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Blaze of Glory

No Opportunity Wasted is a reality/documentary TV show aired by the Discovery Channel in 2004/5. The premise was that subjects would be given $3000 and 72hours to achieve their dream.

I submitted an application to build a boat and sail it to the Farallones; a group of islands, 28 miles due west of San Francisco. The waters between the California coast are rough open ocean, and the Farallones are one of the largest Great White Shark breeding grounds in the world. Bad news should something go wrong.

I had submitted an application the previous year. Phil Keoghan turned up without warning on a Friday afternoon in May 2004. I was caught completely unprepared with 72hours, $3000, a TV crew and a boat to build.

The photos below show some of the shots from the show. I was lucky to have the support of numerous friends to assist me, and was given construction space at the San Francisco Maritime Museum. We built the boat in just 48hours, and sailed out on the Monday morning into a rough ocean with winds forecasted to gust to 35kts and a small craft advisory

We made it out the gate with few problems. Blaze of Glory sailed well making 10+ knots into wind, with not too much difficulty tacking. Outside the gate, the wind and seas picked up significantly. The TV crew on the chase vessel became seasick and were having difficulty filming while Blaze ploughed through the seas, sometimes taking water over the whole hull. After 30minutes of this, we prudently decided to turn back and try another day.

With the film crew gone, we took Blaze out of the water, and it has since undergone numerous improvements to make it more seaworthy, including a fiberglass hull coating, and watertight hatches. We hope to try our expedition again in the near future.

A huge thanks to the following without whose help, I would have been paddling my way on a couple empty beer kegs

  • Oliver Hickman
  • Inka Peterson
  • Sue Schmidt
  • Ted Wade
  • Elie Sainfeld
  • Anton Hoffner
  • Todd Bloch
  • Peter
  • Jena Restad
  • Kevin
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Marissa Viray
  • Bill Mastrangelo
  • Tait
  • Christian Buhl
  • Eva
  • Bill Doll & the San Francisco Maritime Museum
  • Jack
  • Chester Jung
  • Jon Servaites
  • Stephanie Dohar
  • Mike Potts & Crystal Tang