Thousands of people have been following Greg’s preparations for pedalling his unique vessel ‘Within’ from Vancouver to Hawaii. She is a specially designed canoe-like vessel which is driven by a human powered propeller. In a previous article* I wrote at length about Greg’s ambition to be the first man to pedal solo across that stretch of the Pacific Ocean.
Things have not gone well for him. He has run into all sorts of problems which are unlikely to be resolved before June, when he had planned to set off. Mostly the problems are with his boat. She has a very bad characteristic of rolling when running downwind and when the wind increases to about 30 knots she turns broadside to the waves. Greg can power her out of that situation, but it takes a lot of effort. Another shortfall of the vessel is her windage, which causes her to heel when the wind is from the side which makes paddling difficult. To counteract the heeling, Greg mounted the ship’s batteries on an eclectically driven shunt which runs athwart the boat, but if there’s a sudden wind shift, the weight of the batteries can make the boat heel to the extent that if a side port is open, water can enter the cabin.
Despite modifying the rudder to help steer the boat better when she is broadside on to the waves and to keep her on course when running downwind, plus her movable ballast, these modifications have not eliminated her bad traits. Additionally, Greg confesses he needs more ocean-going experience with his boat. He is worried that he will not be able to deploy her sea anchor in rough weather because of the vessel’s instability when he stands up, which is necessary for setting and retrieving the sea anchor. If she were to roll over, he would be thrown into the sea and water would enter the open hatch.
Having considered all of these things, he is pretty certain his attempt to pedal to Hawaii has to be postponed until next year, by which time he may have found solutions for making the project viable. His current support vessel will be available next year.
Understandably, Greg is extremely disappointed, and feels that he has let people down, i.e., those who have contributed to the venture and those who have been following his endeavours. Greg has kept himself extremely fit; so from that point of view and the enormous effort he has put into the project, he should feel fully justified. I don’t think he is the sort of person who will be put off by this setback, and I believe he will bounce back next year.
Pedal the Ocean
Adventures of Greg
YouTube Video of Sea Trials
YouTube Video Tour of Within
My YouTube Playlist for Greg