I wrote a letter to the President of Equatorial Guinea, His Excellency Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, which was hand delivered by His Excellency, Anatolio Ndong Mba, Permanent Representative for Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations in New York. I explained to President Obiang my quest to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
Several months later, I received a check for $30,000. I went to Brazil for the purpose of buying a custom made rowboat, which was certified by the Brazilian Navy.
I would later meet the President on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The boat would arrived at Kingsborough Communnity College in Brooklyn, New York for analysis. Afterwards, I brought the boat to my home for some fabrication and electrical work before undertaking sea trials.
After Equatorial Guinea Ambassador to United Nations, His Excellency, Anatolio Ndong Mba christened the boat, I began sea trials from State University of New York at Maritime College.
I would train in the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean (South Shore of Long Island). This extensive training allowed me to test the boat for real life scenarios.
Maesrk Line, the world's largest container shipping group, was a extremely valued partner and waived all cost associated with freight transport. Marmedsa, Noatum Shipping Agency, evolved into the facilitator for all custom formalities. Las Palmas government embraced the mission to make sure I could begin this mission. I'll never forget...
US Embassy in Madrid, Spain and US Consulate in Las Palmas, Canary Islands would also be a valuable resource.
After my briefing with His Excellency, Mauricio Obama, the Consulate General for Equatorial Guinea in Las Palmas, he made sure that I had met the threshold for safety requirements for the transatlantic crossing. The Consul General gave me some home music for the ride. After visiting the Cuban Consulate, they would also give me some Salsa; not the sauce, but the music.
Sr. Francisco Torres Blanco, Director/Port Manager at Puerto Deportivo Pasito Blanco and his team would be one of the most integral pieces for this successful crossing. I was told to relax, you are at home, we are here to help...
I would spend nearly thirty days in Las Palmas before heading out. Until all systems were check and double checked, I would wait until my weather router, Jennifer Clarke's Gulf Stream gave me the ok.
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