January 29, 2001
3 months to departure!

Welcome to the first of my pre-departure updates. I'll aim for a new update each month to inform the status of the project.

The last nine months of planning, proposal writing, researching, R&D and practice sailing are beginning to pay off. It seems as in many endeavors, just getting to the starting line is the hardest part. Working full time and setting this up mostly alone has kept my hands quite full. Thanks to my wife for her understanding and support.

I'm happy to say that at this point plans are reaching critical mass and I fully expect to set off from Brownsville, TX this April 29th at dawn on the farthest wind-powered voyage over land ever to be documented.

However, there is still much work to be done. Most importantly, is securing a cash sponsor for the remaining cash costs of the budget. Food, gas for the RV and lost income due to my taking an unpaid leave of absence from work make up the majority, totaling around $18,000. The challenge is to find a like-minded company that takes me seriously and can relate to the pioneering spirit that this voyage represents. I'm determined and focused to make it happen.

Notes on existing sponsors:
Thanks for the Atlas and Gazetteer series for all the states I'm sailing through. These maps are perfect, showing all the backroads, contours and a GPS overlay. No excuse for getting lost!

Ezzy Sails USA:
I can't wait to rig their sails. They are my engines and will not only look great but will be more efficient than my own secondhand sails.

Their harnesses and accessories will enable me to sail extended periods without stopping to rest my arms.

Fish Outa H2O:
You really designed a great-sailing board that everybody wants to buy from me. I'm trusting it fully to carry me over 2,000 miles above the 1,300 miles I've already sailed it! Thank you.

Potential sponsors:
Globalstar USA has expressed strong interest in providing me with their mobile satellite phone for voice & data.
Speedtech Instruments may provide my wind instruments and weather monitors. (Very useful in Tornado Alley in springtime!)
There are many other potentials out there, but it's too early to tell.

As I said, things are coming together at a dizzying pace now and these 3 months are going to fly by.
I'll be ready.
Stay tuned!
bob out.