Hi Everyone,

This is the first official OceanPlanet Energy (OPE) Newsletter!  

And as such, given the current Covid19 situation, I have been pondering the appropriate approach to take. Some of us here have had friends and/or family affected, and I’m sure many of you have too. We certainly don’t want to make light of what we know is a hard time for many.

However, we are among the fortunate businesses who remain very busy.  The real challenge has been to keep up with demand, and provide the high level of service and support that we aspire to.  Thankfully, most of the OPE Team are able to work remotely, and we do have relatively spacious office and shipping areas allowing for safe working while here (to receive and ship stuff out, etc.). Every effort is made to keep things sanitized, and we have great appreciation for the hard-working UPS, FedEx, USPS, and DHL folks who have to visit countless locations daily.

If you are receiving this email, you are either an existing customer or you have subscribed through our website.  In an effort to provide our followers with all the info they want but without filling up their in-boxes, we have 4 different mailing groups which include this OPE Monthly Newsletter, our OPE Tech Blog, New Product Alerts, and Special Offers & Sales.  If you would like to opt out of this but would like any of our other mailings just unsubscribe in this email and then you can re-subscribe if you scroll to the bottom of our Home Page and choose the type of info you would like to receive.

All that said, this being Newsletter #1, I can’t resist an introduction to our OPE Team to those who may not already be familiar with us.  We have been growing every year, and it amazes me to see what has happened since the ancient “Bruce Schwab Rigging and Systems” days…that was many moons ago…  I consider myself extremely lucky to be associated with this group.

I should start with the very first OPE business partner, Julia Carleton. She joined in 2013 after a varied career involving boats & engineering.  She’s an EE (Electrical Engineer) with the degree to prove it and brings her real-life experience doing research on Antarctic expeditions along with her USCG 500T Master license.   Have you read our Lithionics battery installation manual? Julia wrote that.   

Tom is from Maine, but I met him in California, long ago.  We’re both musicians… Although he’s the REAL thing (in several jazz/swing/etc. bands), whereas I’m just another guitar player.  Tom is a lifelong wooden boat nut (another affliction we share) and also a writer, so you’re likely to hear from him in future OPE Newsletters. Tom is an expert at explaining electrical details in a manner that the average boater can understand.  As a result, he’s in high demand and his phone line is ringing a lot.  Leave a message…

In today’s world of increasingly technical electronics and device programming, having a background in IT and database infrastructure is a real feather to have in your cap. That’s Brady…and we’re lucky that he’s become another boat nut and isn’t off working in Silicon Valley instead.  We try to not bug him too much with questions regarding our office equipment. We know we’re getting on his nerves when he rolls his eyes and sighs.  But thankfully he still helps us figure it out. 

As any business eventually learns, you need a good bookkeeper who insists on order and looks after every detail.  We try to measure up to Kelly’s standards, and I don’t know how we survived before her.  

In another example of my incredible luck, just in the last year we found Devin, who is the definition of an “all-rounder”.  Adept at marine electrical systems, solar system installations, organization, mountain biking, and more, Devin has been a commercial fisherman, lobsterman, and has a degree in Environmental Sciences. And he still has youth on his side!  I’m hard pressed to stay ahead of him when we’re biking.

Last but not least…  Yes, THAT Nigel Calder.  The one who wrote the books you have on your boat, that you refer to when trying to figure out your systems. We are all really glad to have Nigel on board and helping to guide OPE into the future.  And a very interesting future it is. More about some of the projects we’re up to in future OPE Newsletters…but we don’t want to give away too much.

In summary, back when I was racing Ocean Planet (the yacht) around the world, I didn’t know that everything in my life that led up to that experience, and then to have completed the 2004-2005 Vendee Globe, would be perfect training for what OPE is doing now.  Not that I still don’t have a lot to learn…

Smooth Seas,

Bruce & The OceanPlanet Energy Team