces in the Calgary Herald
  • 660 News Calgary
  • 5 minute Shaw TV segment
  • 15 minute CityTV talk show
  • Discovery Channel (taped last week, to be aired in September)

On top of all that, some of the local TV stations and newspapers will be at the Glenmore reservoir on Saturday to report on the actual record attempt.

Plenty of fun. It's also been a great opportunity for me to talk a bit on the childhood obesity issue. In fact, we got another KidPower school presentation from a teacher who saw me on TV.


when you are going through hell, keep going.

The lake was like a mirror on Saturday. The paddle wheel boat in the background is the SS Moyie - a recreation of a paddle steamer from Heritage Park that cruises the Glenmore Reservoir

Paula Newby Frasier who is probably the most famous Ironman champion in history - an 8-Time Ironman Triathlon World Champion once gave me this advice from a presentation I was at. Typically, first timer advice from experienced Ironman triathletes is to 'remember to have fun'. Paula says that Ironman isn't fun. It's not supposed to be fun. It's probably one of the hardest things you will ever do, and when things are hard, they're not fun. That's what makes it such a challenging event. I know this and agree 100%. I don't have fun on race day. But I have the time of my life after I have crossed the finish line! Especially when I have successfully achieved a goal or two. In fact, the 'fun' lasts for a very, very long time.

The pain is temporary. The pride is forever.

I am afraid of next weekend. It's going to be tough. Very tough. It's worse for me, because I know what I am in for, as I have been through it a couple of times before. 24 hours of non-stop pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing. Ugh!

Winston Churchill said "When you are going through hell, keep going!"

But, I must say that 24 hours of lake-side scenery sure beats going around a quarter-mile race track 1800 times.

As I type this blog update, my chair keeps bobbing up and down. I just spent 7 hours on the lake today on top of 8 hours yesterday. The feeling of floating with the waves does not stop when you climb out of your boat. It was a bit of a challenge to maintain the 7 km per hour speed average that I need to break the 24 hour human powered boat record ( IHPVA). And I was only out there for 8 hours. My knees are slowly getting a bit better, my right knee is pain-free now, and I am hoping that my left will follow suit by next weekend.

WiTHiN was not designed for a 24 hour HPB record, it was designed for an ocean crossing. While she is not the best hull shape for a speed record, she is probably just fast enough for the 24. That is what will make this challenge so difficult. There is no room for any coasting.

That said, I promise you all that I will give it my best.


Here are some photos of Fridays continuation of the Discovery Channel shoot. They rigged up these tiny lipstick cameras to various locations on WiTHiN for some really cool footage.

Al and Neil from Discovery hooking up the lipstick cams

This is a photo of the 'mission control center' on WiTHiN showing my new Garmin eTRex Venture Cx GPS and the SRM power meter.

The 2 AA batteries on the Garmin supposedly last for over 50 hours! I am timing the battery life now to see how long it will last with the back light on. We decided that it would be easier and more accurate to simply have me follow my route on the GPS than having to string a long line of buoys that would have to be marked with lights. I tested this out on the lake on Saturday, and it is pretty easy to follow a pre-set route on the Garmin. It would be great if the batteries last for the entire night. If the batteries don't last, then I will look at installing a small LED light to illuminate the Garmin screen.

My buddy John Mackay helping out

The plan is to mark the turn-around buoys and any obstacles near my path with glow sticks. June 2 is a full moon, so regardless, I should be able to see across the lake.

Ben picked up some of this really slick Loc-Line modular hose for me. I'm going to clamp it on the side perimeter deck and then mount the GPS and my iPod video to the other end so I can swivel it around for easy viewing without having to hold them.

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Discovery Channel segment!

There are a few recent developments that are very exciting!

I just finished a full day of shooting a 7 minute Discovery Channel segment with producer Neil Thomas from Full Throttle Films and Cinematographer Allan Leader. I was VERY impressed with this crew! Great guys and very professional. We shot a bunch of technical stuff in the shop with WiTHiN and then an interview. Tomorrow we head out to Glenmore reservoir for additional footage of WiTHiN on the lake. The show will air sometime in September due to a summer hiatus that the Daily Planet show takes.

The other exciting development is that we have been accepted to display Critical Power and WiTHiN at WIRED magazines NextFest.2007 exhibition.

About a month ago I received a package from WIRED magazine inviting me along with 500 other "technologies that WIRED magazine deems important to our future" to apply for an exhibit at NextFest.2007 :

SEPTEMBER 13 - 16, 2007
South Hall (J and K)

This fall, WIRED Magazine is bringing its vision of a new world's fair to Los Angeles. Experience more than 160 exciting exhibits from scientists, researchers, and inventors around the globe. WIRED NextFest features innovations in communication, design, entertainment, exploration, health, play, robots, transportation, security, and green living.

We submitted the following display proposal: "Two world records on the energy of a 100 watt light bulb"

It's a great deal because WIRED magazine pays for the space. We need to pay for travel, accommodation, shipping and our display. I am hoping to pick up a sponsor to help offset those costs. This could be huge for a sponsor, as NextFest is covered by most major US and international media like CNN, Wall Street Journal, WIRED magazine, Discovery Channel, Science Channel, ABC, NBC, CBS, the Today Show, the New York Times, and hundreds of other broadcast, print and on-line outlets. We would, of course, splash the sponsors name all over the booth, Critical Power and WiTHiN.

We have two potential sponsors who are interested and all of this will end up going to the one who acts first. I was preparing a presentation the other day and just for fun I thought I would look up the cost of a two page spread in Popular Science magazine. It would cost $200,000. If I had a corporate sponsor for the 24 hour record attempt in Eureka, their branding would have been all over my 2-page Popular Science article and it would have cost them a fraction of what a 2-page spread is worth. I was also on the cover and I don't think they even offer that as an advertising option.

Critical Power and my 24 hour HPV record are also in an upcoming issue of National Geographic Kids.


The weather around here has been pretty bad:

So my training has unfortunately taken a back seat. I plan on doing a longer ride on the lake tomorrow after we finish shooting with the Discovery Channel guys. I added a few degrees more twist to the prop, and exactly as Rick Willoughby said, it resulted in fixing my low cadence problem.

My brother-in law Tom Short was on hand to help with the new prop test.

I also made a smaller rudder to see if that made any difference in the speed and it didn't seem to make much of a difference at all. In fact, even the handling felt about the same - turn radius is still very tight and it feels almost as responsive as it did when I was using the huge ocean rudder.

We are changing the course around the reservoir for the 24 hour human powered boat distance record attempt on June 2. We are moving our home base from the sailing club docks to the canoe club docks. The reason is to allow an easier move to our contingency route plan. If the forecast looks very windy for Saturday, we will shorten the course to a 3 km out and back along the canoe club docks on the wind sheltered side of the lake. Also using the canoe club docks as our staging area will move me past my crew about once every 10 to 15 minutes or so. I will still be doing a U-turn every 20 minutes as before, but this new course is sort of a figure 8 and the canoe club docks are in the middle.

The new map and details of the event:


new prop - 1/2 km/hr faster!

I got my new prop yesterday and hauled everything out to the lake for a quick test and training session. Rick Willoughby made it for me and it only took about 1 week to get here by mail. From Australia!!

I could tell immediately that it was different because my cadence to produce power was about 10 rpm slower than my prop. It was also faster! On average .5 kph faster at 150 watts. I did some speed intervals on 10 watt increments and here is the result as compared to Ricks estimate:
We're getting much closer. I still think the remaining gap is due to the hull shape.

On the agenda for this week is to get my HID headlight installed on WiTHiN. We're still waiting to hear back from the city of Calgary as to weather I will be allowed to use the lithium polymer batteries for the light on the reservoir. My proposal to them is to have the batteries tethered to the boat or the dock at all times.

I also need to deal with the hydration IN/OUT systems. A water bag for hydration, and a 'dirty water' bag for outgoing. This bag will be handed off to the crew about once per hour when I circle around to the home base dock where I will pick up a new water bag and what ever food i require. For comm, I have decided to just use my cell phone instead of my two way radio. It's lighter and the battery should last all day.

I am testing out my Trimble Recon PDA. It features a GPS with moving map software. I downloaded a detailed photo of the Glenmore reservoir from Google Maps and added it to the Fugawi GPS navigation software. It worked perfectly!

I also want to experiment with a video iPod, or portable DVD player. This would be a great way to take my mind off the monotony of going around and around in circles for 24 hours. The advantage to a DVD player is I can just stick any DVD in to watch it on the big screen. The disadvantage is poor visibility on the screen during the day, and poor battery life. The advantage to something like an iPod video is a bright screen and good battery life, but here in Canada, you can't buy any video content from the iTunes music store - that sucks.

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Day on the lake

What a great day! I spent 8 hours on Glenmore Reservoir today pedalling WiTHiN-24 human powered boat around the lake. It was a perfect day - very little wind, a clear sunny sky and a high of 26 degrees. I got fried, but I was loving every minute of it.

Good news though - I think I may have resolved the numb foot issue by increasing my seat back angle. I lowered the seat back and opened up my hip angle. This puts less pressure on my butt by transferring more load to my upper back. It seemed to have solved the problem which is great, but I have introduced new muscles that have not been training for this particular geometry. When ever you open up the hip angle, you introduce more hamstrings, so they were pretty sore at the end of the day. Also my knees were a bit tender do to this new position. I really hope that the 3 weeks I have remaining to train for my attempt at the 24 hour human powered boat record is enough time for my body to adjust. This is NOT ideal, as I would prefer 3 months to train rather than 3 weeks, but it's the only time that works into my summer schedule, so I'll have to just suck it up and go for it.

I have created an information page for the 24 hour record attempt on June 2, 2007 (yes, only 3 weeks away!):

And here is a map of the reservoir showing my planned route. It's an out and back dog leg that is approximately 2.5 km long. My home base and support will be staged at the Glenmore Sailing School dock at the south end of the reservoir. My route goes North and turns around at the Glenmore Trail bridge. There is a location on the bike path near the bridge for an official observer. The current HPVA record is 168 km, so that would be about 33 1/2 laps.

We require 2 observers aside from Rob Hitchcock the HPVA official that I am flying in to act as head official. If you are local to Calgary or willing to fly in from Vancouver or somewhere equally convenient, and would be interested in acting as an official observer, then please contact me.

The new propeller that Rick Willoughby made for me just arrived from Melbourne, Australia by MAIL yesterday. It took less than a week to get here!!! That's better service than UPS ground from the states. I'm anxious to install it and see if WiTHiN will be any faster. I still think that majority of the slower than expected speed is due to the Nimbus sea kayak hull shape which was designed for stability, not speed. This is perfect for the ocean version of WiTHiN, but not ideal for a record attempt. However, it is probably good enough and the experience and publicity stemming from the 24 hour event is great for me and the ocean crossing expedition.

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WiTHiN Lake Test!

The lake test was fairly successful, but our speeds were about 10% slower than predicted.

Our 150 watt predicted speed was 10.2 kph and I measured 9.2 kph. That's only a 10% decrease, but it required 50% more power to reach 10.2 kph than expected which is quite a bit. Here are the speed test results:

100 watts = 7.8 kph

150 watts = 9.1 kph

200 watts = 10 kph

250 watts = 10.3 kph

all packed up and ready to go

150 watts over 24 hours will net out to about 110 average watts (using SRM data from my two 24 hour HPV events). 110 watts is about 8 kph average speed. 8 km * 24 hours = 192 km which is 24 km over the current 168 km record. This is OK, and for what we are trying to accomplish with the 24 hour record event as an introduction to the Atlantic expedition, it is acceptable.

My friend Bryon Howard was my support boat for today

Rick is concerned and thinks we can narrow down where some of the losses are coming from. Starting with a new prop that Rick kindly made for me and is en route from Melbourne now. Some other refinements include cleaning up some underwater fairing issues and more tests. Another reason for the slower than expected speeds could be due to some incorrect hull shape information. It appears that there is more displacement than we originally calculated. I suspected this, as the Hyak kayak hull that we used for WiTHiN is a lot more stable than we expected. That stability comes at a cost - great for the ocean boat, but so quite as good for a 24 hour record attempt.

I am assembling the rudder. Note the drive leg and gear on the dock

Test ride thoughts: It was PLENTY of fun! I was pretty thrilled about it all. We spent a couple of hours tooling around the lake. It felt exactly the same as my M5. During M5 training rides, I focus on extended periods of non-stop pedaling on flat terrain, so that aspect of pedaling the boat felt pretty typical.

Bryon Howard

To not have to deal with traffic, noise, beeping cars, etc was a joy. I far preferred being on the water, but I think mostly because it is something new to me. I would much rather be there than on my road bike now, but getting WiTHiN to the lake is a bit of a pain. However, I appreciate how much easier this is than what I went through preparing Critical Power for the 24 hour record! Finding a closed track to do tests on was VERY difficult. Also, we could not test on anything other than almost windless days. Added to that, the fact that I always required help meant that we were able to test CP only a few times! This was VERY frustrating.

Loading WiTHiN on my car and driving out to Glenmore Reservoir by myself won't be difficult. I can see that weather won't be a huge concern either.

Rudi - my dad is an integral part of my team

Ben Eadie - camera man

We instantly drew a crowd. I met two families who were with kids that went to schools that I had visited for KidPower presentations. Kayakers were all generally stunned that a pedal boat could be faster than a kayak. I let Bryon Howard, my kayak instructor friend take it for a spin and he was thrilled at how comfortable and fast it was. Bryon and I compared our effort levels at various speeds. My long distance cruising intensity of 150 watts speed was equal to his 20 minute all-out effort pace.

I am in the process of getting some decals made up with the WiTHiN and the PedalTheOcean URL on it. The more often I am out and visible, the more buzz I will generate. This is my biggest reason for mounting the 24 hour HPB record event.

I am concerned about the speed, of course, but if it is due mostly to the hull shape, then there is not much we can do about it. That's OK - it is still fast enough for a new record, but I will have my work cut out for me. There are other issues that I need to balance with finding the speed – making sure WiTHiN looks great – that's hugely important. People have to instantly recognize that she is something new and unique. WiTHiN has to invite curiosity and has to look sexy in her newspaper and magazine spreads.

WiTHiN compared to a tandem and single kayak

Launching WiTHiN is a one-man job

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WiTHiN is ready!

Well, I checked off pretty much the last major item on the ever-growing TODO list for WiTHiN today. I was supposed to be out on my bike all day today, but it snowed yesterday and rained all day today, so I postponed the ride for tomorrow and made further progress on WiTHiN today.

The only major item still left is the lake test - and this is the big one. I know WiTHiN floats and is fairly stable from the pool test. I also know that the drive, prop and steering works. What I do not yet know, and this is HUGELY important, is how fast WiTHiN is. If for some reason, our calculations are wrong about the hull shape and prop specs using my known rpm and power, then there is a possibility WiTHiN won't be efficient enough for a 24 hour distance record attempt. So far, everything has worked like it should, but I know from experience that you just can't assume things until they have been tested.

Again, the calculations that I really hope to verify this weekend at Glenmore Reservoir, are as follows:

RPM = 78 rpm (verified)
Power input = 149 watts (verified)
Weight = 122 kg (verified)
Drive efficiency = 95% (verified)
Prop efficiency = 84.7%
Speed = 10.2 kph

If I spend 24 hours at 150 watts, then my ending average including everything should be about 110 watts. 110 watts converts to 9 km/hr average speed, so I should be good for 216 km or so. The current HPB record as recognized by the human powered vehicle association is 168 km. The rules are here.
Now, if I really messed my prop up, and the hull drag is WAY higher than we estimated, then I would need to be no more than 12% slower (7 km/hr) to still travel 168 km.

I have a separate update coming detailing all of the progress on finishing WiTHiN that has been completed over the last week.


Pool test success

The pool test was a success - until the chain snapped.

After the half marathon, I sat at my desk and stressed about where our predicted water line was on WiTHiN and how it was going to totally flood the boat through the drive leg. I had visions of it spaying violently up through the gaps in the foam plug and drive leg. Horror in the YWCA pool. The boat sinks and they have to drain the whole pool to get my boat out. Then they hand me a $10,000 invoice for the mess.

I even spent an hour on Skype with Rick calculating the exact location of the water level. It should be about 15 mm ABOVE the top of the wall of the drive leg bay. No doubt about it. If my plug and drive leg itself aren't water tight, water should just flow up through those openings. Why didn't I make the wall higher? I forget - There was a legitimate reason, but I forgot what it was. Rick reminds me that during the design phase, I lowered the drive leg bay walls a bit to allow the drive leg to rotate up through the hole cut in the hull. I had added a lip to the drive leg bay wall, but it was flexible rubber at the hinge to get around it - I wasn't at all confident that it would hold back the flood.

Ben and Stefan came over and we discussed the issue. Someone had the brilliant idea of simply duct taping the bottom of the hull around the drive leg and plug. This way we would be able to conduct all the tests required and be guaranteed that we won't sink. The after that, pull the tape off and test out the drive leg wall.

So that's what we did. We taped up everything using Gorilla Tape (amazing stuff - really) and the inside of WiTHiN was dry. We had three 25 meter lanes at the downtown YWCA, so I was only able to just get WiTHiN moving forward before I had to slam on the breaks by pedalling backward. It was very responsive turning and it was surprisingly stable. It never felt like it was going to tip - even on the sharpest turn.

I stood up and rocked it, still no tipping. I jumped out into the pool and climbed back in from deep water - very stable, no problem. I does not look like outriggers will be required. I think that I have kept the weight low in the hull, and I think that the Hyak sea kayak hull is a fairly stable shape.

Then we rigged up some nylon rope to the rudder then around a pulley attached to the diving board rail down to a 25 pound weight. This is to test the drive leg and prop - if everything is working properly, I should be able to lift the 25 pound weight with about 300 watts of power. As I started to crank on it, the chain broke. That was one thing that I had forgot to do - replace my work chain with a good chain. I had broken apart that old chain about two dozen times and it was only meant as a very temporary chain. No wonder it broke. Oh well.

We pulled the Gorilla Tape off the bottom and - no water. I bounced around a bunch in WiTHiN and still dry as a bone. Then we pulled the drive leg bay plug out and noted that the water line was about 1/2" BELOW the top of the bay wall. That was a pleasant surprise. Then I rotated the drive leg out and still no overflow. The water level at the drive leg slot was much closer to the top of the wall, but my rubber lip was doing it's job and keeping any water from splashing over into the boat. This was GREAT news! I think the reason the water line was slightly lower in the bow where the drive leg is located is probably because of weight distribution causing a slight bow-up geometry.

All in all, a successful day. A PR at the half marathon in the morning, then a successful pool test that night.

Next - open water to see if WiTHiN is as fast as it is supposed to be. This is a critical test. If for some unknown reason, WiTHiN isn't close to it's 10 km/hr predicted speed at 150 watts of power, then breaking the current record of 168 km is going to be difficult.

I would like to get WiTHiN into Glenmore reservoir this weekend if possible. The ice just melted and it's all open now. I need to find some support - someone in a boat to help film and to be there for safety in case I go for a swim. That water is only about 2 degrees C.

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24 hour record attempt and the seat

The seat is now in and working.

I was encouraged not to give up on those spring loaded pins by some emails I got from y'all, so I gave it another go. I cut off one side of the T-handle and filed down the other side so that it would not rub on the boat bottom.

Then I drilled and counter-sunk a straight line-up of holes down both stainless rails and welded the entire seat hinge together. It works pretty well - I can pull both "L-handles" (formerly T-handles) out and slide the seat forward or back as much as I need to. When all the way forward, the seat will lie flat on the floor.

To support the seat back, and to also make it adjustable, I plan on extending an aluminum tube from the right side of the hull to the left side. This way, the seat back will rest on the tube and the tube could be moved forward (tilting the seat UP) and backward (reclining the seat).

And also, I finally weighed WiTHiN.

Drive Leg: 9 lbs
Rudder: 4 lbs
WiTHiN with seat and seat rails installed: 84 lbs

The center of gravity is 114 inches back from the bow (not including the drive leg or the rudder)

The summer is starting to shape up nicely - very exciting actually. When I get back from Ironman Arizona, it's FULL SPEED AHEAD on finishing WiTHiN-24:

1. Perimeter decking
2. Seat back support rod
3. Drive leg bay plug
4. Drive leg fairing
5. Gear box fairing
6. Prop
7. Add soft deck cover
8. Seat cushion
9. Sand smooth the rough fiberglass
10. Outriggers if required

Then it's FULL SPEED ahead on a new training plan for the 24!!!!!. It looks like we might schedule an attempt at the human powered boat 24 hour distance record for early summer, so I don't have much time to squeeze in the ultra milleage training I need to be ready for the challenge. But hey - that just makes it even more challenging, so I'm really looking forward to getting into it.

I might have only around 6 weeks - so a 150 km ride the first week, then a 170, 200, 220, 250, 300 ? I hope that's good enough... For the 24 hour HPV record I worked my way up to a 400 km ride! but that was over a period of 3 months - not 6 weeks. I think I can do it.

My official expedition coach is Cory Fagan. I'm planing on meeting with him for a full line of physiological tests. Then I get the old M5 ready for the road, and get out there! I love the M5 - such a pleasant change from the tri bike. It's different enough that it gets plenty of interest from other people and other cyclists. And, it's WAY faster than any road bike. My favorite thing is to hit the road on a weekend when all the roadies are out for some ROADIE HUNTING. I approach drafting packs, slowly pass, pull to the front, pull away a bit while watching them stand up to catch me, then when they get near, I put the gas on and watch them disappear in my mirror. So much fun. Really looking forward to the change from slogging away on my triathlon bike in my basement all winter long.

Anyhow, I leave for Phoenix tomorrow morning for Ironman on Monday. I just finished reviewing my race report from last year where I had the race of my dreams and came in 4th and qualified for world championships in Hawaii. The real value in keeping a Blog is that I can go back and refresh my aging memory so I don't make the same mistakes twice (or three or four times!). My goal this year is to win my division, but who knows what will happen. This will be my 11th Ironman race and I know well enough by now that anything at all can happen, so I'll just be happy to be there in sunny 30 degree C weather and away from all this snow Calgary has been getting!

On top of the new training, I am REALLY getting exciting about getting WiTHiN onto the water and seeing what she can do. This will bring such a cool and different angle to my riding - it's going to be a blast. The plan is to get her into Glenmore reservoir (google maps link here) around the 1st of May when the ice melts. Perhaps into a pool for some tests before hand. As usual, I'll keep you well informed.


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It's been a while since I've written about anything aside from building Within, so I thought that I would take this moment to share whats on my mind right now.

Ironman is exactly 1 week from today, Sunday, April 15. If you want, you can watch it live at Ironman Live. . I'm into my taper* now, so I'm happy that I don't have the pressure of squeezing 20 hours of winter INDOOR training in anymore. That really gets to be a drag - even a bit depressing actually.

I'm into day 3 of my fat loading diet. I primarily eat fats for 7 days leading up to an important race, then 2 days of carbs. The high fat content trains your body to better utilize fat as an energy source, thereby conserving precious carbohydrates. There is a surprising amount of energy in fat. The average lean athlete has enough fat do complete 10 back-to back Ironman distance events on his skimpy fat stores alone. That's in theory - he would run out of carbohydrates well before his fat stores ran dry. Fat burns in a carbohydrate flame - you need carbs stored as glycogen in your muscle cells to efficiently burn fat - it's a combination of both. At Ironman, or 24 hour cycling record attempt intensities, you are burning far more fat than carbs. According to some research, this high fat diet translates to better efficiency during the endurance event - assuming that the athlete loaded up with carbs prior for a day or two to the event. It's worked for me in the past and has become a bit of a tradition for me during my taper.

I don't like it. Because of the lack of carbs, I feel lethargic and slow and have slight carb depletion head-aches. A fatty meal fills you up in that it satiates your appetite, but always leaves you craving something more - like something sweet or bready!!! I try to eat a lot of the good fats - nuts, avocados, canola oil, olive oil, a fatty salmon, but inevitably end up combining the good with the bad fat in meat and dairy.

I ALWAYS lose weight on the fat diet. And also, so did ALL of the test subjects in all of the studies I have read. And, no, it is not due to the loss of carbohydrate stores and water like you would immediately think. After the carb stores and hydration levels have been adjusted for, the fat loading subjects still lost an average of 2 to 4 pounds over the 10 day study. The researchers do not know why.

I think one reason the fat load diet works for me is because I get a psychological boost in the two days leading up to Ironman. I get to gorge on CARBS!!!! Also, this fat load diet acts like an old fashioned carb load diet in that you starve yourself of carbs for 7 days, then when you load on carbs, your body stores MORE carbs than normal because it over compensates thinking that you may be facing another carb starvation period in the future. During the two days leading up to Ironman, this carb overload makes me feel totally pumped and energetic and ready for race day! Perhaps this is one reason why a high fat diet results in some fat loss - your body overcompensating by ridding itself of body fat because it assumes a continuation of fat calories with be forthcoming.

* The taper is defined by Roch Frey as "The basic principles for all tapers are the same. In pursue of that great race after all the consistent and race specific training you need to taper off your workouts allowing you to rest and recover both physically and mentally."


On the expedition front, things are progressing quite nicely. The most important task right now is the development of Within. That is one of the reasons I hired Pat Brothers from RaceRecon Expedition Management to deal with some of the planing and the very important sponsor hunt. Trying to find a sponsor can be very difficult, and very time consuming. The way I looked at it was I could spend all of my time making sure we had the technology right in the form of a human powered boat that would demonstrate something of value to the world watching and spend no time looking for a sponsor which would mean the expedition would not happen, OR, I could delegate some of the other aspects of this project that I might not be ideally suited to. Pat has experience with corporations and we see eye to eye regarding the professionalism that this expedition needs to convey and it's importance in attracting a good corporate partner.

If you have any suggestions for possible corporations who might benefit from an association to this project, please email me your ideas.

That leaves me free to work on Within and do some basic planing - like more delegating. I would like you to meet my official team as it stands now: team

Getting Within into the water and confirming our speed estimates is VERY important right now. Equally important is discovering how Within is going to ride in the water - and in big waves. We're not 100% sure what is going to happen there. We will probably need ballast, but not sure how much - and we may even require ballast in the form of a keel, but again, we're not 100% sure what the speed cost of that weight immersed deep into the water will be. In reading Pete Brays book "Kayak Across the Atlantic", he noted that they had designed a ballasted keel on his partially enclosed kayak (much like Within), but found that when they were on the sea, that going without a ballasted keel was more stable.

Another example of how planning sometimes does not completely resemble reality is Lot41. This kayak (similar to Pete Brays, but tandem and a big bigger) was designed to cross the Tasman sea from Tasmania to NewZealand. Crossing The Ditch expedition, James Castrission and Justin Jones discovered that their live-aboard kayak Lot41 was very tippy and sluggish when they got it into the water for the first time. During very windy conditions, the wind would catch the large cabin and making forward progress was difficult, and maneuvering the kayak was very challenging. As a result, they have postponed their departure for about a year to allow them time to make necessary modifications.

Every boat is different, and design can only go so far. You can never predict exactly how anything performs once it makes the jump from drawing paper to the real world. I am anxious to get into some serious testing with Within to see exactly how it will behave during various ocean conditions. This is one of the main reasons why I decided to start with a prototype boat, and then feed the results gained from experience with the prototype into a brand new design that an experienced boat builder can build.

Stay tuned for 'thinking part 2' later...



Support boat thoughts

Much in keeping with my previous adventures and experiences, I am trying to keep PedalTheOcean about optimal human performance and state of the art human powered boat efficiency - much like what I did with Critical Power human powered vehicle 24 hour distance record . As I have said before, one of our biggest problems today as a society is a result from this pursuit of achieving more with MORE. Faster cars, bigger stuff, MORE of everything. We need to change that and I am trying to show the world how we can achieve more with LESS. And that it's cool and fun! I wrote a little more about that in Dec of last year.

That said, I am prepared to spend some considerable expense on a really great support system including a support yacht and crew. I want to make this clear - this challenge is NOT about doing a solo, unsupported survival adventure across the Atlantic ocean. I have the highest respect for those who do that like current ocean crossers Roz Savage, Jason Lewis, Bhavic, Ralph Tuijn and previous ocean crossing expeditions Leven Brown, Greg Spooner, Colin and Julie, and the many others I follow and have followed.

My 'thing' is the combination of technology and human performance. A fully supported human powered Atlantic speed record attempt is exactly what this expedition is. The support / safety boat will accompany me and provide supplies, traffic lookout, water making, equipment backups, communications, repairs, food, company and even occasionally a safe place to escape to (if ocean conditions allow). This allows me to focus on designing and building the fastest, most efficient human powered ocean boat possible, and my ability to pedal the machine 3000 miles across the Atlantic ocean in less than 40 days.

24 hour human powered world record
650 miles

human powered mega-meter world record
23.1 hours

The Adventures of Greg BLOG:

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Changes from Within

Actually, that should read "Changes TO Within"

The design of Within - my prototype human powered ocean boat has been changed a bit with an eye toward safety. When I traced the outline of my retractable canopy top onto the deck, I realized just how freaking HUGE that thing is. I tried to imagine what kind of hinge would be beefy enough to hold that top on and I just couldn't fathom anything that could withstand a rogue wave smashing into the side of it. I could just see that top ripping right off Within.

It's happened before, and I can think of two fatalities. First of all, Adrew McAuley's dome cover was missing when they found his empty kayak 75 km off the the New Zealand coast. Secondly, Nenad Blic's ocean rowing boat was found capsized and flooded off the coast of Ireland and the hatch was missing.

I also realized that getting into and out of Within while at sea would be nearly impossible with the canopy top the way I had it. We want to keep the center of gravity as low as possible in Within because low C of G requires less ballast to keep it stable, which translates to more speed.

I realized I needed a better hatch, and I needed to keep the top of Within permanently ON the boat. So what I did, was decided to go with a standard Lewmar ocean hatch on the side of Within slightly above the water line. This would allow me to climb into the boat from the water without raising my center of gravity.

I re-designed the seat to slide forward and recline down to horizontal to allow me to flip around onto my stomach, open the rear hatch and crawl into the sleeping cabin. With the seat lying flat on the floor, I can also open the side hatch and slide into the water - and back into the boat again. All of this, I can do while keeping my center of gravity low, and keeping Within stable.

Of course, I plan on testing all of this before I go and cut holes into Within for the ocean hatch. I'll make a cardboard cutout hole and practice getting in and out while in the pool.

This change is not without it's problems. Mainly, I need to consider how I will get enough ventilation in the tropical Atlantic ocean without being able to remove the top. I will add a small window at the top and that be opened partially, as well as be able to open the side hatch a bit - these windows should automatically close if the boat were to ever capsize. I will also have some directional vents through the deck. That probably won't provide enough fresh, cool air, so I may need to look at adding a fan to direct outside air in and through the cockpit. The space on the top of the deck is limited, so I can't rely on square miles of solar panels to power every convenience I can imagine. I wonder how much power air conditioning consumes.... Any such thing as a miniature, lightweight, super efficient air conditioner?

The other change to plans is the addition of 'phase 1' to the prototype boat. I'm calling it "Within-24". It's Within without the full deck, and it will be used to go after the 24 hour human powered boat distance record this summer. The topless boat will be lighter, a bit faster, and easier to haul around - much better for a record attempt.

Within-24 is a good intermediate stage for the development of Within. I can fully test out the weight, balance and stability of Within, the rudder and steering, the prop, pedals, seat, etc, etc. Once all of this has been firmly set to the way that works, I can go ahead and bond the top deck to it and finish off the prototype boat. Then I'll get out into the ocean with it and get into phase two testing.

These sexy new renderings of Within were created by the Benmeister:

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Near screw up!

First, there is a new riveting episode of the Pedal The Ocean podcast. You'll be on the edge of your seat as you listen to me drone on about SRM meters, watts, aerodynamics and why I think it's important to our modern society to become more active.

or visit the podcast page at the BLOG

Prop Screw up

During the design phase, I misinterpreted the proposed diameter of the prop and only allowed enough room below Within's hull for a 12" dia prop. Ricks design calls for a 17.7" diameter prop! Oops.

I had added a couple of 'safety' inches to the length of the drive leg, but was it enough?

In my computer model, I dropped the drive leg down so that the 17.7" dia prop just cleared the hull bottom. Then I added about 1/2" for the hull skin thickness and took a measurement from the hull floor to the center of the crank. This, I figured would be the highest I could have the crank without having to rebuild the drive leg. The question now, was the 10.75 inches of clearance be enough to circle my feet without my heels rubbing.

I set up a mock drive on the floor using my fiberglass recumbent seat and the drive leg propped so that the center of the bottom bracket was the crucial 10.75" distance from the floor. Then I clipped in and peddled normally. It was good. Whew! My heels are the tiniest fraction of in inch from the floor, but it works. If I need slightly more clearance, I can move my shoe up on the cleat or go with slightly smaller cranks.

This is good because it keeps my center of gravity as low as physically possible. My seat is right on the floor of the hull and the angle of the seat back is quite reclined. Even with my feet circling around the raised cranks, I would think that my over all center of gravity would be not that much higher than standard sea kayak sitting position where your back is straight up and down.

More Rudder Madness:

more progress on that rudder - I welded a stainless rudder tube with some offshoot 'branches' to insert into the hollow rudder shell. These stainless branches will provide something for the epoxy filling to 'grab' onto and will make it pretty strong and stiff when torqued hard.

I also filled the rudder steer tube up with epoxy to further strengthen it and to seal it from the potential of water running into it and down into the rudder shell.

I inserted the rudder steer tube and poured epoxy resin into the rudder shell.

Next on the agenda is to build the drive leg bay, seat and partial bulk heads (for the kayak hull only - I'll extend them up and into the deck when I get to bonding the deck onto the hull).

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Getting you organized

OK - I think I have finished the new BLOG site, and I'll stop messing around with the URL's and stuff. Here is the final location for everything. Please take a few moments to update your Bookmarks, Live Bookmarks, Address Book, and RSS feeds.

This is the new main URL for the BLOG:

This is the new URL for the RSS and ATOM feeds:
(the old RSS URL will no longer be used)

This is the URL for the weekly PedalTheOcean podcast:
(or you can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes - search "pedal the ocean")

To sign yourself (or a friend) up to receive (or remove) these email updates:


If you would like a very convenient way of following my blog updates, consider using LIVE BOOKMARKS in FireFox. Here's how:

1. click on the RSS icon in the Address Bar and select "subscribe to..."

2. select the "Subscribe Now" button

3. Create your Live Bookmark in your Bookmarks Toolbar folder

4. The PedalTheOcean RSS feed icon appears on your browser tool bar. Clicking on it produces a drop down menu of the blog posts available.

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Contact Greg:

Greg Kolodziejzyk
Executive Director & Expedition Leader


skype: adventuresofgreg

Labels: podcast

Apple iTunes link (or open iTunes and search
the music store for PedalTheOcean)

Web version:
Episode 1: Introducing Greg Kolodziejzyk
Episode 2: Technology and Human power


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24 hour HPB Record & deck progress

Check out this NIFTY Within boat speed calculator that Rick Willoughby whipped up for me:

You can change the cadence RPM, gearing for the prop, and drive efficiency and it will output an estimated speed and power requirement in watts. This is all based on the hull shape of Within's Nimbus Hyak hull shape, weight and an optimized prop.

The 24 hour HPB record

The reason we are starting to run some estimates for speed and power for Within is because I would like to plan to make an attempt at the 24 hour human powered boat distance record this summer. The record stands at 168 km and was set by John Howard in his HPB called Pedalos. Some of you might recognize the name John Howard. He won Ironman Hawaii a way, WAY back in 1981. He's also a 3 time member of the Olympic cycling team, and owner of the 24 hour cycling drafting distance record of 539 miles.

I know from the 24 hour HPV record, that I can maintain an average output of 150 watts at 80 rpm for 24 hours, and with breaks and coasting, the overall average ends up at between 100 to 110 watts. My 100 watt speed in Within should be around 9 kph, so doing the math results in 216 km for 24 hours which is comfortably over the current record.

I would really love to take a shot at the record this summer - perhaps right here in Calgary, since all we need is a large, flat, calm body of water and a nice, sunny day. It will be a great opportunity to generate some PR for the Pedal The Ocean Expedition, and for me to get a better feel for cranking out the watts in Within (the power from Within!).

Within's deck is finished!

On Tuesday Ben, Matt and Greg Nuspel joined me in the shop to do the wet layup for the inside of the deck. It went way faster than I expected - we put down and wetted out a layer of Kevlar and the fiberglass woven roving. Then a layer of release film and blanket and it all went into my gigantic plastic bag. We used my vacuum cleaner to hog out the air to get it going, then two venturi's connected to my air compressor to pull the vacuum. The vacuum pressure wasn't very high, but high enough to press the wetted fabric tightly down to the decks edges.

I was very happy with the result - we were able to bend that heavy woven roving fiberglass fabric around a very tight edge and it came out nice and square.

I could not weigh it because I can't see the scale read-out under the large shape, but it feels pretty heavy. Definitely heavier than the Nimbus Hyak kayak hull that the deck will be bonded to. This will create a top-heavy boat, but we know that. The plan is and always has been to either add a ballast keel to Within, or to place a heavy plate between the seat rails on the floor of the deck. Well, that's what the prototype boat is for - to learn through trial and error in real, not simulated conditions.

Now, since I have Pat at RaceRecon to help me with the logistics of this project, hopefully I will be able to make some better progress in the shop with boat building. I think the next item on the agenda will be laying down a thick layer of fiberglass to reinforce the Hyak hull floor, then I want to get on the drive leg. Once the drive leg is completed, I want to build the drive leg bay in the hull, the seat, then the bulk heads. Then I'll join the hull to the deck and cut out the canopy.

Hopefully, Within will be ready for water testing in late April.

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The new "Pedal The Ocean" VIDEO!

The new "Pedal The Ocean" video!

Dare I say that this video is now finished! After a million revisions and weeks or revising, creating 3D animations, filming, sound editing, etc, etc, etc. I think this is the last and final revision.

Luke at kindly offered to sponsor the expedition by donating some of their top-notch voice talent. What a difference that makes!!!! It's amazing - really. I had their voice talent record voice-overs for all of my title screens that are too difficult to read on the YouTube and Google videos.

I also changed the logo animation to PedalTheOcean. Check out what a huge difference the voice talent makes:


New expedition name, logo and web site

New expedition name, logo and web site!
Expedition management company RaceRecon is on-board

Introducing "Pedal The Ocean"
The Human Powered Trans Atlantic Speed Record Expedition

A big update today with lots of important news. First and foremost, I am signed a deal with Pat Brothers from RaceRecon, an expedition management company based in Sydney Australia, and the first order of business was a dedicated web site for the expedition, new name and logo.

So I got back to the drawing board and came up with PedalTheOcean, a spiffy logo and registered the domain name which should be up in a week or so.

RaceRecon will be providing expedition support and expertise. I choose RaceRecon because they have some experience with expeditions of this type (see Crossing The , around Australia paddle expedition , circumnavigating Peurtico by kayak and one more very large expedition around Greenland which has not been announced yet), but mostly because Pat is a guy I can really relate to. He is a sub 10 hour Ironman triathlete and is a total geek like me. He digs watts and spreadsheets and aerodynamics and is a pretty decent web designer. He also 'gets' it when it comes to what we need to do to provide value to a sponsor and how adventure expeditions can be run like a business.


New video and deck progress

I've been working on a new promotional video that will become part of a sponsor package. It's important, so I have been spending a lot of time working on it. I quickly outgrew Imovie HD and upgraded to Final Cut Express - wow, what an editing package! I am very impressed. You would not believe how long this 8 minute clip took to produce!

The YouTube version below doesn't do it justice because you can't read most of the small titles - much of it was shot in 1080i High Definition and it looks pretty spectacular on the big 1080i screen here. Much less so in Google Video or Youtube. It originally featured some really cool music from my collection, but I want to stay legal, so I substituted a Creative Commons tune that I liked - "What Planet Are We On" by Five Star Fall, as well as a cool number from my Brothers Band - The Plaid Tongued Devils "Miserlou".

A giant boat condom

I have been falling behind with the boat construction. Way too busy in the office trying to get this whole expedition mapped out - A budget, a schedule, an outline for a sponsorship drive, and this video. On top of that, training for Ironman Arizona is ramping up and I'm putting in about 3 hours a day on the bike, in the pool or on the track. Things are looking really good though - my fitness is starting to improve, I am making some headway with the expedition planning and we are slowing making progress on the boat.

I have a bit of an announcement to make soon regarding the direction and scope of this expedition. I have been negotiating with an expedition management team out of Australia that could take this whole idea to another level. I'll keep you informed.

Last Tuesday the team was over and we ended up goofing off and talking for most of the day. However, we did accomplish one thing and that was to build and test a giant vacuum bag for Within's next inside layer composite layup.

I have been really concerned about glassing the inside layer because all of the tests I have conducted to date resulted in disappointment. The edges of the wetted out cloth peel up and I wanted to wrap the fiberglass and Kevlar right around the edge of the deck. I discovered that the only way to get a nice, tight layup around that edge was to vacuum bag the entire deck. So, we built a giant plastic bag with Gorilla Tape, and inserted the boat deck into it, sealed up the end and pulled a vacuum. It worked great! We don't have much vacuum pressure, but the plastic sucked down to the form enough to press fiberglass and Kevlar fabric against the deck walls while the epoxy cures.

The plan for this Tuesday is to actually do the wet layup - a big day. Two layers of composite, tons of epoxy, wrap the giant boat condom over it all and vacuum all the air out. Then I need to get moving on the drive unit - then the bulkheads and drive bay and seat.


Styrofoam skeleton and film preview

The video clip above is a short 5 minute segment I put together using the footage we shot from the last couple of days. I wanted to preview how the light was in the shop and other areas of the house as well as how the Sony HDR-FX1 HD camera handled various conditions like hand-held steadiness, close-up focus, 1080i high-def image quality, etc.

It worked out kind of neat, so I uploaded it to for you to check out.

Todays progress:

I finished the Styrofoam skeleton today - it went pretty fast actually. The sections are hot glued onto the main profile. Next I will lay over narrow, 2" wide, 1/2" thick Styrofoam strips, then sand it smooth.

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Two ocean crossing events are happening now

The Zeeman Ocean Challenge

Ocean rowers Ralph Tuijin and his brother Michael are just over half way across the Atlantic ocean on their way from La Gomera, Spain to Curaco. The expedition is a sort of shake-down leg for Ralph, as his main focus is to cross the Pacific Ocean at its widest point - solo.

The 16,000-kilometer solo Pacific crossing will not make use of any motor or wind-related power. This extreme challenge will take between 7 and 9 months to complete and will be non-stop, without re-supplies or any other support. After leaving from Panama in January 2007 Ralph will set course for the city of Cairns in Australia, where he expects to arrive in mid-September.

The brothers left La Gomera, Spain on September 27, 2006 and almost immediately ran into difficulty. After suffering seemingly endless sea sickness, they were struck by some very large 8 meter seas and their wind generator snapped in half. Ralph and Michael were relying on the wind generator as their main source of power for the impressive satellite communications system they were sporting. The plan was to transmit daily video and photos from the expedition using a state of the art Nera Fleet 55 satellite communications system.

Since early September, the duo has been suffering from unusual calmness. Flat seas and no trade winds make for a slow trip! Due to the wind generator malfunction, I am very disappointed that we are not able to enjoy the video coverage of the expedition that was planned.

You can follow the progress of the Zeeman Challenger on their nifty Google maps page.

Rames Guyane 2006

Today, Sunday, November 19th marked the start of the “RAMES GUYANE” event - the first transatlantic rowing race competed single-handed, non-stop and without assistance. Sixteen rowers - mostly from France will make their way 2600 nautical miles across the Atlantic ocean from St Louis in Senegal to French Guyana using a standard design 8 meter long, 1.6 meter wide rowing boat specially designed for this race.

The race is expected to take between 40 to 55 days depending upon weather. One of the main difficulties of “Rames Guyane” is the mandatory crossing of the “dol-drums” - an inter-tropical convergence area, where the trade winds give place to sporadic, uncertain and often adverse winds.

You can follow the progress of the RAMES GUYANE rowers at their Google maps "Cartographie"


An inspirational evening

Helen and I attended Colin and Julie's presentation and documentary premier "Beyond the Horizon" last night in Canmore. What an inspirational event! Wow - it's absolutely incredible what Colin and Julie have achieved.

Colin Angus - the worlds first man to circumnavigate the globe by
human power and his wife to-be and Julie Wafaei

On May 20th 2006, after 720 days, Colin Angus and Julie Wafaei completed Expedition Canada - the first human powered circumnavigation of our planet. In my opinion, the human powered circumnavigation of the earth is one of the last great firsts. Colin travelled 43,000 km by rowboat, bicycle, canoe, ski, and foot - a journey that voyaged across 3 continents, 2 oceans and 17 countries. Julie travelled with him for most of the expedition, including rowing 10,000 km unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean, making her the first woman to row across the Atlantic from mainland to mainland and the first Canadian woman to row across any ocean (from mainland to mainland).

The team used zero-emissions travel to highlight issues with global warming and to inspire others to use non-motorized transportation.

Canadians Colin and Julie are currently travelling across Canada in speaking tour and film premiere. Colin's book, Beyond the Horizon, will be released in March 2007 (for those of you that can't wait he has two other books on previous adventures). An adventurer's resource centre divulging hard-to-find information (cold weather travel, ocean rowing, etc.) and on-line store offering expedition films and books will soon be available on this website:

The film was great! I HIGHLY recommend buying it when it becomes available through their web site. I can hardly wait to read his book.

I just love the way Colin operates - he just sucks it up and does what needs to be done. He makes me proud to be a Canadian. I think we all suffer too much from what I call 'analysis paralysis' - where you analyze something to death and then never get around to doing it because you have lost some self confidence, or have lost interest, or feel the need to study the issue ad infinitum. I think Colin does the necessary home work, makes minimum necessary plans, then just gets to work. He intuitively understands that there is more learning from doing than there is from studying.

Bravo Colin and Julie! - In this day and age of excessiveness where we strive to do more with more, your doing more with less approach to life is refreshing and inspirational. I hope the world wakes up and gives you the recognition you both deserve!

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Sponsors and blatant self promotion

On a whim, I blindly sent out some emails a few weeks ago to sort of test the waters with regard to how eager companies would be to sponsor the Atlantic expedition project by donating their products. I sent an introduction email with the above .jpg image attached. I have a macro set up in PhotoShop that mostly automates the insertion of the potential sponsors name and product image, then spits out a .jpg file like the one above.

I was a pretty good marketer in my former entrepreneurial life, and I know how important it is help your target audience imagine the benefits of what you are proposing. At Image Club (sold to Adobe, sold to Eyewire, sold to Getty Images, and now Veer), in our catalog, we always featured many great examples of what our publishing content software could do for a creative campaign. In my opinion, that 'creative inspiration' that we provided was largely responsible for the success of the catalog, and my company.

I have had some pretty good success with the blind email approach, and I really think I can get most of my equipment and supplies donated by companies who want to be involved with this project.

This is what I am offering sponsors in return:

1. Their company logo on the boat
2. A series of high res photographs and video clips of their product being used in the 'extreme' ocean environment while on the expedition which the sponsor could use as content for various advertising and promotional campaigns.
3. A testimonial from me regarding the applicability of their product and it's use during the expedition.
4. I managed to get quite a bit of press coverage for the 24 hour HPV record including the cover of Popular Science magazine, and I plan to aggressively seek as much publicity as possible for the Atlantic Expedition. A sponsor would definitely benefit from that kind of PR exposure. Imagine a sponsors logo on the side of Critical Power HPV in Popular Science Magazine that is distributed to over 7 million people!
5. Web site advertising content like the image shown above that the sponsor can take advantage of now, rather than waiting until I do the crossing.

I have not devoted much time to pursuing sponsors yet, but from the few 'feelers' I sent out, I managed to develop a few partnerships:

Nimbus Kayaks is providing a Hyak Tandem Kayak that will be used as a base for the prototype human powered boat.

Trimble is providing a Recon rugged PDA. These PDA hand held computers are absolutely incredible! Water proof and shock proof - perfect for an ocean crossing. I will be using the PDA to run a GPS with navigation software, and to BLOG text, photos and video web updates to the web site via a satellite phone. Trimble is sponsoring the expedition with TWO PDA's a primary and a backup.

Fugawi Marine is providing GPS marine navigation software that will work with the GPS and Recon PDA computer.

Rugged Technologies is providing three of their top of the line water proof Cool series keyboards. The keyboard will plug directly into the USB port of the Recon.

I need your help

I think this approach to finding ways to fund an expensive project like the Atlantic crossing is really beneficial to both the sponsor and myself. I get the expensive equipment I need to complete my quest, and the sponsor benefits from valuable testimonial advertising content that is an important part of a robust marketing campaign.

I could use some help! If you have some free time and would like to become involved in the project, I could really use someone to help me find more equipment and supplies sponsors. I will provide you with a list of all the equipment and supplies that I require. You would need to phone the potential sponsor companies, speak to the marketing manager about a sponsorship in kind, and follow up with emails and various other information on the expedition that I will prepare for you.

From my brief experience, I have found that if I can connect with an actual person before sending emails, my chance of success is very high. Emails get lost and easily dismissed, whereas a phone call is taken seriously.

If you have a bit of time to spare and would like to get involved in the project, please send me an email or give me a phone call. 403-242-5482


Unusual ocean crossings

Unusual Ocean Crossings

This really puts my somewhat pedestrian human powered Atlantic crossing objective into perspective. If you think crossing an ocean with a row boat or pedal boat is crazy, then check out what these guys have done!

Benoit Lecomte SWAM across the Atlantic in 1998

On 16 July 1998, Texan Benoit Lecomte set out from Cape Cod to swim across the Atlantic ocean. He was accompanied by a 40 foot sailboat and swam in an electrically protected cage. He swam 6 to 8 hours a day and used the crawl stroke, switching occasionally to a mono fin and using an undulating dolphin kick to carry him over the 5600 km. 72 days later, on September 28, he swam ashore at Quiberon, France.

His web site: is no longer active, but I found these links:


Ed Gillette paddled a kayak solo 2200 miles from California to Hawaii in 1987

64 days - ouch! Bad weather and he almost starved, but he made it.

His crossing was in ancient times, so he doesn't have a web site, but I found a couple of stories about Ed's crossing here:

Canoe & Kayak magazine article


Peter Bray paddled a kayak solo 3000 miles across the North Atlantic in 2001

After a failed attempt in 2000, Peter Bray became the first man in history to kayak across the Atlantic ocean. It took him 76 days (ouch again!) And he wrote a book about his adventure:

Paddler magazine article

Peter Bray's web site


Raphaela Le Gouvello solo windsurfed across the 3900 mile Indian Ocean in 2006

This 45 year old veterinarian single handedly windsurfed her specially designed live-a-board wind surf board 3900 miles from Australia to Reunion Island in 60 days. And if that isn't enough, Raphaela also windsurfed across the Atlantic ocean in 2000, the Mediterranean sea in 2002 and the Pacific ocean in 2003!!

Raphaela's web site


Anne Quemere solo wind kited across the North Atlantic in 2006

In June of 2006, Anne Quemere became the first person to wind kite across an ocean. But before she did that, she solo rowed the Atlantic in 2003, and then the North Atlantic in 2004. Wow.

Anne Quemere's web site


Jason Lewis and Stevie Smith's human powered Atlantic, and Pacific ocean crossings

This list would be incomplete if I did not included Jason Lewis and Stevie Smith's historic around the world by pedal power expedition. On board their pedal powered boat Moksha, Jason and Stevie pedaled across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans starting in Currently, Jason is3/4 of the way around the globe.

Stevies book: Pedaling to Hawaii


Dwight Collins pedaled his human powered boat across the North Atlantic in 1992

It took Dwight only 40 days which still stands as a solo human powered trans Atlantic record. He did it by pedaling an average of 19.5 hours per day. There is very little information available on Dwights crossing, and I am doing some research to see if I can dig up some details. I think it is very pertinent to what I am attempting to do, as it is the fastest W to E Atlantic human powered Atlantic crossing in history - even including the rowed crossings. Dwight deserves his due recognition for that accomplishment.

Axax news (second photo) (first photo)


Ken-ichi Horie pedaled his human powered boat "Malts Mermaid" across the Pacific from Hawaii to Japan

Kenichi Horie, a 60-year-old sailor from Osaka, Japan, pedaled Malts Mermaid from Honolulu to Kenoshi, Japan. There is very little information available on Kenichi's crossing, but I did find some info on a solar boat Pacific crossing in 1996 that took him 138 days!

solar boat crossing


"The Son of Town Hall" - a scrap raft built from the streets of New York junk crosses the Atlantic ocean

In 1998, Papa and Aurelia Neutrino sailed from Newfoundland to Ireland in 60 days aboard their raft made from junk salvaged from the streets of New York city.

The whole story here


"Tangora" - a Norwegian copy of the famous Kon-tiki raft voyage across the Pacific

Following the footsteps of Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his Kon-Tiki expedition, the Tangaroa raft left port in Peru April 28, 2006 on its long journey across the Pacific Ocean to Tahiti. Heyerdahl crossed the worlds largest ocean on his balsa wood raft in 1947, and the Tangaroa's crew of six men, including Heyerdahl's grandson, explored the same route.

The Tangoroa Blog is here, but it's difficult to follow due ti multiple language translations


Atlantic crossing in a boat make of popsicle sticks

This isn't human powered, but It's kind of neat. Rob McDonald, a former Hollywood stunt man now living in the Netherlands launched his greatest project recently: a 45-foot replica Viking ship made of 15 million wooden popsicle sticks and more than a ton of glue. His route is the long way across the Atlantic - from Europe to Greenland to Northern Canada and south along the North American coast to Florida. He is scheduled to leave soon.

There is some additional information on the expedition at the site of his sponsor


Dwelling on danger assessment

Sepetmebr 29, 2006

I don't want to dwell on this danger assessment topic, but I have a couple more thoughts.

First of all, I need to stress that this ocean crossing idea is still just a concept. Something that I will endeavor to work toward, but an adventure that I am definitely NOT going to commit myself to.

My immediate plan that I AM going forward with is to build a test boat which will be based on a sea kayak - sort of a scaled down version of Concept 1. I will use the test boat to gain some badly needed ocean experience by touring around the island off Vancouver Island, starting with the Glenmore reservoir here in Calgary and branching out from there (baby steps). Rick Willoughby and I even discussed the possibility of trying for the 24 hour HPB distance record with the test boat if it was efficient enough - a possibility. If the test boat works well in the ocean, I would like to build a second boat for Helen so we can do some ocean touring off Vancouver island together.

I'm going to totally play it by ear and we'll see where things so.

That's exactly what I did when I wanted to set a trans Canada speed record by powering a streamliner across the country. In the end, I was not happy with the risks, and it turned out to be something that I really did not want to do. So I re-worked the original concept and envisioned the 24 hour record attempt.

I've got something I want to add to the whole ocean crossing danger risk analysis that I did yesterday. I've seen some sour faces regarding my new idea. Some think it is dangerous and foolish.

Do you want to know what I think is dangerous and foolish?

60% of North Americans are over weight. Described by the World Health Organization as an "escalating epidemic", obesity is "one of the greatest neglected public health problems of our time with an impact on health which may well prove to be as great as smoking." Being overweight leads to many serious medical problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many other health related issues.

Now check out my original risk assessment of an ocean crossing:

Cause of Death:

Heart disease 20 %
Cancer 14.2 %
Stroke 4.1 %
Ocean Rowing 2.1 %
Vehicle accident 1.1%

Heart disease, cancer and stroke are WAY bigger killers than rowing an ocean. FAR more dangerous than an ocean crossing, flying a small plane, mountain climbing, riding a motorcycle or even sky diving is sitting on your ass watching TV eating donuts! And currently over 60% of North Americans see fit to 'live life on the edge' taking these crazy risks each and every day!

That's simply messed up man. I'm not saying that I won't wake up with **cancer tomorrow, or suffer a stroke next week, but I sure am FAR less likely to be inflicted by these diseases because of the way I choose to live my life. A choice I made a LONG time ago. I want to stay healthy and ALIVE for my wife, kids, family and friends.

I want to enjoy every moment of my life and life it to the fullest. Staying healthy and fit is the best way to ensure that I can continue to do that and be an example to my kids and others that you can do the same.

We all need to live life to the fullest. Frankly, I don't see how that would happen at 300 pounds between visits to the Dr.s office.


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Ocean rowing is much safer than I had originally calculated. I changed my method of analysis, found some 'exposure hours' fatality data and the more accurate comparison is that Ocean rowing is slightly more dangerous than motorcycling and safer than general flying or skydiving.

Since I made my human powered ocean crossing announcement, I got a few comments with regard to my analysis of the risks involved. National Geographic Magazine published this a list of death risk from various activities and I calculated the risk of dying during an ocean crossing and added it to that list:

Cause of Death:

Heart disease 20 %
Cancer 14.2 %
Stroke 4.1 %
Ocean Rowing 2.1 %
Vehicle accident 1.1%
Suicide .8 %
Falling .45 %

Some of you felt that the comparison is not valid because time-frames for the various death causes are different. For example, if an ocean crossing takes 50 days, my chances of dying during that time of heart disease is not 20%.

I understand the math and statistics issue with regard to the chance of death comparison, but the risks as presented by National Geographic in that study, also mix frames of reference. For example, they include riding a motorcycle, flying a small aircraft, and swimming in the comparison, even though, most people don't ever fly a small airplane, or ride a motorcycle daily. And, if they did fly a plane, say, 5000 hours, their chance of dying of a heart attack is probably not 20%.

After thinking about this more, I decided to take a closer look at the risks of crossing an ocean by human power, and I think it's actually much safer than I originally thought. Follow my analysis and logic through here, and let me know what you think:

First of all, of the 6 people lost at sea, I decided to remove 3 of them because they were prior to 1981 and are considered by the Ocean Rowing Society as "Historic Ocean Rows".

The Ocean Rowing Society on Historic Ocean Rows: "The first 12 completed oceanrows were all undertaken without water makers, without sat phones, without GPS, EPIRB and liferafts. In fact, to quote Geoff Allum : "The first oceanrows were done under conditions that were not much different from the days of Columbus"

It is certain that at least some of the first 3 ocean rowing fatalities could have been avoided with modern day satellite communications gear, Argos and a water maker.

If we look closer at the remaining 3 fatalities (modern day):

Eugene Smurgis was caught in some rough seas just off the coast of France in 1993 very near rocks and the coast line. Eugene was attempting to row around the world and had logged 3510 miles in this, his Atlantic west to east expedition lasting 131 days.

Peter Bird was also attempting to row around the world. Peter's body was never found and they do not know the exact cause of his death, His boat eventually washed ashore in 1996 during his Pacific crossing and provided us with no clues as to the cause of his death. Bird had logged 15,391 miles taking 545 days at sea.

In 2001, Dr. Nenad Belic was attempting to row from North America To Europe from the West to the East. Dr Belic's EPIRB was activated on September 30 after 2618 miles and 151 days at sea from a position 230 miles west of Ireland. An RAF helicopter located the beacon but there was no sign either of the boat or Dr Belic. Kenneth Crutchlow of London's Ocean Rowing Society advised that W-E crossings scheduled to arrive in autumn should be avoided. The boat eventually washed ashore and was upside down and flooded with a hatch broken.

Of these 3 deaths, 2 were the more dangerous Atlantic west to east route, and 1 was in the Pacific. My planned route is Atlantic East-West in warmer waters and less severe seas.

I downloaded the statistics from the Ocean Rowing Society and decided to look at the number of deaths PER day at sea. I was going to use 'per mile rowed', but it is the total time spent on the ocean that is related to risk, not really the miles covered during that time. For example, I could sit still in the middle of the ocean for 50 days and face the exact same risks as someone who traveled across the Atlantic in 50 days.

Here are the numbers:

Number of miles rowed across oceans since 1982 = 660,866.7083
Number of days at sea = 12,474
Number of deaths = 3
Number of days at sea for every death = 4158
My crossing expectation: = 50 days
Number of times I would have to cross the Atlantic in order to approach 100% fatality chance = 83
% chance of a fatality on my 50 day crossing = 1.2 %

It turns out that for every 4158 days spent at sea, there is one death. If my ocean crossing takes 50 days, then I would stand a 1.2 % chance of dying during that 50 day crossing.

To make a comparison to more common dangerous activities, I found some data on Fatalities per million exposure hours. To convert the units, I calculated that there is 1 death per every 99,792 exposure hours to ocean rowing which works out to 10.02 fatalities per Million ocean rowing exposure hours. Here is how they compare:

Fatalities per Million Exposure Hours:

Skydiving 128.71
General Flying 15.58
Ocean rowing 10.02
Motorcycling 8.80
Scuba Diving 1.98
Living 1.53
Swimming 1.07
Snowmobiling .88
Motoring .47
Water skiing .28
Bicycling .26
Airline Flying .15
Hunting .08

Data compiled by Failure Analysis Associates, Inc.

Ocean rowing is slightly more dangerous than motorcycling and safer than general flying or skydiving.

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Human Powered Ocean Crossing Boat Design - "Concept 1"

Human Powered Ocean Crossing Boat Design - "Concept 1"

I started with a traditional ocean rowing boat model from the FreeShip application:

I removed the angular top section and scaled the boat to 24 feet long x 24.5" tall including a rounded top (top is just below my eye level). A removable canopy with a clear dome takes to total height to 34". I also added a seat, pedaling station and retractable outriggers:

This image shows the outriggers in the retracted position. The purpose of the outriggers is to provide
more stability when standing up or moving about the boat. The normal position when I am sitting in the
pedal station, or sleeping is retracted as shown above. The buoyant outrigger hulls in the retracted
position should also assist in up-righting the boat upon a capsize.

This image shows the outriggers in the extended position. This configuration is for when I need to stop
and attend to other duties aside from peddling - like standing up, moving about the boat, preparing meals,
performing maintenance, bathroom, cleaning, etc. A net could be strung from the main hull to one of
the catamaran outrigger hulls.

Since the boat is less up-rightable with the outriggers extended, the outriggers should only be used during
relatively calm conditions. If the boat were to capsize with the outriggers extended, the mechanism for
retracting them should allow for underwater operation. I would envision a rope, pulleys and hand-crank
type of mechanism for extending and retracting the outriggers (like the mechanism used for sails).

This image shows the canopy top in the retracted position. Note that this current design does not allow
the canopy to be open while the outriggers are retracted, which is something that needs to be re-thought,
as I would want to be able to sit at the pedal station with the canopy open AND outriggers retracted.

This image shows one option for compartments. The rear compartment is water-tight when the door between
the rear compartment and the pedaling station is closed. This could be used for some equipment and supplies
storage as well as sleeping. A disadvantage of using this configuration to sleep, is the inconvenience of having to
open the hatch to look out for ships through the bubble.

The pedaling station would be water tight with the canopy top closed, and could have drain holes for allowing water
to run out when operating with the canopy top open. If the boat is being operated with the canopy top open,
it would be important to make sure that both hatches to the forward and rear compartments are closed and sealed,
in the event of a capsize.

The forward compartment is water-tight and accessible through a hatch door. This would be where most of the
food and equipment would be stored.

I wonder if the entire rounded top section of both the rear and forward compartments could be sealed-off and air-tight
for extra capsize proofing? It would be advantageous to be able to use the rounded top as head-room for crawling into
these compartments.

This image shows a different sleeping configuration. The advantage of this is the convenience of getting up
during a sleep to look through the bubble to look for traffic. There is also more room to sleep. The disadvantage
is that is the pedaling station is allowed to get wet when pedaling with the canopy top open, water would get
into the supplies and equipment in the rear. The far rear (back from my feet) could be enclosed in a separate
water-tight compartment. I think sleeping configuration A would work better because it would ensure that the
sleeping area is always kept dry. Perhaps a second small bubble could be placed over the rear sleeping
compartment, or some small windows in the rounded top.

This animation shows 2 ways in which the outriggers could extend and
retract, along with how the canopy top would retract.

Top view canopy retracted

Top view canopy in place

side view outriggers retracted, canopy in place

side view outrigger extended, canopy retracted

Concept 1 - monorigger

The dual outriggers may be more complex than this stabilizing system really needs to be.
This concept uses one single outrigger hull that extends with a swing arm from behind
the canopy bubble. Operation of it could be ropes, pulleys and a hand crank.

The animation shows how the mono outrigger swings into extended position
via the swing arm.


I didn't add a rudder because I wasn't sure where it should go.

3 or 4 solar panels could be fastened along the rounded top at the nose and the tail.

I am creating a list of supplies and trying to get an estimate of sizes, power requirements and weight.
so far, following is a table of supplies and equipment what will be required.

Estimated weight:

Leven Browns supplies weighed 595 pounds (150 days).
Tinys boat + supplies weighed 2000 pounds (100 days)
Around-n-overs boat weighed 550 pounds with 770 pounds supplies and 330 pounds of ballast
Fedor Konyukhovs boat weighed 771 pounds and 1100 pounds for supplies (this may include water ballast?) (4 months)
Zeeman Challenger boat weighs 880 pounds and 1325 pounds of supplies (9 months)

Electronics Other Safety Emergency grab bag
lap top (Panasonic Tough book) freeze dried food for 75 days lifejacket EPIRB
backup computer
(hand held device like pocket PC)
tookkit + small spare parts safety harness & line strobe flashing light
Satellite Telephone (voice and data) spare drive unit EPIRB signalling mirror
VHF radio water maker medical kit whistle
backup VHF radio back-up watermaker liferaft foil blanket
batteries sea anchor emergency water 2 flares
solar panels compass flares 6 light sticks
solar panel controller sponges oars knife
Sea Me Radar Transponder clothing fire extinguisher small compass
fixed GPS navigation lights fire blanket flashlight
backup GPS (hand held) water containers throwing line 2 bottles water
backup GPS (2nd hand held) eating containers and utensils signalling mirror chocolate
battery monitor cooking gas (propane)
mini first aid kit
video camera navigation charts
emergency fishing kit
still camera mask and flippers

iPod extra foam padding

spare iPod seat and sleeping harness

satellite radio camelback/water bags

amp and speakers epoxy and fiberglass repair

spare headphones, earbuds


Argos beacon

small hand axe

Radar reflector (activ-echo) flashlight

fishing kit




cooking stove

back-up cooking stove

sleeping bag - blankets

matches, lighter

Ocean Rowing Statistics

Number of attempts to cross an ocean by rowing: 275

Number of completed voyages: 176

Number of rowers lost at sea: 7

Risk of death: 2.5 %

Risk of failure: 37 %

Project Plan:

I think my steps are as follows:

1. Continue to refine the 'rough' design of the vessel as per Ricks suggestions

2. Continue to refine the specifications that the vessel needs to have (equipment list and weights, performance expectations, etc)

3. When both Stevie, Rick and Leven are satisfied with the design,

4. I would like to have Ben model it in Solid and run balance, speed and testing calculations in Cosmos.

5. I would incorporate the feedback from the Cosmos testing into the model and check it with Rick

6. I would like to build a scaled version of it from a K1 kayak hull and do some actual water testing with that version. The only thing in that version that won't be scaled down a bit, is me, but it should be fairly close I would think. We can incorporate feedback from the scaled version to the model.

7. If the scaled version is good enough, I would use it to do some small ocean expeditions to gain experience in ocean conditions and to learn more about living aboard and what I would like to see in the final expedition boat.

8. Then, provide the final design to a professional boat builder and have it built.

EMAIL discussion:

9-22-06 Rick on the test boat and the donor kayaks from Steve at Numbus:


I have looked at proposed possibilities for a test boat(TB1) based

on a body weight guesstimate of 160lb.

The Skana ends up at 313lb (142kg). Will do 9.8kph with 150W at 75%


The NJAK ends up at 263lb (120kg). Will do 10kph with 150W at 75%


I produced an optimum hull with Godzilla for 120kg and minimum beam

of 500mm. It ended up being 6.8m (22.3') long. It would do 11kph

with 150W at 75% efficiency.

This gives you some idea of the compromises. The optimum hull for

150W input would be much narrower than 500mm but I think this is the

practical limit for actually operating in. If you think you could

work in something narrower then I can do numbers on that.

There may be a bit more optimising based on actual ballast required

but the above will allow you to make a choice. Given that the prime

aim of the exercise is to gain experience, I would favour the Skana

as it does not give away a lot of speed and I think the length will

improve ocean operation. If you are really serious about the 24hr

record in the boat then you could think about the optimum hull as

this should do it easily. The Skana might take a bit more effort.

Of course if the hulls are in very different condition then that

would be a factor as well.

9-20-06 I summarized some problems i have been reading about:

After going through a number of ocean crossing web logs, and a least 3 books, I have narrowed down some problems that everyone seems to have, and I would like to make sure we address these either with the design of the boat, or equipment, or proceedures....

1. unwanted backward progress due to head winds. I think the solution here is a good sea anchor and a VERY aerodynamic shape.

2. failure to make forward progress during storms. The solution here could be a water tight pedaling station with secure seat restraints. As I said before, ventallation would be a key issue. I would also want to be able to steer from the sleeping cabin to keep the bow pointed into the on-comming waves.

3. close-calls with ocean freighters and sea trawlers. To my knowledge, nobody has ever actually collided with another boat, but by the number of close-calls I have read about, it is only a matter of time. Typically, a radar detector will ring an alarm if it picks up another ships radar signal. The rower (or pedaler) then makes visual contact with the vessel, tried to make contact via VHF radio, and holds his (or her) breath and crosses fingers.

There must be a better way! I've been wondering about a radar that would plot the traffic and it's vector. Once the vector (direction the traffic is going) is known, I could simply pedal my boat away from the vector in a perpendicular line.

Any other ideas???

4. Desalinator breaking. Seriously - I don't think I have read one single account of an ocean crossing without desalinator nightmares! There must be some logical solution to this problem. Even if it means learning how to build one from scratch and carrying enough parts to completely re-build one on-board

5. Capsizing during violent storms. I think if the boat is designed to capsize - to roll right around, it shouldn't be a problem as long as there were adequate restraints for the occupant either in the drivers seat or sleeping cabin.

Any other problems that you can thing of for the list?


9-19-06 Stevie on the route and time of year:

Canaries to the first island you get to (depending on how far south you are

dragged) in the Windward chain, I would guess. Just pedal your ass off heading due west, and see where you end up, don't waste energy and time correcting your heading for a specific destination. Current is about 0.5 knots. Time of year will be November-December.

Im glad you give the ocean that respect (wanting to get from A to B as quickly and safely as possible), but if a speed record is not important then I'd recommend building something a bit more comfortable. If youre going to spend 40-50,000 dollars and a few years of effort to be out there, I just think it makes sense to think a bit more about what you're going to get out of being there, not just about making it to the other side. Why are you doing it? (I don't need to know the answer to that, but I hope the question is helpful).

9-17-06 Rick with a new optimized hull design predicting 5 knots (over 9 kph) speed!!!!


I have been playing with Godzilla to determine what an optimum hull

would look like for a 1000lb vessel powered by 150W at an overall

efficiency of 80%. The only constraint was that the length should

not be less than 6m and not more than 8m. The optimum ended up

being 8m long. The beam limits were set at .35m to .9m. It ended up

600mm (2ft) beam. You will see the ends have very little buoyancy so

my original hull was not far off. It has a slight rocker which is a

good thing.

The resistance data produced indicates that it should be capable of

5kts with a slight margin for other drag such as keel and rudder.

This is in smooth water so not sure if there is a better shape

allowing for waves.

I have attached a jpg file of the hull and the fbm file that you can

feed into FREEship and extract the hull data for your 3D work if you

wish- up to you. There are a few bumps in the hull and these may be

anomalies or for wave cancellation. I did this to get more assurance

that 5kts will be possible and to look how close the design is to my

original effort.

I also looked at the optimum boat for 230lbs and 150W input. It ends

up 6.8m and should achieve 6.5kts. This would easily set a 24hr

record. I may build a prototype of this boat as it would be good for

my Murray Marathon race. It will also let me see how good Godzilla

actually is. I have been trying to get hold of Godzilla for about a

year so was surprised to see that it is available at no cost.

If you can get hold of a hull we can start to do some performance

predictions as well as test the stability with buoyancy.

I will also remove the 8m limit to see what shape the optimum ends

up. I do not think it is practical to have a width less than 2' but

it will be interesting just to see what the fastest boat would look


9-16-06 Rick on advantages to a ballast keel over outriggers:


Boats that rely solely on form stability for staying upright such as

cats and tris are not allowed in many ocean races because they are

regarded as unsafe. You need a big boat and a lot of seamanship to

feel reasonably safe in a multihull. So give me gravity every day in

rough weather. Gravity is not fickle- it is ever present.

Pilot is a relatively large volume boat and I expect would be

substantially slower than Concept 1. It obviously combines both

form for stability and ballast to ensure it is self righting. The

problem with using form is that the hull will want to follow the

surface so this adds to instability when the surface is irregular.

It is stable in good conditions but more unstable in rough conditions.

The good thing about relying primarily on ballast is that the surface

can roll around but the boat does not try to follow it. More beam

does not mean more stability in rough weather. I think once pilot

got rolling beam on down a wave it would be a bit like a big ball. I

think Concept 1 will be more inclined to get knocked down and skid on

its side down the wave rather than continuing to roll.

A ballasted keel has good and bad aspects. It allows you to improve

stability without adding a lot of weight. It improves tracking and

steering because the boat has more lateral grip in the water.

However it does increase the risk of skidding on its side down the

face of a wave if you get caught beam on.

Without actually comparing Pilot and Concept 1 side-by-side I would

only be speculating which is better from a rollover perspective.

That is why you should test the idea before building a full-scale

boat. The IHPVA site has debated ballast for stability. For calm

water, floats have an advantage. For shallow water, floats have an

advantage. I expect for your scale testing the deep ballast will

work best.

It would be worthwhile doing lines for both Pilot and Concept 1 in

FREEship and compare the hull resistance. The Michlet program also

has Godzilla included. This is a hull optimising program and might

produce some useful results. I would expect that Concept 1 will be

capable of 9kph for the same power input as Pilot doing 7kph . Does

not seem a lot but makes a 50 day trip 14 days longer- not accounting

for assistance or hindrance from waves/current/wind. Do you remember

where we placed speed on the list of priorities? It is a major

safety feature.

My frame of reference is limited to give really good advice. The

numbers will give some idea but there is nothing like experience to

gather knowledge. What I do know is that I hate my OC1 as soon as

the waves get over about a foot high. It would be better if I had a

paddle to help stay upright. I would not recommend a single

outrigger. I can go into the detail if you like. Twin outriggers are

very comfortable in moderate conditions but I have never needed to

see if I could right a boat in deep water. I cannot even use a racing

kayak- I have never had the practice to keep one upright. Canoes are

OK but I have never tried to right one in deep water and then board

it. Catamarans are very secure but they have their limit when beam

on and you could never right one without some form of inflating

device. A 3 tonne yacht with a 1.5 tonne keel is very comfortable

and stable up to gale conditions. The motion is much more severe

without a sail up but you rarely feel unsafe. I have been beam on in

6ft high breakers in the yacht on a river bar and amazed at how the

boat handles these conditions. Only concern was whether water was

deep enough for the 6' draught.

I have attached a photo of the expedition360 boat during righting

tests. The hull is still wider than Concept 1 but looks finer than

Pilot. Concept 1 just takes it closer to the extreme limit of

fineness and therefore speed.


9-15-06 Rick on the outrigger-less design


I had a much more pleasant experience than you. I have just finished

2 hours at the lake in a balmy 20C (say 70F). Did 10km and then sat

in the sun just watching the glassy water and contemplating my boat

steering and your toilet arrangements. I managed a PB sprint speed

today. I got 17.8kph to register. I will look at the track log to

see what the highest averaged reading achieved.

My inspiration with the toilet is to place it below the seat. Tilt

the seat to the side and you have an inbuilt head below. The rim of

the head would be an inch or two above the waterline. You would have

a valve to let water in and there would be a self bailing nozzle

fitted to the bottom. Your seat would seal down and you could air-

blow or pump the chamber to assist the self bailer. The volume of

the head would be very small so filling it with water would not alter

draught much. This is one way until a better comes along. I don't

think you want to take a crap in the living space. Certainly not

using a bucket. Think about being able to crap while still powering

along- what bliss.

Your body weight will be an important consideration in designing the

ballast. I believe you should be able to walk along the deck in good

weather or slide along in bad weather. If it is fitted with high

rails to allow you to walk along in rough weather then I think you

are starting to require the sort of ballast that will impair speed.

Just standing using balance you cannot apply the same overturning

moment that you would if you braced against a rail.

The first three feet at either should be solid foam. This gives

crash protection and adds to solid buoyancy. The boat MUST be able

to stay afloat even if it is completely swamped. If I recall

correctly this is the #1 priority. You will develop an affinity for

the sea but you will not develop gills. It would be good to have a

bilge that runs under floor boards with drains tubes from each cabin

area down into the crank pit. The floor boards would be free

draining to the bilge.

I do not think it is a good idea to store water within any hull

compartments. I have had most success with rubber bladders or

stainless steel. Drinking water held in hull chambers becomes

tainted. The rubber bladders will conform to the shape. They can be

placed through a small hole into a chamber. They can be removed for

flushing if the water goes sour. This is something to ask others

that have done more ocean miles in little boats.

I have also given more thought to the cockpit layout. As noted

above, make the seat above the waterline. Then there is a crank well

that has sides also above the waterline but your feet can fit down

into the pit behind the crank and this will be a very comfortable

seating position when not cranking. The attitude is more upright

than you are used to with a recumbent. This should be a good thing

along the lines of what Dan Grow covered. It also means the crank

can go lower as your heels will not be as prone to drag on the bottom

of the pit.

The crank pit provides a point for standing and stretching. It would

be good if this could be achieved in most weather conditions. It the

cabin top can be raised with flexible see-through spray shields at

the side and front then you have a roomier but still weather tight

cockpit space. You could also place a bench above the crank that

could be used to prepare meals. Maybe a slide out portion that is

set above the knees so you can still crank while making notes,

navigating or a myriad of other tasks. Life will be good if you can

crank at a steady pace while amusing yourself with other duties. This

is a major feature of pedal power over paddle power. Long distance

kayaks use camel back water bladders for water intake but have to

stop to eat. I can keep going while eating and there is no reason

why you cannot do the same.

The more upright seating position will reduce the length from the

back of the seat to the crank. It should be possible to stand in

front of the cranks to gain access to the forward cabin. The back of

the seat could swing to the side to give access to the stern cabin.

You will be able to move throughout the hull in most sea conditions.

If the cockpit is swamped then it can be self bailing for the most

part. You may have to pump out the crank pit so you are not cranking

through water but this will be a small volume.

The deckline will need to be reviewed. I would lower the height of

the deck at the bow and stern but make it higher at the cockpit to

suit the higher seat. Aim to minimise the area of the long section

of the hull while allowing crawl space in the ends of each cabin.

You will be side on as there is not enough width to be flat when

trying to reach the very ends. It probably makes sense to widen the

hull above the waterline to make this more practical.

You should think about cardboard/timber mock ups of these spaces so

you know what is practical.

One last thing- the third-scale boat should also be filled with foam

in the ends. You should be able to recover from it being swamped

while still being strapped in.

There is heaps more that comes to mind but you should concentrate on

getting hold of a kayak to play with.


9-15-06 Level on the concept 1 design

Hi Greg,

The craft looks fantastic! She looks like she is doing

200 mph already! I think Rick has covered most


Another couple of points worthy of mention are;

All the bouyancy of the structure appears to be at the

rear and because of the narow aspect of the bow she

may tend to pitch pole as she surfs off larger waves.

Something to bear in mind perhaps add some fins which

raise the bow out of the water if it submerges to a

certain degree at speed. I would tend to make the

outriggers fixed structures - less to go wrong,

stronger and you wont have to worry about your canopy

getting in the way - the drag will be neglegible .

Only one of them will be in th water any any one time

at any rate out there.

Mechanical and moving parts - especially your out

riggers (I too favour the double out rigger design) -

What contingency do you have and how do they lock in

place? If none make sure they are up to the task and

built simple and very strong - they will take a


If the boat capsizes and you have to get out of the

boat to right it (Rick rightly says to keep the weight

of outriggers down to aid this). Be mindfull of the

volume of water that is likely to get into the hull -

it will not be calm weather if this happens and you

will need a means of getting this water out or

stopping alot of it getting in. it does not take alot

of water to upset weight calculations.

Reduce your capsize risk by keeping the boat pointing

down wind in the same direction of the waves. You

could afford somne legal windage towards the bow to

help keep her pointing down wind whilst asleep or

resting - consider autohelm if you are carrying enough

power - I am convinced for solo row thins device would

not only save distance but if you were able to keep

your boat pointed down wind this would also increase

boat speed during down time. The Woodvale boats

sometimes popped along at 2.5 to 3 knots by pointing

them downwind with their natural windage.

You will need a means to deploy and retreive a sea

anchor from the bow or stern of the boat - in this

design the stern looks more bouyant and therefore it

would probably be best to deploy from there - again,

in my opinion this emphasises the case for making

these structures as failsafe as possible. Calculate

the right size of sea anchor for the weight and

bouyancy of your craft - to small and its not worth

having as it will not bring the craft perpinticular to

the direction of the waves - too large and it may

start dragging you under. Err on the side of large -

but not rediculously so. If you get your sea anchor

deep enough you may even find you are able to MAKE

ground against the wind with it deployed - this

happened to me at Cape Finisterre. Great feeling!

Think about your toilet facilities and the logistics

of sitting on a bucket and getting the stuff out of

the boat without it going everywhere! Cooking is

another thing to consider - force10 gimballed single

burner stove is good and takes standard propane 500g

propane- each gas bottle lasted me a week to ten days.

use a mini pressure cooker - this preserves gas and

saves spillages which can lead to severe burns -

Always protect your whole body whilst cooking - on

four occasions I was swamped by large waves when

cooking - not in terribly rough conditions either it

is potentially dangerous especially with open pans or

pans with lids that come off if upset.

I would also condsider making the floor out of a

honeycombed sectional sandwich. This is probably

stating the obvious again but the canopy should maybe

flip backwards and up with some goretex or canvas

sprayboards at the side -this will give a degree of

protection to you in larger breaking following seas -

again this needs to be very strong if it is your only

means of keeping the water out. The canopy should also

have some form of emergency release incase it jams -

or you build another means of escape.

Your EPIRB should be of the GPS variety so you can be pinpointed in the worst case scenario. Batteries in EPRIB's only last for 48 hours max - I would put 20, not 2 flares into your grab bag (the military have very good lightweight miniflares) and a mini hand pumped watermaker may weigh less that emergency water. Stay attached to your boat at all times especially in heavy weather. Have the means to stay attached to your boat even during an escape scenario. It wouldn't hurt to have a few rope handgrips on the outside of the hull - you may need to get out and clean of razor barnicles in the last week or so. Antifouling, regrettfully, does not seem to keep these little critters off terribly effectively unless you have stronger stuff state side.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes


9-13-06 Rick on the test boat

The attached sketch shows what has to be achieved with a Kayak to

make it self-righting. The sections are almost round and it will be

designed to float with the rounded sections just submerged.

To get self-righting the CoG needs to be below the roll centre. The

roll axis for a round section is the centre of the circle. If the

hull has flatter sections then the CoG can be above the waterline and

it is still stable. This is the situation if the hull is on its side

but the analysis is not as obvious as a circle.

Overall you are probably better playing with a ballasted kayak than a

canoe. It would be a faster boat as well. You should be able to

cruise at around 7mph with your power level so you could use it to

set 12hr and 24hr records along the way.

The CoG with you in a pedalling posture will be say 4" above the roll

centre (waterline in this case). We assume the total weight is

220lbs so the unstable moment is 880inch pounds. If we use a ballast

of 22 pound it must be set 40" below the waterline to get stability.

It could be mounted off the bottom of drive leg to reduce the amount

of appendage drag.

This sort of stabilising keel requires relatively deep water for

operation hence it is not suited to normal kayak usage. Normally a

paddle is used to stabilise a kayak. Outrigger canoes are even

narrower than kayaks. So narrow that the paddler cannot sit into the

hull hence the need for the outrigger. They could be stabilised with

a keel but it would be a greater penalty than the outrigger and not

practical for use in the surf.

I think the ballasted kayak is the best option for testing as it will

be a fast boat and you can easily play with the ballast to optimise

fore/aft trim as well adjusting the righting moment. The only

penalty is the minimum depth of water you can operate in with the

keel fully deployed.

You should draw up the ballasted kayak and look at the proportions.

9-13-06 hard chine vs a rounded one, kayak for the test boat vs a canoe, tipping

I wanted to give you an idea of the penalty in going to a hard chine

compared with rounded sections. The increase in wetted surface is

12%. This will equate to a speed difference of almost 6% for the

same power input. In a 50 day crossing without current assist it

would mean a difference of three days.

The general consensus is that a hard chine will assist with roll

dampening. This is something you would need to experience to asses

the merit. I think there are other ways of improving the sea keeping

qualities without suffering the full 12% penalty.

The other aspect you should be aware of is that I am a fan of

straight rocker. You will get divided opinion on this. I have one

authoritative analysis which proves it is good for speed and it is

standard design for rowing shells. However the latter are intended

for calm water usage and others would argue that the ocean is a

different matter. I feel you have enough buoyancy in the ends to

avoid pitchpoling without the need for some rocker to give lift when

running down waves.

Some detail on the actual hull - If you consider the plan view as

three sections made up of foreward triangle, middle rectangle and an

aft triangle then I expect there to be an advantage in making the

forward triangle say 11ft, the middle 5ft and the stern 8ft. Thus

making the bow taper finer than the stern taper. There is some

scientific background to this but I have not verified it

conclusively. It should reduce wave making at the top end of your

cruising speed. If you look at the plan view of a K1 you will see

similar asymmetry between the fore and aft plan view.

Another bit of detail concerns the deck. If you need to walk/crawl

on it to get to hatches then it will need some rails.

I have reviewed my thoughts on the canoe versus the kayak for a test

boat. To get an idea of stabilisation using gravity you need a hull

that will sink down in the water when loaded normally. The kayak

will be better for this than a canoe. It will need to be ballasted

to achieve a positive righting moment and this would be best done

with a keel with say 20lb and 4ft down. The keel could be lifted for

approaching the shore as is done with a sailing dinghy. There is a

problem of scale with the smaller boat because the body height is

fixed so the test boat will be rather slab sided.

To look at self-righting we should start calculating the righting

moment so you know what works and what is too twitchy. There is a

risk that the test boat you build will be more stable in its side

than right way up. This could also be the case with Concept 1

without doing some numbers. Ideally the CoG should be below the


Concept 1 will become twitchy when unloaded so this aspect needs to

be considered. With rounded sections it is suitable for more than

1000lb. displacement. There may be a case for narrower waterline.

9-13-06 Ricks comments regarding a test boat made from a kayak


I think it essential that you gain sea experience. You should aim to

build good relationships with local authorities, recreational boaters

and fishing boats. All can be sources of ideas and accelerate your

learning curve.

You could probably get hold of a two person Canadian canoe that would

be closer to Concept 1 than a kayak. Here are some examples:

The longer ones are generally wider than ideal. You should be looking

for a hull 24" to 30" wide and around 16' long. I an certain the K1

kayak will be too tippy to give you a realistic feel. It would be

impossible to operate without outriggers and then it is no longer

self-right. Adding a higher deck will lift the CoG. Also you will

not have the reserve buoyancy to carry any provisions. The Canadian

canoe will not be an outright speed machine but it should be OK for

traveling long distance at respectable speeds.

I think you should be designing for 150W based on the power readings

provided. This may give slightly higher speed numbers than I have

given but my numbers are for smooth water and waves will help or

hinder. On flat water is it very steady effort unless there is

wind. What cadence do you like at 150W output.

Another thing you could do is build a timber and cardboard mock up of

the Concept 1 hull to give you an idea of how cramped it will be.

It will help with placing things you need to get at and laying out


The drive leg for your test boat could be made very similar to that

for the larger boat. The engine is the same. The resistance may

also be very similar as the canoe will make noticeable waves around

5mph. You should see if MicroMatine are still working. I can

provide suggestions on gearboxes that would allow you to quickly make

a drive leg if you need to. Components are not stainless though so

corrosion would eventually become a problem. You should try to get a

gear drive having 4X cadence as this gives close to an optimum prop.

You could nominate a displacement based on what others have done.

The boat is close to the minimum size to actually operate in and

should be able to displace up to 1000lbs with some efficiency. This

should be ample to get by with. I think you have to decide on the

position of the drive leg and seat rather than having adjustment.

The trim can be set by where you place gear. I would aim to have the

middle of my bum just behind the middle of the boat. So the leg is

about 2' or so in front of this. A few pounds shifted from bow to

stern would correct the trim. If you want to keep most of the

provisions in the bow then maybe have the seat further back.

Remember you will probably want to use the boat lightly loaded as

well so you cannot always rely on provisions being in the one place.



Ricks feedback to the Concept 1 design:


Your drawings are outstanding. I would be surprised if the images

will not be attractive to potential sponsors. I will look forward to

a post on the IHPVA site. It will give people that lurk there a

lift. Some comments:

1. The sections are flatter than I intended but this could be a good

thing. It will give you some form stability that will help staying

upright. The hard chine also dampens rolling motion. There is a

penalty in wetted surface though. You need to do a calculation on

the wetted surface for the intended load. The actual weight should

reduce as you consume provisions so it would be worthwhile doing full

provision and light provision waterlines.

2. I do not think the sleeping position A is practical. You may

find that you will need to have the seat further back when fully

provisioned to get the trim. This boat will be very sensitive to

weight distribution. You should always aim to be able to achieve a

slight bow-up trim. By the time you get the seat in the right place

I doubt that you will be able to get enough width for your feet.

Position B is probably more practical. You may be able to keep the

sleeping chamber separate by actually having a combination of A and B

with your head below a sloping bulkhead behind the seat in its normal


3. I like your idea with the three chambers. However you should

design the boat to have enough solid buoyancy (in the skin and ends)

to keep you and the contents afloat. This should not take a lot of

solid buoyancy such as expanded foam as the SG of you and most

provisions is less than 1. Ideally you should be able to recover if

all three chambers are flooded.

4. I think it would be desirable to be able to open the cockpit

hatch while the outriggers were stowed. There should be many

opportunities to open up and keep moving at top speed.

5. I prefer the 2 outriggers to one. In the end you may find it is

better to operate with them deployed in all-but survival conditions

when there is high risk of capsize. I expect that the boat would be

quite stable with outriggers that displace around 40kg. If you can

keep the outrigger displacement around half your bodyweight then it

should be possible to right the boat with them deployed by standing

on one of the outriggers and foring it below the surface. A single

outrigger usually makes the boat easier to right but it is no where

near as secure from a stability perspective. In fact it is more

likely to promote a capsize.

6. I envisioned the foredeck having more slope to reduce frontal

area but the fine entry should be OK. It will also give you some

lift if you are riding waves.

7. I expect a rudder about 12 inches deep and 4 inches long mounted

about 2 feet from the stern will do the job. Run steering cords in

tubes along the inside of the hull within the sleeping chamber. The

boat should track well anyhow. I find a steering arm mounted below/

behind the seat to be most relaxing.

8. Your drive leg is bigger than I think is possible. You should be

able to keep it less than 3/4" thick and about 5" long. The prop

tips only need to be swinging an inch or two below the hull. The

prop can be pushing or pulling. If the leg is fat then you get

vibration from a pushing prop. There is a very slight improvement in

efficiency if the prop pulls as it does not work in the wake of the

leg. It is slightly more prone to damage from striking something if

it is pushing. I think a two bladed prop will make it easier to lift

the leg for inspection than a three bladed prop. Also the two bladed

prop reduces draught for boarding from the beach.

9. The storage space in the ends is very small as the hull is very

narrow. Probably better just to fill with foam to give collision


10. You should be thinking about a low spot in the hull to catch

runoff. This is probably best around the drive leg. It needs to be

deep enough to pump down so the water does not slosh around the rest

of the hull. I have only ever seen a dry bilge once in my entire

life and it was in a land locked power barge that had huge diesel

engines generating high temperatures. Always too hot to get


Look forward to getting into more detail. Remember you should be

thinking about a specification. Useful design stuff is to know what

power you hope to be able to sustain from your engine.



Rick Willoughby wties:


I will make sure I give you dimensions in British units. 600mm is

only 2 feet. A narrow hull. Just wide enough to get the shoulders

into. The boats I build are just over 1 foot wide at the waterline

but they are only intended to displace 200lb or so.

The stability is a matter of getting the weight low enough and having

buoyancy up high. A sphere with a small weight on the surface will

float with the weight down. The boat I am thinking of would have an

offset ellipse X-section at the cockpit. A rounded bottom coming up

to a beam of 2 feet at the waterline, a little bit wider above the

waterline to give shoulder room and then narrow above the shoulders

to take in the head.

When you are in the ocean the water is rarely level so a boat that

relies on gravity for stability rather than hull form is often

better. You could set your drive leg up to get weight down low to

help with stability. You may even add some ballast below the prop.

It would also be handy if you can lift the drive leg out of its well

to inspect and work on. Something like Warren B has done with his

Necky Kayak.

You would need to strap into the seat in rough weather so that if it

rolls you stay in the right place. For sleeping you collapse the

back of the seat. You are then even more stable because the weight

is lower. Again strap in so the boat can do a complete roll without

you smashing the canopy.

I am not sure if you are aware but sailing monohulls are normally

designed to have a positive righting moment throughout a 360 degree

roll (apart from the 180 position). Some modern ones with flat decks

are stable upside down and this is a safety issue. The small boats

in the Sydney to Hobart ocean race might roll through 360 degrees up

to 4 times in a race. The bigger boats often destroy masts if they

suffer a complete 360 but they usually get upright and stay afloat.

I am certain that if you continue with this adventure you will be

thanking me that I talked about righting moment and it is a design

feature of your boat when you are facing 5m cresting waves in the

middle of the night 1000km from anything. You need a very large

multihull to feel secure in such conditions.

The boat would be built for speed and is not intended for lounging

around. It is intended to work well IN water and not designed for

sitting ON the water.

Another advantage with pedal power is that you do not need to operate

a paddle over the deckline. In fact you can site below the deck. If

the deckline of kayaks was made higher then you would start to

improve stability. It becomes more like a Canadian canoe with high


I have attached a sketch of this concept. The proportions are not

correct but you should get the idea.

Draw it up and seek comment from people on the IHPVA boat site. I

think it will look fast. The hull needs to be about 500mm wide at

the crank so you have clearance for the pedals and heels.


Stevie writes:


A word about your designs. Lovely ideas. Having pedalled 6,500 miles on the ocean I look at the idea of remaining so beautifully stable with great envy!! I'm no design expert, so Alan Boswell or another marine architect's opinion is more valuable than mine, but my two pence-worth of advice is to keep it simple. Build a nice sleek, strong monohull, enclose yourself inside a cockpit you can seal but also give you plenty ventilation when you want it. Pedal power beats rowing power every time - I'm sure you'll be able to beat any rowing record over the same route. Use bearings and solid shafts to transfer power from feet to prop - not chains. Build a stainless steel version of the MicroMarine units we used, so you can easily replace and repair. Monohulls are horribly tippy and uncomfortable, but a self-righting monohull desgn is safest bet for you. I assume you want to do the northern route from Newfoundland, 2,000 miles. The North Atlantic is cold and the weather can be bad, even in summer. Have a very supportive custom-built pedal seat with racing driver seat belt, and a place to wedge your neck and limbs in tightly to sleep.

The ocean is a terrifyingly powerful place, you can't stop, you can't get off if things go wrong. When I look at your design I see a lot of windage to slow you down and make it hard to steer, I see complicated engineering, three right-angled changes in direction of power to get to the prop, and a lot of elements that could snap or seize up and be extremely difficult to repair at sea. Also I see your prop being out of the water as much in it.

In essence: minimize windage, keep your design low in the water, round heavy hull and light tapering deck and stores stowed low for ballast - all this will ensure self-righting safety. Monohull, enclosed cockpit, all-in-one pedal replaceable units to fit into a central well - thus power delivered midway along hull.

Cheers, Steve

And rich writes:

The ladybird is a nice design. I would say the hull has been

optimised for the speed the rower can sustain in good conditions- say

5mph. It would be difficult to maintain that sort of speed once it

gets a bit rough. The average speed will depend a lot on the chosen

route to take advantage of wind and currents. AND some luck that the

weather is kind.

The concept I have sketched should be possible of sustaining maybe

5.5mph but I would need to check this based on the actual

displacement you think you will need. However the proposed design

should not be bothered by sea conditions as much as ladybird so you

can sustain a higher average. The concept would move very fast in a

following sea with very little effort.


I had anticipated question 1. See previous email.

Regarding question 2. The boat needs to be able to stay afloat and

upright if swamped. It could be made to be self-bailing for the most

part through the open well for the drive leg. It is also a good idea

to have a closed well low down in the hull that collects condensation

and can be pumped out. The whole hull needs to have clear drainage

to the low point. You get a lot of condensation at night after a warm

day so things get wet and uncomfortable if they do not drain.

The 22" width is at the waterline so you can go wider than this above

the waterline. It would be borderline to have it stable enough to

walk around on. I think the idea of an outrigger that deploys from

one side would make life a lot better. It could actually be part of

the bow or stern fairing when folded away. It could have some

netting so you can sit on for washing and calls of nature.

It is surprising how little clearance you need above the waterline in

the centre of a boat to avoid having water come in. I expect you

could operate with the cockpit open for maybe 80% of the time

depending on the chosen route. You would need to have good weather

forecasting to leave the cockpit open while sleeping.

Your body weight will be part of the ballast. The ends of concept 1

get narrow very quickly and you do not want to widen above the

waterline in the ends to allow for sleeping. I would be thinking

about a retractable or folding seat to provide a nice bed.

Labels: ,


A human powered ocean crossing is a fairly expensive proposition, but not without some pretty attractive benefits to a potential sponsor.

I estimated total PR value of my HPV 24 hour record attempt adventure to be in excess of 8 to 10 million viewers. That includes Popular Science Magazine with a total circulation of about 7 million, local news coverage which included both TV, newspapers and magazines as well as international press and TV plus dozens of web sites. The long term count could reach as high as 15 to 20 million with mention of the world record in books now being published, more web sites linking to the AOG site, continued growth of the AOG web site and longer term 'feature story' type of public relations efforts.

The human powered Atlantic crossing is a much larger project than the HPV record, and as such, should generate much more world-wide, national and local attention. I will be focusing on national and international press coverage, both long before the actual ocean crossing, and during the expedition.

A major sponsor of this project will take advantage of preferential logo placement on the human powered ocean boat, the name of the boat, logos featured on the AOG web site, and branded clothing worn by me during photo shoots and TV interviews.

If you are interested in becoming involved with this ambitious and exciting project, then please contact me!

Greg Kolodziejzyk

I have a list of equipment and supplies that I require. If your company can offer assistance in any way (like donating equipment or supplies), here is what I can offer you in return:

1. A series of high res photographs and video clips of your product being used in the 'extreme' ocean environment while on the expedition which the sponsor could use as content for various advertising and promotional campaigns.
2. A testimonial from me regarding the applicability of your product and it's use during the expedition.
3. I managed to get quite a bit of press coverage for the 24 hour HPV record including the cover of Popular Science magazine, and I plan to aggressively seek as much publicity as possible for the Atlantic Expedition. A major sponsor would definitely benefit from that kind of PR exposure. Imagine your logo on the side of Critical Power HPV in Popular Science Magazine that is distributed to over 7 million people!
4. Web site advertising content like the image shown above that the sponsor can take advantage of now, rather than waiting until I do the crossing.

Here are my current partners:

Nimbus Kayaks is providing a Hyak Tandem Kayak that will be used as a base for the prototype human powered boat.

Trimble is providing a Recon rugged PDA. These PDA hand held computers are absolutely incredible! Water proof and shock proof - perfect for an ocean crossing. I will be using the PDA to run a GPS with navigation software, and to BLOG text, photos and video web updates to the web site via a satellite phone. Trimble is sponsoring the expedition with TWO PDA's a primary and a backup.

Fugawi Marine is providing GPS marine navigation software that will work with the GPS and Recon PDA computer.

Rugged Technologies is providing three of their top of the line water proof Cool series keyboards. The keyboard will plug directly into the USB port of the Recon.

TCR Sport Lab offers a comprehensive range of services provided by highly trained and well informed coaches to support both the high performance elite and recreational athlete. I am looking forward to working with Cory Fagan on both testing and training to get ready for the Atlantic record attempt.

Amazing Voice's mission is to provide an excellent voice over recording service, delivering outstanding quality exceptionally fast & conveniently. They benefit from a large pool of professional voice talent that is prepared to assist enhancing any organization's image. Amazing voice provided the voice talent for the Pedal The Ocean Expedition video.

RaceRecon will be providing expedition support and expertice. I choose RaceRecon because they have some experience with expeditions of this type (see Crossing The , around Austraila paddle expedition , circumnavigating Peurtico by kayak and one more very large expedition around Greenland which has not been announced yet), but mostly because Pat is a guy I can really relate to. He is a sub 10 hour Ironman triathlete and is a total geek like me. He digs watts and spreadsheets and aerodynamics and is a pretty decent web designer. He also 'gets' it when it comes to what we need to do to provide value to a sponsor and how adventure expeditions can be run like a business.


About the project

"Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile initially scared me to death". - Betty Bender

This is insane, but I feel really, really inspired. Ever since following Mick Bird's around the world rowing expedition, I have felt that this was something that I wanted to do someday. 3000 solo miles across the Atlantic ocean by pedal boat should take from 40 to 100 days. It will be by far, the most difficult challenge I have ever considered.

Why? When I designed, built and powered my Critical Power human powered vehicle 650 miles in 24 hours setting a new world record, my message to the world was to raise awareness of the serious health issues afflicting modern society caused by our sedentary lifestyle. Simply put - To stem the obesity epidemic, we need to become more active!

When was the last time you drove your car 650 miles in one day? On July 19th, 2006, I covered that unfathomable distance on a bicycle! - my way of showing the world that a human powered vehicle is a valid, efficient and fun way to travel.

Now, I plan to do the same thing by crossing the Atlantic ocean in a human powered boat. A small, solo sail boat can take between 30 to 60 days to cross the Atlantic, and my goal is to accomplish the crossing in 40 to 50 days proving again that human power can compete head to head with conventional forms of transportation.

To read more about why I am so passionate about human power, click here.

To read more about why human power is so important to the world, click here.

This is the promotional video for the expedition.


Within - the human powered boat

I am building a test boat which will be based on an existing sea kayak donated by Nimbus Kayaks. The pedal boat will be called "Within" and will look like the computer rendering below.

Construction of Within has begun in earnest. Pool testing is scheduled for sometime this winter (Winter 2007), and sea trials will commence in the Spring.

I will use Within to gain some badly needed ocean experience by touring around the nearest ocean (10 hour drive to the west coast), starting with the Glenmore reservoir here in Calgary and branching out from there. (baby steps).

Click here for current status on construction of Within, and Within-24 - the HPB 24 hour record boat.

Assessing the risk:

According to The Ocean Rowing Society, a total of 275 attempts to cross an ocean by rowing resulted in 6 deaths due to lost at sea and 99 failed attempts.

For comparison purposes, I converted the ocean rowing fatality data to fatalities per million hours of exposure and was able to find a list of other activities and the risks of death from Failure Analysis Associates, Inc. more details on that analysis here.

Fatalities per Million Exposure Hours:

General Flying 15.58
Ocean rowing10.02
Scuba Diving 1.98
Water skiing.28
Airline Flying.15

Ocean rowing is slightly more dangerous than motorcycling and safer than general flying or skydiving.

Only 2 other expeditions in history have pedaled across the Atlantic ocean with a human powered boat. Stevie Smith and Jason Lewis with expedition360 on their circumnavigation of the earth expedition, and Dwight Collins who solo pedaled his human powered boat West to East across the northern Atlantic.

If I were to succeed, it would be the first solo East-West Atlantic ocean pedal boat crossing. The fastest human powered East-West Atlantic ocean crossing is 42 days, 17 hours by Emmanuel Coindre from France who rowed from Spain to Barbados . If we consider 'pure' human powered crossings, we would have to include rowing because it is purely human powered. So, I would have to beat 42 days, 17 hours to set a new 'human powered' trans Atlantic record.



Click here for current status on construction of Within, and Within-24 - the HPB 24 hour record boat.

The design of the human powered ocean boat "Within" is a collaboration between myself, Rick Willoughby, Stevie Smith and Leven Brown

Rick Willoughby had been designing and building human powered boats in Australia for over 10 years. He is an enthusiastic contributor and known authority with the online human powered boats community.

Stevie Smith has pedaled Moksha - a two-person pedal boat across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. As part of Expedition360, Stevie brings a valued and very specific expertise to this project!

Leven Brown recently completely a trans Atlantic rowing expedition on his boat Columbus Run.

"Within" is a very narrow, self-righting single passenger human powered ocean boat. The hull is based on a sea kayak hull with slightly higher side walls, and a rounded top. To accomplish stability in rough sea conditions, weight is distributed very low in the vessel, and additional ballast in a keel will be suspended below the prop on the drive leg.

Water tight forward and rear compartments will ensure that the boat cannot sink, and the low center of gravity will ensure that it up-rights immediately upon a capsize.

A transparent dome is fitted on the retractable canopy top. The canopy top should be closed and sealed if the ocean conditions are rough which will allow the pedaling compartment to be mostly water tight and dry with adequate ventilation This should further increase safety in the event of a capsize, and will allow continued operation in rough seas. If ocean conditions are calm, then Within can be operated with the canopy in the retracted position. Scuppers with plugs or bilge pumps can be used to keep the pedaling compartment dry if it is being used with the canopy top retracted.

Steering is accomplished by standard kayak rudders and cables (not shown). Control of the rudder via access to the rudder cables is available from both the pedal station and from inside the sleeping compartment.

The drive leg will consist of standard cranks and pedals with two right-angle gear boxes connected by a shaft which will drive a two-bladed prop. The drive leg will be shrouded with a water-tight fairing.

This image shows one option for compartments. The rear compartment is water-tight when the door between the rear compartment and the pedaling station is closed. This could be used for some equipment and supplies storage as well as sleeping. A disadvantage of using this configuration to sleep, is the inconvenience of having to
open the hatch to look out for ships through the bubble.

The pedaling station would be water tight with the canopy top closed, and could have drain holes for allowing water to run out when operating with the canopy top open. If the boat is being operated with the canopy top open, it would be important to make sure that both hatches to the forward and rear compartments are closed and sealed, in the event of a capsize.

The forward compartment is water-tight and accessible through a hatch door. This would be where most of the food and equipment would be stored.

3 or 4 solar panels are fastened along the rounded top at the bow and stern which will provide electricity to charge batteries which will power the electronics and desalinator

Estimated weight of Within is between 1000 to 1500 pounds including supplies and ballast. I based this on some other ocean rowing expeditions:

Leven Browns supplies weighed 595 pounds (150 days).
Tinys boat + supplies weighed 2000 pounds (100 days)
Around-n-overs boat weighed 550 pounds with 770 pounds supplies and 330 pounds of ballast
Fedor Konyukhovs boat weighed 771 pounds and 1100 pounds for supplies (this may include water ballast?) (4 months)
Zeeman Challenger boat weighs 880 pounds and 1325 pounds of supplies (9 months)

Speed estimate based on 150W of power and an overall efficiency of 80% is about 5 knots (9 kph).

Construction photos and computer renderings:

Equipment list:

ElectronicsOtherSafetyEmergency grab bag
lap top (Panasonic Tough book)freeze dried food for 75 dayslifejacketEPIRB
backup computer
(hand held device like pocket PC)
tookkit + small spare partssafety harness & linestrobe flashing light
Satellite Telephone (voice and data)spare drive unitEPIRBsignalling mirror
VHF radiowater makermedical kitwhistle
backup VHF radioback-up watermakerliferaftfoil blanket
batteriessea anchoremergency water2 flares
solar panelscompassflares6 light sticks
solar panel controllerspongesoarsknife
Sea Me Radar Transponderclothingfire extinguishersmall compass
fixed GPSnavigation lightsfire blanketflashlight
backup GPS (hand held)water containersthrowing line2 bottles water
backup GPS (2nd hand held)eating containers and utensilssignalling mirrorchocolate
battery monitorcooking gas (propane)
mini first aid kit
video cameranavigation charts
emergency fishing kit
still cameramask and flippers

iPodextra foam padding

spare iPodseat and sleeping harness

satellite radiocamelback/water bags

amp and speakersepoxy and fiberglass repair

spare headphones, earbuds


Argos beacon

small hand axe

Radar reflector (activ-echo)flashlight

fishing kit




cooking stove

back-up cooking stove

sleeping bag - blankets

matches, lighter



2700 miles from Canary Islands to Barbados

I will start at the Canary Islands off of the West African coast. The Canary current is a southwestward flow that will take me onto the North Equatorial current which is a broad westward flow. It is fed by the Canary current and its waters eventually end up in the Gulf Stream system, via the Antilles current which should deliver me to one of the islands near Barbados.

The average distance that various ocean rowers covered over this route is 2700 to 3000 miles. Rowing times from the Canary islands to Barbados range from a record of 43 days by Emmanuel Coindre to over 100 days.


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