Mark is not as concerned about celebrating his 44th birthday on July 7 - a week after the start of the race - as he is about missing his wife's mid-August birthday as he singlehands Berserker back home afterward. It's a feeling many singlehanders can likely identify with. "In spite of getting seasick easily and not being particularly fond of sailing, my wife Dawn has always supported me 100% in this effort," notes Mark.
All new electronics and all new sails - including a fully battened main, two jibs and an asymmetrical spinnaker - are a few of the upgrades Deppe has made to the boat. Unfortunately, the practice sessions had to be put on hold for two months while she underwent repairs. Just south of Yerba Buena last March, while on starboard tack, Berserker was clobbered by a port tack boat that turned out to be - another Ericson! The collision tore all the port stanchions, lifelines and rear pulpit off Mark's boat, but luckily caused no structural damage or injuries.
One of an elite group of singlehanders with cast-iron stomachs - and an even more elite group who don't get seasick - Deppe's planned diet bears special mention: "Sardines and kippers, Beenie Weenies, Breakfast Bars and my favorite - Dinty Moore Beef Stew!" He'll supplement those four main food groups with more normal canned fare.
As might be expected, Mark extends a special thanks to wife Dawn for her support on the project, and to Gary Rolfe at Svendsen's for his help in putting the boat back together after the crash. Aspects of the race he says he's particularly looking forward to include "learning more about my boat and hopefully about myself. The solitude should feel good for a while."
Navigation: Raytheon and Trimble GPSs, sextant backup, Raytheon radar; Steering: Monitor windvane, Alpha Spectra autopilot; Communication: Apelco VHF, Furuno SSB.
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