Preview: It’s a Brother Thing – Team Bunny Whaler & The Race to Alaska

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“Making do” with the boat they already had, and living so fully during the journey, we’re inspired by the Rooks brothers’ approach to the Race to Alaska, as Team Bunny Whaler.

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31 Responses So Far to “It’s a Brother Thing – Team Bunny Whaler & The Race to Alaska

  • Avatar

    Mark Barber says:

    Thank you for the excellent uplifting, funny, and poignant story and video!

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    Mike Yates says:

    You (& Cooper) continue to be an inspiration to Kathy & me. What was the percentage of rowing vs. sailing?

    • Nate Rooks

      Nate Rooks says:

      Mike! Thanks for watching.

      That’s a great question… it was roughly 2/3 rowing, 1/3 sailing. Rowing a chunky dinghy 500 miles was not exactly the ratio we’d planned for, but that’s the fun part – expect the unexpected!

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    Kamin Lambertson says:

    This video really hit home. I’ve been a small boat sailor since the 70s when 2 brothers, Mark and David Stimson let me “help” build a Pete Culler skiff on Cape Cod which I took with me to Seattle and sailed north as far as Deception Pass. These two remind me so much of other Bainbridge Is sailors, Nathan Smith, Glen Gomes, Jim Scancella.. To name a few. Builders and voyagers. Intrepid, fearless, reluctant to brag about any of it.. What a great story.. I’ve been that route on tugs and fishing boats but they get accolades for “rowing 75% of the time” Bravo!

    • Nate Rooks

      Nate Rooks says:

      Thanks for watching, Kamin! That sounds like some fun adventuring in your Culler skiff, and good brother memories too.

      I’d love to learn more about those Bainbridge sailors and builders sometime.

  • Jonathan Lewis

    Jonathan Lewis says:

    How had I missed this epic? Thanks Steve for putting it back on the radar. So many lessons and so much love. Coop and Nate embody the power of brotherhood.

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    Arthur Winer says:

    Great video! Warm and inspiring. Was great to revisit many of the locations I’ve sailed to in the IP many years ago. Send us more like this one, please.

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    Jonathan Margolis says:

    40 years ago, I had a Harpoon 5.2. I think it was a pretty good boat, but I didn’t really know anything about sailing at the time. I certainly wouldn’t have taken it out after dark, at least voluntarily, and I would never have thought of doing something like R2AK. Wow!

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    David Rawls says:

    Hard core! Congratulations on a lifetime memory!

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    Walter Curran says:

    The personal 9nsights are what make this good story a great story. Well done!

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    Bradford Preston says:

    This story and video is OUSTANDING! Thanks for sharing it.

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    Chris Noto says:

    Wow. Beautiful. Heartwarming. Two thumbs way up, OCH!

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    Vince Gallagher says:

    Awesome video. Mission from God. And great hire btw.

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    Jonathan Mc Donald says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this video. It looks like a frustrating, but fulfilling race. Well played friends!

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    Thomas Buzzi says:

    Nicely done, the brother connection was inspiring.

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    Michael Vaughan says:

    Totally eximious! Great blokes, great video, great concept!

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    Brian Totemoff says:

    How much do I love this web site. Thanks, really, to all involved in putting this site together and keeping it going.

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    Richard Rothaupt says:

    That’s a fantastic story! Well done with style!

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    Charles Treichel says:

    Great video. Can I forward it to someone? Or still sign them up for ?$.

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    Christoph Harlan says:

    This has been the unofficial Harpoon Web page.

    I designed this page over 18 years ago and though quite aged by today’s standards is still the primary source of information for Harpoon sailors.

    • Nate Rooks

      Nate Rooks says:

      Christoph – Coop and I love your site. We’ve been visiting it for a long time during our ownership, and it was especially helpful during the preparation for the race. Even if it was 18 years ago, thanks for doing it!

      • Avatar

        Christoph Harlan says:

        Nate, I just re-viewed the video that was on the offcenterharbor site and was touched as much as when I had seen it the first time. Yes, Boston-Whaler did not even acknowledge that they ever made sailboats. I love what you did with your boat. I had always been thinking that an asymmetric chute would work better than the traditional symmetric spinnaker. However, I never had the courage to alter my 5.2 or 4.6 to give it a try. Instead I bought a Johnson-18 which had the asymmetric chute. You guys had obviously an excellent reason to do so. Obviously, the boat rowed rather well through the water with crew in front of the mast and transom out of the water. What an accomplishment! Bravo! Wonder what happened to your tricked out 5.2.

        • Nate Rooks

          Nate Rooks says:

          Christoph, great to hear from you. We love the asymmetrical. Bunny is still around! We’ve had some good adventures since R2AK, including the Barefoot Raid in 2018 and the Salish 100 in 2019.

          We haven’t been out on her enough this past year, but are pulling her out of the water for some winter maintenance soon with the hopes of more use next year.

    • David Tew

      David Tew says:

      In the early eighties Boston Whaler advertised for a summer hire to tow a Harpoon all across the USA behind thier RV to promote them and take prospects out for a sail (sale!). Had my wife not been pregnant we would have jumped at the chance to visit the lakes and rivers of North America. It was a tough decision.

      • David and Margaret Tew

        David and Margaret Tew says:

        Nate and Coop- I didn’t realize that you rowed for Stanford and the UW. I rowed for Harvard decades ago and my daughter successfully took it up in high school. When it came time to look at colleges we went west to look at Stanford’s, Cal Berkeley’s and the UW crew programs. I was thrilled to see the ASUW boathouse especially since could I imagine it and the waters years later when reading ‘The Boys in The Boat’. The effort to refurbish the old boathouse is well underway, a good thing: or

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    William McCaffrey says:

    Great “brother” adventure! My little brother and I had a lot of small adventures together, but nothing on this scale.

    • Avatar

      Warren Peluso says:

      Wonderful story about brotherly love and also perseverance.


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