"Safe and secure can be boring," notes Doug. While most of us might think of teaching high school in these troubled times as anything but safe, secure or boring, ever since he started sailing six years ago, Graham has looked to the water for fulfillment. "My friends think I'm crazy to do this," he says. "I'm just thankful I can call it a race, and do it with a group equally as crazy."
Although sailing the tiniest boat, Big Dot (named for his wife, Dotty), Doug is considered by some to be the race's dark horse. "With that rating, he could get there a month after everyone else and still win," laughs odds-on race favorite Bruce Schwab. "I'm more scared of that boat than any of the others."
To Graham, though, the '96 Singlehanded TransPac is about personal accom-plishment, not hard-driving trophy hunting. "The milestone for me," he says, "will be just getting there."
Graham has put a good bit of work and gear into the boat to do this race, including extra cabinets, a little doghouse, solar panels and almost all new standing and running rigging. Echoing the sentiments of other married boatowners everywhere, Doug notes, "My wife doesn't understand how I can spend so much on such a little boat!"
Like most of his peers, Doug will get the rest he needs by taking 2-hour naps during the day. He'll stay awake from midnight until dawn. Also like many competitors, he looks forward to opening a 'halfway package' from Dotty.
In a milestone of another kind, the race is something of a retirement gift Doug is giving to himself. June marks the "grand finale" in his career as a teacher.
Graham offers special thanks to his wife "who didn't always encourage me, but always said, 'buy it'."
Navigation: Garmin GPSs (2), sextant backup; Steering: Navik windvane, Navico autopilot; Food: One-pot meals, stew as long as the fresh food holds out, then canned and dried.
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