After running into roadblocks in securing sponsorship, I decided to build a boat. My only woodworking experience was a shop class I had in junior high school. The owner of the present day Barclay's Center donated space and I called it the "Atlantic Yards Boathouse". Most of the material was donated, but I had to put in the labor. Lowe's, West Systems, Petitt Paint, Metropolitan Lumber and others kept the project alive with in-kind support.
It would take me nearly three years to reach the start of Goree Challenge on Goree Island, Senegal in West Africa. My first attempt would only last thirty minutes in open water. I would be rescued by the Senegalese Gendermarine (equivalent to U.S. Coast Guard). The officer that led the rescue, now retired, Adjunct Officer, Matar Diop Kane, would become a lifelong friend.