More than something your disapproving relatives called you when they learned you took off of all your clothes at school and refused to come down from that tree (again), feral children are an actual thing.
From the time of legend until literally this February, there exists a disturbing number of stories about children lost to the woods and found sometimes more than a decade later claiming that an animal took them in and kept them fed, safe, and raised them as their own. From the three year old who was taken care of by a bear, to the woman who lived an ‘Amphibian lifestyle’ in Cambodia in the mid-90’s, there are scores of stories of children being raised by dogs, monkeys, ostriches, goats, a puma, and in the case of Mogli, an entire animated jungle.
The themes to these stories are varied, but tend to run between children surviving against all odds and animals being either leaps and bounds more compassionate than we are/give them credit for, or leaps and bounds less intelligent than they seem if they can’t even tell the difference between a four year old and the thing that just hatched out of that oversized egg. While the concept of cross-species child rearing is astonishing, it is also comforting to know that if the dingo doesn’t eat your baby, it might be available for childcare.
Team AlphaWolf is perhaps R2AK’s first encounter with anyone who has been raised by a Wolf. Like a modern day Romulus and Remus (without the fratricide), brothers Mike and Matt were nursed by a Wolf and then raised by a Wolf family in the wilds of New Jersey. One doesn’t often associate wolves with sailing or New Jersey. The Wolfs, on the other hand, have been steeped in the Turnpike State’s sailing scene for generations, and as pups Matt and Mike were raised on sailing dinghies in the Cooper River, then weaned on larger craft on both coasts. Then one Wolf was unleashed as a dog of war in Operations named after the freedoms he fought to create (‘Iraqi Freedom’ in Iraq and ‘Enduring Freedom’ in Afghanistan), the other Wolf was reintroduced to the west and in between lower-cased operations as a registered nurse he sailed the San Juan and Gulf Islands, and off-shored from New York to Bermuda and Portland to Seattle. Together, Team Alpha Wolf has won one out of every three Swiftsures and Around Long Island races they’ve ever sailed…so, one apiece—still pretty good.
Like actual wolves, Team AlphaWolf has run upwards of 26 miles in marathons and ultra-marathons, emblazoned their likeness and the full moon on the black tee shirts favored by the Dungeons and Dragons kids, and in 2010 killed and ate a lady in Chignik. True, the third one is probably only true for actual wolves, and the second one we can only hope is true for the Wolfs, but other than that, the similarity is uncanny.
Team Alpha Wolf chose Farrier’s coyote-sized Trimaran for their free ranging hunt of R2AK glory. The F-24 is light, fast, and easily driven by light summer airs—and in the non-existent airs of last summer’s race, it will pedal/paddle/row easier than its bigger three-hulled cousins. It also boasts a cozy den—solid choice for a two-man Wolf pack.
Welcome to the R2AK, Team AlphaWolf. Honestly, please, please, please get a custom wolf/moon shirt—best R2AK uniform ever.